Kombucha has that slightly hard to drink taste to it. It's fermented, a little bubbly and lightly sweetened which makes you hesitate when you first taste it. Most commercially made Kombucha tastes good in my opinion but I have a way of convincing myself something is worth the taste as long as there are health benefits. Let's look at what Kombucha is and the supposed health benefits and then you can decide for yourself.
Kombucha is made from a green or black tea which sits to ferment. It grows bacteria and yeast which lead to health benefits. It can be sweetened by the fruit added or additional sweeteners.
Tea, sugar, bacteria, yeast
Fruit juices or spices can be added
Foods that go through a natural fermentation process gain probiotic properties, and eating or drinking these foods may bring benefits like improved digestion and a more balanced gut microbiome. Many nutritionists believe Kombucha may be beneficial to gut health due to these probiotics, though they say more research is needed. (time.com)
Optimal gut health is the key to a strong immune system. The fermenting bacteria in Kombucha can boost immunity, thanks to the dose of good bacteria they provide.
The detoxification properties of Kombucha hasn't been widely tested yet but we do know the tea's fermentation process produces compounds that can encourage detoxification in the body.
Because of the fermentation process Kombucha does contain more antioxidants than other teas. Polyphenols present in tea are responsible for the antioxidant activity of Kombucha.
During the fermentation process of Kombucha, black tea releases iron, small amounts of caffeine, and B-vitamins, all of which are known for providing energy to the human body. I like the idea of this for a healthier and more natural alternative to energy drinks.
Grocery store shelves have many choices for Kombucha these days but some brands can be high in added sugar. Aim for Kombucha with 5 grams of sugar or less per serving. Also remember to check the serving size because one bottle may contain two servings. And, just like you would with any packaged food, scan the label for hard-to-pronounce ingredients. If there are a lot of chemical sounding ingredients, there's a good chance you don't want to put that in your body.
There have been some reports of negative reactions in people after drinking Kombucha. Most can be traced back to home-made versions of the drink. It is easy to make at home but non-sterile conditions are what draws concern for the safety of the drink. When you're fermenting a live organism like bacteria or yeast at home, then food safety is an issue. Follow safe cleaning and brewing methods.
Most health claims of Kombucha are not scientifically proven but it's not a new drink. It originated in Northeast China in 220 B.C. and was prized for it's healing properties. I like to think there is some validity to it's health benefits when it's been around for so long. Plus I like the drink. If you've never tasted it now might be the time to give it a try. You might make a funny face but pick a flavor that sounds good to you and chances are it won't be terrible.
Until next time
Be Fit, Be Strong, and try a Kombucha
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