What is kombucha?
Nobody is sure of the origin of kombucha, but many early variants can be traced back to the tea-drinking countries of China and Japan.
Kombucha is a fermented tea. It is usually sweetened and fizzy like a soft drink. Many people love it due to its unique sour flavour and the fact it is much healthier than your regular sweetened iced teas or sodas.
how to make kombucha?
I had a roommate who was extremely eco-friendly some years ago. Not only did he compost all of our waste and make us all use eco-friendly shampoo, he had a huge jar in one of our kitchen cabinets filled with green tea and a big blob.
Yes – he was making kombucha.
I ended up being a taste-test dummy for every batch, meaning I was already quite the homemade kombucha connoisseur before the craze hit our supermarket shelves a few years back.
Kombucha is made through a fermentation process that can last up to a month or more. It starts with a SCOBY – Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It is similar to beer in this sense. The bacteria converts any sugar into ethanol and acids over time.
It goes something like this:
- Fill a jar with tea
- Add some sugar
- Add a SCOBY (which can be purchased easily online)
- Cover it and leave it for a few weeks
The longer you leave it, the fizzier it will become. You can also add whatever fruits or spices you want to give it the desired flavour.
Thankfully, you don’t need to go to all this trouble to add kombucha drinks to your diet these days – it’s now reasonably easy to find a bottle on your supermarket shelf!
Health benefits of kombucha:
kombucha improves your digestive health
All fermented foods contain probiotics due to the fermentation process.
For generations, communities have thrived on diets of fermented foods, whether it be yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi or any other preserved foods.
Probiotics are beneficial for your health because they help populate and balance your gut flora, which is essential to a strong immune system and digestive health. Multiple studies suggest that having insufficient or imbalanced bacteria in your gut contributes to a host of common diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cancers, heart disease and mental illness (sources 1, 2, 3).
kombucha can help you lose weight
Research shows that people who are obese have different gut bacteria to those who are lean (source).
This leads many nutritionists and scientists to believe your gut bacteria has a strong influence on your body weight.
Take for example this study, where participants managed to lose almost 10% of their belly fat within 12 weeks, simply by taking a probiotic.
Being a fermented drink, kombucha is a fantastic source of probiotics and very easy to add to your daily diet. All that’s needed is a simple glass with your lunch or dinner, or even while sitting at your desk at work!
kombucha has Antioxidants
Free radicals can impact your body by causing oxidative damage. This is normal, but you can mitigate oxidative damage from free radicals by consuming a good amount of antioxidants.
Green tea and other teas are well-known sources of antioxidants, particularly because of their polyphenol content (source 1).
If you’re not much of a green tea drinker, you might find a glass of kombucha is a more flavourful way to get your antioxidant fix!
kombucha can be Antibacterial
Kombucha contains acetic acid, the same substance abundant in vinegar.
Kombucha can be a great combatant against undesirable bacteria and yeasts in the body, candida in particular (source).
This is a similar benefit to probiotic supplementation, which helps combat overgrowth of the harmful bacterias in your gut.
Kombucha may help with diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects people with high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
Diabetics need to watch their carb intake and avoid spikes in their blood sugar.
An interesting study in diabetic rats found that kombucha can actually reduce blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of carbs in the gut (source).
Green tea has also been shown to have benefits in type 2 diabetics (source).
The great thing about kombucha is it’s almost always sweetened with non-sugar sweeteners such as stevia, and most added sugar is usually consumed during the fermentation process. The result is a delicious low sugar drink that diabetics don’t need to feel guilty about drinking daily!
Kombucha is heart healthy
Do you know what the leading cause of death is in the developed world?
Some might say cancer, or car accidents.
It’s heart disease.
Two markers of whether you’re at risk of heart disease are your cholesterol markers – LDL (bad) and HDL (good).
Since one of the biggest contributors to heart disease are sugary drinks such as Coke and energy drinks, this makes kombucha a perfect substitute!
Not only do they taste great and give you your daily fix of fizz, they’re great for your health too.
Looking for a kombucha to try? We love Remedy’s raw zero sugar kombucha. Give it a try here!