So, you’ve probably heard all of the hype over Kombucha, for about the last 2 years, as the significant benefits of this drink have become accepted. More likely than not, you’ve found yourself sitting down at a restaurant (similar to Whole Foods Market) eating your salad quietly, while watching the fellow health-obsessed foodies around you also consume the same salad, but with that attractive bottle of green or purple Kombucha… You secretly walk over to the beverage cooler of the market and discover a wall of assorted flavors and colors, grabbing the But what makes Kombucha so most desirable flavor; you leave feeling proud and eager to sip away, but you really have no clue what Kombucha is and why everyone is carrying a bottle around!? What is Kombuch and why is it so miraculous, besides the obvious boatload of probiotics (aiding in gut health) that everyone talks about? We see all of these assorted, fun and funky Kombucha flavors, and wonder, is this a trend, or is there a real benefit? So, before you run away, as I expose you to the reality of Kombucha (what it is, how it’s made, and it’s extraordinary unknown and misunderstood benefits), open your mind ~ you might even find yourself running to the market before you even finish reading, and grabbing that uniquely flavored kombucha waiting for you in the corner of the markets’ fridge, this time, knowing what is is your drinking!
What is Kombucha? Really???
Kombucha has actually been “a thing” for over 2,000 years! Surprised? I was too. By definition, Kombucha is “a fermented drink made from bacteria and yeast mixed with black or green tea and sugar”, the sugary tea turns into kombucha with the help of a SCOBY—a.k.a. “a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”—which looks a bit like a floating mushroom. Except it’s made of live bacteria. It’s this bacteria and yeast-fueled fermentation process that sets kombucha apart from other drinks (and gives it that slightly off-putting vinegary smell when you sip). Sounds completely appalling right? Don’t run away just yet!
What’s The Real “Benefit”
After fermentation, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic). These bacteria are known as “cellulose-producing bacteria,” meaning they produce cellulose, which acts as a shield to cells. Besides the off-putting origins of kombucha, this very fermentation process offers some wild health benefits such as improved digestion, and immune function, a boatload of probiotics, B vitamins, enzymes and organic acids (feeling bloated? Yes, it helps with that too!). Not convincing enough? Let’s go through some major unknown eye-opening benefits!
1. Helps Prevent Disease
There is a fairly well-confirmed body of evidence that kombucha contains powerful antioxidants and can help to detoxify the body and protect against disease. These specific antioxidants contribute to reducing inflammation (the root of many diseases), aiding in detoxification and reduce oxidative stress that can damage cells, even down to DNA. FUN FACT:While normal black tea does contain antioxidants, research shows that the fermentation process of kombucha creates antioxidants not present in black tea, like glucaric acid, glutathione peroxidase and catalase.
2. Aides In Gut-Health
More likely than not, you know that most everything starts with your gut. The greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics, amino acids and enzymes. Studies have shown that Kombucha has also been shown the have the ability to heal stomach ulcers! Kombucha can also help heal candida from overpopulating within the gut by restoring balance to the digestive system, with live probiotic cultures that help the gut to repopulate with good bacteria while crowding out the candida yeast (Happy DANCE TIME)
3. Improving Mental State?
Yes indeed, Kombucha does not just aid with digestion, but it might be able to protect your mind too! (Second HAPPY DANCE) This is where all those wonderful B vitamins play their role. Vitamin B12, in particular, is known to increase energy levels and contribute to overall mental wellbeing. Kombucha’s vitamin B12 content is plays a gut-repairing function, as well as a role in mental health. Depression may actually be a major symptom of leaky-gut syndrome, specifically due to the way that bad gut permeability contributes to inflammation. Kombucha’s ability to aid and regulate gut health, ties into anxiety, depression and even mood swings!
SO, we’ve walked through some more commonly acknowledged benefits, but what about the unknown? Kombucha is not only a powerful antibacterial agent, (because of the type of bacteria found in kombucha, drinking the live cultures actually destroys bad bacteria responsible for infections), but it is also helpful in managing diabetes and is beneficial to the lungs! As far as diabetes, “particularly due to the functions of antioxidants in kombucha, it seems to help alleviate diabetes symptoms, and more efficiently than the anti-diabetic black tea from which it’s fermented. This appears to be especially true in terms of liver and kidney functions, which are generally poor for those with diabetes”. The unknown benefit of lung health? Chinese scientists discovered that inhalation of kombucha could be a way to treat some lung diseases caused by inhalation of dangerous material. Don’t go sniffing kombucha away, this is just an unknown fun fact friends!
I could honestly go on and on, there are so many more reasons to suck down that kombucha, such as improved cardiovascular health and maintaining a healthy liver. But please, there are two things you should know before you go and buy a 6 pack of Kombucha!
1. Don’t Drink Too Much
While Komnucha is a great thing, a little goes a long way, and too much can do more harm than good…”Anyone who is pregnant or has a compromised immune system shouldn’t drink it, she adds. Why? Since it’s made with bacteria, there is always the risk of contamination that might make you sick. “Some versions can be unpasteurized, particularly home-brewed versions, which result in toxic reactions and can be harmful to a fetus,” Moskovitz says. If you’re otherwise healthy, you shouldn’t worry too much about store-bought versions, but drinking a homemade brew can be riskier” (LisaMoskovitz, R.D)
2. Avoid Alcoholic Versions
“Fermentation, in case you don’t remember from chem class, is also the process by which alcohol is made. So technically, all kombucha is a teeny bit alcoholic. Some versions of kombucha are actually allowed to ferment long enough to give you a bit of a buzz and “can contain as much alcohol as a light beer,” says Moskovitz. Check the label before taking a swig and stick to the low-alcohol versions if you want to keep your kombucha as healthy as possible”. So, if you’re like me, and you like “GT’ S Kombucha” Brand, purchase the regular Kombucha (black bottles contain large amounts of alcohol so stick to the clear bottles, with the grey wrapping)
So friends, to conclude, I hope I’ve convinced you to drop everything, run to the market (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, pretty much any health-food market will most likely carry Kombucha), and grab the first flavor that fits to your liking. If you are a “first-timer”, I suggest going light and sweet, avoiding lemonade, gingerade, and multi-green, and sticking more with flavors such as Gingerberry (my favourite, a combo of blueberry and ginger), and fruity flavors, unless you’re a hardcore Kombucha-goer! GT’S Kombucha (CLICK HERE), also carries a chia-kombucha drink, so what are you waiting for? Grab that Kombucha-Bomb and pair with an Earth Bowl of choice ~ Happy Healing (literally) my Foodie Friends!