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Functional Food Supplements

Functional Food Supplements

Functional foods are those that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. From your Fx 100 list, they include herbs and spices like basil, parsley, ginger and turmeric, as well as fermented foods like sauerkraut. Functional foods also include raw chocolate, green tea, and mushrooms.

Did you know that you can also receive the benefits of functional food in supplement form?

For most people, supplements are critical for maintaining health in the body. They’re easy to consume and beneficial, but only if they contain natural and healthy ingredients.

Dr. Todd Pesek, Heinen’s Chief Medical Officer, understood this long ago and wanted to change the way people thought about plant-based diets and supplements. His understanding of vitamins and their relationship to the body led to the creation of Nutritional Roots in 2014.

Nutritional Root’s proprietary blends are made from the best organic and sustainably grown functional foods like herbs and mushrooms. This approach to caring about the source of a supplement’s ingredients means they are willing to travel from Cleveland to Vermont to the Andes Mountain of Peru to the jungles of Central America, to the mountains of Japan, to seek them out.

They take these carefully sourced ingredients and enhance the nutrient value of their supplements through their Fermactivated™ fermentation process.

The 5 Essential Supplements

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you explore which vitamins to take, so let me break it down for you in very simple terms.

There are five essential supplements that are necessary due to depleted soils and toxic elements in our environment. They include: a whole food-based multivitamin with vitamin B-12, bioavailable iodine, probiotic, vitamin D3, and algae-based DHA.

Whole Food-Based Multivitamin with Vitamin B-12

Nutritional Roots Multivitamin contains fermented organic ingredients like spinach, kale, and apple cider vinegar. They use the process of fermentation to produce each nutrient with the enhanced benefit of live probiotics and enzymes, for optimal nutrient absorption.

Vitamin B-12 is a common deficiency especially as we age, yet it is necessary to support healthy energy levels and metabolism. Inside each serving of this multivitamin is more than 4000% of your daily value of vitamin B-12, as methylcobalamin—the best kind!

Bioavailable Iodine

Most are surprised that iodine made the list of “essentials”. According to Dr. Pesek: “Our modern diets no longer incorporate enough sea vegetation to support optimal thyroid function.”

Nutritional Roots Iodine is crafted from sea plants like organic kelp, organic spirulina, and organic Wakame seaweed. It supports optimal thyroid function, which in turn supports optimal energy and a healthy weight and immune system.


Probiotics are foods or supplements containing live bacteria that replace or add to the beneficial bacteria normally present in your gut.

Nutritional Roots Probiotic is a vegan blend made with soil-based organisms, beneficial enzymes that support various aspects of health. These scientifically selected strains of self-sporing bacteria support improved cognitive function, better digestive function, and immune system support.

Vitamin D3 + K2

Our culture hides from the sun. We wear more clothes and spend less time in direct sunlight, so our bodies don’t receive the D3 we need to support hormone balance. Optimal vitamin D levels also support immune health, cognitive function, and bone health.

Nutritional Roots D3 + K2 is plant-based and made from sustainably sourced Canadian lichen. Lichen is a unique plant and a vegan source of Vitamin D3. It’s also made with ingredients like fermented organic turmeric, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, and vitamin K2 so your body gets the very best of what it needs.

Omega-3 Plant-Based DHA + EPA

Since modern diets and lifestyles expose the body to chronic inflammation, the anti-inflammatory response of omega-3 fatty acids is important for supporting a healthy internal environment. This includes brain, eye, heart, and skin health.

Nutritional Roots Omega-3 spray contains two beneficial types of fats, DHA and EPA, and is produced from sustainably harvested algae so it’s vegan friendly with no fishy aftertaste.

And, one more recommended supplement: Maca

Maca enhances strength, stamina and mental clarity. It does so, in part, by supporting healthful hormonal balance and wellbeing. Although not part of the five essentials, maca can benefit certain populations, particularly athletes, menopausal women and andropausal men.

Nutritional Roots Maca is organic and grown in the pure mountainous climate of the Andean highlands of Peru. It is enhanced with probiotic fermentation to predigest the nutrients and organically introduce beneficial bacteria.

Unique ways to enjoy the benefits of Functional Food supplements:

Did you know you can add functional food supplements to your meals? Carefully open the capsules and mix them in:

This week’s feature recipe is from Heinen’s Wellness Consultant, Andrea Slobodian. It’s a Zesty Lime-Blackberry Salad tossed with a tasty dressing made from Nutritional Roots Plant-Based Omega-3 spray, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lime juice, and apple cider vinegar.

Food for thought …

It’s important to discuss adding supplements with your medical advisor to know how they will interact with any medicines you are currently taking. And it’s a conversation worth having for the right supplementation will make a big difference in helping you feel your best!

Melanie Jatsek RD, LD

By Melanie Jatsek RD, LD

Heinen's Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek, RD, LD believes that the answer to a strong, healthy and vibrant body lies within. As a published author with over 20 years of experience in wellness program development, health coaching and professional speaking, Melanie offers expert guidance through Heinen's Club Fx program to help customers take inspired action to build the healthy body they were meant to live in without giving up their favorite foods.

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