Have you tried Kombucha?
This fermented beverage has become quite popular in recent years. It is well known for its probiotic content and the associated health benefits.
Kombucha is a fermented tea. It is made by brewing black or green tea with a considerable amount of sugar or honey and allowing in to ferment over a number of days. The result is a beverage teeming with probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and organic acids.
Kombucha’s origins are unclear. Legend has it that kombucha originated in the area known as Manchuria in Northeast China thousands of years ago. There, it was known as “The Tea of Immortality.”
The word kombucha, however is theorized to be of Japanese origin. The word “kombu” means seaweed or kelp in Japanese. This name was likely chosen due to the stringy seaweed-like appearance of the kombucha culture, called a SCOBY.
SCOBY is an acronym. It stands for “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.” Also called “the mother,” the SCOBY is similar to “the mother” found in raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
The SCOBY is the home of various bacteria and yeast that love to eat sugar. It appears as a beige colored disk or pancake. The SCOBY thrives off of the minerals and sugar found in sweet tea.
As the culture consumes sugar it produces range of nutrients responsible for the health effects of consuming kombucha. It also produces around 1% alcohol by volume.
Here are 5 health effects of kombucha you should know about:
Probiotics are microorganisms that are beneficial to our health as humans.
Everything is covered with bacteria. Even when you wipe a surface down with antibacterial spray, it is recolonized in just a couple of hours. We can not eliminate bacteria but must learn how to live with them.
In our own bodies we rely on bacteria to digest our food, produce neurotransmitters, and regulate our immune system. These functions are largely regulated by what is called the microbiome. The microbiome is collection of microorganisms in and on our bodies.
The bacteria and yeasts in kombucha help keep the microbiome healthy and in balance by killing harmful microorganisms while promoting healthy ones.
Kombucha is a master detoxifier. This is because one of the primary organic acids produced by the SCOBY is glucoronic acid glucaric acids. These organic acids aid help transfer toxins from the liver to the kidneys for excretion.
The antioxidants in kombucha also boost liver function by lowering inflammation. This allows the liver to filter more toxins out of the blood.
Kombucha contains a considerable amount of glucosamines. Glucosamine supports the production of synovial hyaluronic acid in the body. Hyaluronic acid protects the joints from degradation by providing lubrication. Lubricated joints are less prone to degradation and wear which leads to inflammation and pain.
Glucosamine has successfully been used in clinical trials in the treatment of arthritic pain.
Kombucha can aid in mental health in a number of ways.
First of all, kombucha is a great source of vitamin B12. B12 supports energy levels and promotes mental wellbeing.
The probiotics in kombucha also regulate the “gut-brain axis.” Bacteria in the human microbiome are actually responsible for producing a vast number of the neurotransmitters that determine how we think, feel, and perceive, and even act on a daily basis.
The probiotics in kombucha promote a balanced microbiome which leads to a balanced mood.
Kombucha also promotes immune health.
The human immune system is regulated by the microbiome. This makes sense when you consider that the number one way we are exposed to pathogens is through our food. Healthy bacteria from kombucha can help fight off pathogenic invaders that would otherwise make us sick.
Kombucha is also a considerable source of vitamin C which is known to strengthen and support immune health.
Kombucha can be found in most health food stores for around $3-$5 per bottle. Look for brands that are low and sugar and packaged in a dark glass bottle. UV light can kill the probiotics in kombucha so a dark bottle is best.
Many kombuchas are brewed with superfood fruits, herbs, and vegetable juices for added health benefits.
Most kombuchas are organic but it always good to make sure before purchasing. Also, look for kombuchas labeled “raw” or “unpasteurized.” Pasteurization destroys the probiotics in kombucha.
If you are working with a chronic disease then start slow. Maybe try half a bottle and see how you feel.