Maybe you’ve heard of Kombucha from your yoga-obsessed friend or you’ve seen it on the shelf at Whole Foods. But do you know what it is? Or the benefits of drinking it? Kombucha is more than a trend, it’s been around for two thousand years. Researchers believe it started in the Far East, maybe China.
Kombucha has become popular in the U.S. because of its health benefits. Kombucha drinkers claim these benefits include aiding in digestion, sleep, weight loss and detoxification; stimulates the immune system, prevents cancer, stops hair loss and improves liver function.
But let’s backtrack, what is kombucha? Kombucha is known as the “immortal health elixer.” It’s made from mixing bacteria and yeast with black or green tea. After going through a fermentation process, the unpasteurized concoction is ready to drink. Most flavors have a vinegar taste and smell, which is not favorable to some. Kombucha producers add juice to the base brew to take away some of the vinegar taste.
Although, some experts warn against drinking the unpasteurized drink, which usually comes from homemade batches and certain manufacturers. A safer route is to drink a pasteurized brand of kombucha. Pasteurizing the mix can decrease the alcohol levels, that can sometimes reach the content level of some beers. Since 2010, kombucha brands have refigured their formula to get down to the 0.5% legal limit of alcohol.
Kombucha has four main health benefits: detoxification, energy, immune health and digestion.
Detoxification: The detoxification properties produce healthy livers and cancer prevention. It’s rich in enzymes and bacterial acids, thus making it easy for the body to detox your system, reducing the pancreatic load.
Energy: Iron is formed from the black tea during the fermentation process, energizing the body.The iron helps boost blood hemoglobin, which improves oxygen supply and stimulates the energy-producing process. Kombucha also contains a small amount of caffeine and B-vitamins which also invigorate the body.
Immune Health: Since kombucha is anti-oxidant rich, it aids in boosting your immune system. Kombucha is clinically proven to decrease oxidative stress and related immunosuppression. The vitamin C and DSL (D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone) are the key ingredients that help protect against cell damage, inflammatory diseases and tumors.
Digestion: Kombucha is a probiotic drink because of the natural fermentation of bacteria and yeast. The high levels of beneficial acid and enzymes also aid in digestion support. Research has shown that kombucha can help prevent stomach ulcers, candida or leaky guts.
What kombucha recipes have you tried?