Before you disregard this effervescent, slightly sour drink as the next fad health beverage, consider some of the amazing health benefits of kombucha.
So what is kombucha anyway?
Kombucha is an ancient fermented tea beverage originating from China, with the first recorded use being sometime around 221 BC, over 2,000 years ago. Kombucha is a “living beverage”, meaning it contains live active cultures of bacteria and yeast.
The bacteria and yeast feed on sugar that’s added to the tea and begin to form a film on the top, hence why many refer to it as “mushroom tea”. Fun fact, it even has a name: a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or a SCOBY!
The final result of all this fermentation is an effervescent, tangy drink. In its final form, many describe the flavor as something between apple cider vinegar and champagne.
Kombucha’s staying power through the ages has been its numerous health benefits, which can be attributed to its fermentation. Here are the top 7 amazing health benefits of kombucha.
1. Benefits of Kombucha Are In Its’ Probiotics
Kombucha, whether store-bought or homemade, always has live cultures present. In fact, many of the kombucha brands you see on store shelves are simply homemade recipes turned into scale-able drinks for market via commercial beverage labs. They all have live yeasts and bacteria in order to facilitate fermentation and lend to the tangy, bubbly flavor.
You might be wondering how this inherently makes kombucha healthy. Numerous studies show that probiotic bacteria can alleviate or improve a myriad of ailments such as digestive disorders (including diarrhea, bloating, IBS, and IDB), allergy disorders, periodontal disease, and even the common cold.
Kombucha contains numerous species of lactic-acid bacteria, which are the same species as those found in yogurt and kefir. They also happen to the bacteria that are native to the human microbiome! These bacteria work hard in the gut to improve digestion and absorption, while also improving your immune system, mood, and energy levels.
2. Kombucha Will Assist Detoxing
Because kombucha is teeming with bacteria and enzymes, it’s a great beverage to use for detoxification. Gluconic acid, which is found in kombucha as well as in fruits and vegetables, may be able to bind to toxins in the body and help expel them.
Kombucha also contains a high level of antioxidants which helps shield the body’s cells from oxidative damage from environmental factors. With the rising levels of pollution through plastics and pesticides we encounter in our everyday lives, it’s important to offset this with natural sources of antioxidants on a regular basis.
3. Drinking Kombucha Will Improve Digestion
As much as we sometimes don’t like to think about it, our digestive system is teeming with bacteria. In fact, bacterial cells in the human body actually outnumber human cells. That is all to say that bacteria are absolutely essential for a healthy, efficient body.
When it comes to digestion, kombucha’s superpower is again in its’ live bacteria cultures. The bacteria found in kombucha happen to be a native species to our gut. Kombucha also contains digestive enzymes that help to break down proteins and saccharides in the gut to make the digestive system more efficient.
4. Kombucha Is An Excellent Source of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is often the missing link in the general population’s health, especially those with a traditional plant-based diet. That’s because Vitamin B12 accumulates in the bodies of predators. For humans, this means that meat and animal products are the richest sources of B12. Thus, many health-conscious eaters who choose a vegetarian or vegan diet may be compromising on this vitamin.
Why is B12 so important? Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that allows the body to maintain the health of nerve and blood cells, while also helping to make DNA. Without it, you might feel chronically fatigued, weak, experience loss of appetite, weight loss, gastrointestinal disturbances, and it can even affect your nervous system and long-term memory.
Because Vitamin B12 is so important for overall health, it’s essential that anyone eating a mostly plant-based diet intentionally supplements with rich sources of this vitamin. Kombucha to the rescue!
Thankfully, we’re learning that animals are not the only way to get B12. Fermented food is rich in B12 because of its ability to be synthesized by bacteria. Regularly consuming Kombucha will ensure that your levels of B12 are remaining high even if you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan. Bonus: B12 is a mood enhancerso drinking kombucha will make you happier!
5. Kombucha Will Help You Lose Weight
Before you reach for the diet pills, consider a natural and gentler alternative to weight loss. Kombucha, when made with a green tea base, contains many of the same health benefits as green tea (and many more!). A 2008 study showed that participants had a higher overall caloric burn when drinking green tea daily after as little as 8 weeks.
Since kombucha is very commonly made with green tea, you can enjoy the same weight loss benefits while consuming kombucha. It may even be better than green tea alone because of the added benefit of probiotics for gut health and weight loss.
Kombucha, like apple cider vinegar, is thought to increase metabolism when consumed before meals. Its’ astringent qualities enhance the stomach’s ability to digest meals and empty more quickly. Many regular kombucha drinkers feel better after meals, enjoying higher digestive efficiency and easier weight loss.
The next time you see that exotic sounding, funky fermented tea on your grocery store shelves, give it a try. You might be one of the hundreds of recent converts to kombucha.
Kombucha is a healthy alternative to many other beverages like sodas and juices. Its’ recent rise in popularity also means that there are tons of new, delicious flavor options hitting the market that taste great! No more holding your nose.
Perhaps the best part about kombucha is how easy it is to make in your very own kitchen. And once you’ve got your kombucha recipe down, you can even start to bottle and sell it (hey, you never know!). Contact us today to learn more and start reaping the benefits of kombucha tea.