What are fermented foods?
Fermented foods contain friendly bacteria otherwise known as probiotics. Probiotics are tiny microorganisms that break down food into acids. The probiotics then multiply in number through the process of fermentation. Fermented foods are known to keep longer as all of the bad bacteria are crowded out.
Because there was no such thing as refrigeration long ago, our ancestors would ferment more food than we do today. It is important to look back on how they used to live as fermented foods are known to keep your gut biome healthy and fortify your immune system.
Why Bodybuilders Should Eat Fermented Foods
- Improve digestive system and intestinal flora
- Improve recovery time
- Fortify immune system
- Easily digestible as they are already broken down by bacteria
- Helps the body absorb other nutrients from foods
Overall, digestion will begin to improve as gut health improves. The nutrients that are taken in from your diet will fuel your muscle recovery quicker because of improvements in digestion. Also, the immune system will benefit from fermented foods as the good bacteria will discourage the growth of bad bacteria.
Since your gut will be in good order, your immunity to diseases and sicknesses will increase. You will live a happier and healthier life!
1 – Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is one of the most popular fermented foods because it is low fat and high in protein. Compared to milk, Greek yogurt has a much higher protein content. It is our most recommended fermented food because of its incredible macronutrient profile. It has 18g of protein, 5g of carbs, and no fat in a 3/4 cup serving. Being light and creamy, it can be enjoyed quickly at breakfast or as a small dinner with all sorts of toppings to choose from.
Some other ideas to fit greek yogurt into your diet:
- Yogurt parfait with fruit
- Greek yogurt and protein powder (42g protein)
- Replace sour cream for Greek yogurt in your chili (Trust us)
2 – Kimchi
Kimchi is a spicy Korean fermented cabbage that is prepared with diced Nappa cabbage. Nappa cabbage is a potent cancer-fighting cabbage that also aids digestion. Kimchi also includes red chili flakes, which can help you lose weight by enhancing lipolysis (the breakdown of fats in your body). This spicy fermented topping is sure to fire up your taste buds while containing very few calories.
Kimchi can be added to your diet in numerous ways:
- Side to any meal
- Add to any stirfry
- Mix in with your beef and rice bowl
- Kimchi stew
- Kimchi quesadillas
3 – Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is one of the oldest forms of preserving cabbage by fermenting it with bacteria and salt. With a high fiber content, sauerkraut will fill you up and keep your body healthy at the same time. It has been linked to improving heart health and lowering cholesterol levels. Sauerkraut is also a great source of Vitamin C and K, fiber, and iron.
There are many ways to add sauerkraut into your diet:
- A small side to your meal
- On a sandwich
- Right out of the jar
- In a salad or slaw
- In a quesadilla
- With scrambled eggs
- On a pizza
4 – Kombucha
Kombucha is a tangy Chinese tea that has been fermented with bacteria and yeast. The fermentation process breaks down the sugar into acid, making it less sweet but tarter. Kombucha contains a little amount of alcohol content, ranging from 0.5% to 3% ABV, in the varieties sold at grocery stores. Athletic performance may also be improved as kombucha has B vitamins which help energize your cells.
Ideas to work kombucha into your diet:
- Soda replacement
- Drink it straight from the bottle or pour it in a glass over ice.
- Add it to a cocktail
- Incorporate it into a smoothie
Our favorite brand is GT’s. This brand has the most delicious flavor and can tell by the taste that it’s been made with high-quality, potent bacteria.
Fermented foods are a great way to improve your digestive system, immune system, and overall well-being. We’ve provided you with four examples of fermented foods that will help fuel muscle growth as well as make for delicious post-workout snacks or side dishes. With the benefits stacking up, it’s easy to see why many people consider them essential in their diet!