You can’t go far these days without being introduced to the Kombucha craze. Celebrities are toting it around in paparazzi photos, grocery stores lining their shelves with it, micro-breweries and gourmet coffee shops offering it on tap, the stuff is everywhere and we know it’s supposed to be“healthy” but do we know why?
First off, a very simple explanation of the tea drink is it is the product of fermenting yeast and bacteria—yep, that’s what it is. While what type of yeast and bacteria can vary, usually the yeast includes Saccharomyces (a probiotic fungus) and the bacteria generally includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus (used to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols into acetic and other acids). While there is a trace of alcohol (about 1%), it is not as significant of an amount found in drinks such as hard liquor or beer and wine and does not cause the side effects as with traditional alcoholic beverages.
Kombucha can be home-brewed, which is gaining in popularity from DIY sites such as Pinterest, but a wide variety of companies have been producing and bottling the drink since the 1990s . Contamination is a serious consequence when attempting to make Kombucha at home, therefore understanding the precautions needed as well as the concerns and risks when drinking home-brewed Kombucha is extremely important.
There is a wide variety of claims on the benefits of Kombucha that range from curing cancer to improving digestion, I am going to focus on the top four that I have researched and that may apply to the largest amount of people.
Top 4 Benefits of Kombucha
- Digestion and gut health
- Immunity booster
- Joint care
#1 Digestion and gut health
Kombucha is naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast which is a complicated way of saying it is a probiotic. Introducing good bacteria and yeast into our systems helps in fighting candida (bad yeast) that may have been forming in the gut. It is always beneficial to supply the body with a myriad of good bugs to fight the bad ones.
The fermented tea is also high in enzymes and bacterial aides that the body uses to detox our systems. There are also studies that link the detoxification of Kombucha-like teas to helping to fight cancer in the body (this is in addition to living an organic lifestyle of food and home products).
#3 Immunity booster
Another amazing component found in Kombucha is anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants offset the toxins we come across in everyday life. Having an added supply of anti-oxidants in Kombucha, helps boost your immune system as well as improving your energy levels.
#4 Joint care
It’s never too early to be concerned with joint care, and luckily for us there is a plethora of knowledge about prevention when it comes to joints and improving bone density. Kombucha contains glucosamines, which is a strong preventative and treatment for all forms of arthritis. Glucosamines increase synovial hyaluronic acid production, which is major. HA is the big gun when it comes to maintaining tissue structure, moisture and lubrication throughout the body. It also helps with collagen production (bye bye wrinkles).
Ok so what are some ways to incorporate Kombucha into your lifestyle?
- Hang-over remedy (it is extremely hydrating and replenishes electrolytes)
- Pre or post workout (it’s ultra energizing, especially when taken on an empty stomach)
- Preventing a cold or sickness (when feeling low in the immunity department, it will help give your body extra defenses to fend off harmful bugs)
- Mocktails (if you want to feel like you are part of the party and don’t feel like partaking in the wine spritzers, pour Kombucha in a glass and taste the festive bubbles!)
Hope you learned something new about Kombucha! Have you tried it? If so, I’d love to know your thoughts!