Benefits of Drinking Kombucha
Like many traditional health preparations, the origins of kombucha are something of a mystery. The most common theory is that it was created in Manchuria (China). From there it made its way to Russia and Europe. Now it’s conquering the world. Here’s what you need to know about the drink and its benefits.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is basically tea fermented with healthy bacteria. Other ingredients may be added for their health properties and/or their flavor. The key ingredient in kombucha is called “SCOBY”. This stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”. In simple terms, the SCOBY provides a home for the healthy bacteria in kombucha.
Throughout most of history, making a SCOBY has been a combination of tradition and art. Over recent years, however, it has become much more influenced by science. Now, health-orientated kombucha brands put a lot of effort into creating scobies that maximize the growth of healthy bacteria.
Kombucha health benefits
Kombucha is known to have three main health benefits. Firstly, it is a source of healthy bacteria. Secondly, it is a source of antioxidants. Thirdly, it is a source of vitamins and minerals. Here is why these benefits matter.
A source of healthy bacteria
Traditionally, kombucha has been valued as a source of probiotics. These are basically the good bacteria that promote gut health. Modern kombucha can also be a source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are plant-based fibers that provide food for probiotic bacteria.
You can get prebiotics through diet. In fact, that’s the traditional way. The problem is that modern diets, even healthy ones, just don’t tend to have significant quantities of prebiotics. Kombucha can be a way of making up the deficit.
A source of antioxidants
Antioxidants take their name from the fact that they help protect the body against oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is generally caused by a type of cell known as a “free radical”. Free radicals are formed naturally by the body as a result of certain processes. Modern lifestyles, however, can lead to an excess of them and that can lead to problems.
For completeness, the best way to reduce the impact of free radicals is to lead a healthy lifestyle. In particular, avoid smoking and excess alcohol. Even so, most people are likely to get some exposure to them through modern environmental pollutants. This is where kombucha can help.
A source of vitamins, minerals, and acetic acid
Pretty much any kombucha will be a good source of Vitamins B1, B6, B12, and C. Many kombucha recipes will deliver extra vitamins and minerals through the added ingredients.
Kombucha is also a good source of acetic acid. This is the main acid in vinegar, including apple cider vinegar. This is often associated with weight control. It also has antibacterial properties. While this may seem contradictory, given that one of the main draws of kombucha is its healthy bacteria, the antibacterial effect only seems to apply to harmful bacteria.Other benefits to consider
There have been a lot of claims made about the health benefits of kombucha. At present, however, there is little to no scientific validation for them. Hopefully, that will be addressed in the future. At present, however, what can be said is that the three known benefits of kombucha could easily generate many indirect benefits.
For example, improving your gut health can improve your ability to digest food. This can improve your overall nutrition and, hence, your overall health. To be clear, kombucha isn’t a “silver bullet” to deal with an unhealthy lifestyle. It can, however, be an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Things to keep in mind
Overall, kombucha is a very beneficial drink. There are, however, a few points you should understand before deciding whether or not it’s right for you.
Firstly, kombucha is lightly fermented. The alcohol content is typically less than 1%. In fact, it’s usually less than 0.5%. This is why regular kombucha is exempt from being regulated as an alcoholic beverage. Be aware, however, that some commercial producers make “hard kombucha”. This can have 5%+ alcohol. However, Wonder Drink is a pasteurized Kombucha which means we stop the fermentation process before alcohol can develop. This is how we are able to produce a non-alcoholic kombucha!
Secondly, kombucha is made with sugar. Ideally, there should be just enough sugar to feed the healthy bacteria in the scoby. That’s around 2% to 3%. Lower-quality kombucha, however, can have much higher sugar levels. This can lead to the benefits of kombucha being completely negated. It can also lead to people experiencing a sugar rush after drinking kombucha.
Thirdly, kombucha is made with tea. This means that it contains caffeine. In high-quality kombucha brands, the caffeine level tends to be minimal. In fact, it’s usually well below 1%. With lower-quality brands, the caffeine level can go up, and with it the likelihood of a person experiencing side effects.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that kombucha tastes so good, it can be tempting to drink multiple helpings of it. Resist the temptation, otherwise, you could end up with side effects such as nausea and stomach ache.
Brewing kombucha vs buying kombucha
If you’re into home-brewing then you can certainly try your hand at brewing kombucha. The skills involved are fairly similar. The ingredients, however, aren’t. This means that your main challenge will be making or buying the scoby. Then you’ll need to store it in between brewing your batches of kombucha.
If you’re not into home-brewing, you can still have a go at making kombucha at home. Before you do, however, make sure you thoroughly understand the process. In particular, you need to be scrupulously careful about hygiene. That includes making sure your kombucha is totally protected from bugs as well as from bacteria.
You also need to allow enough space in the container for your kombu to ferment without building up too much pressure. Kombucha containers exploding is a genuine problem, not a joke made to beginners. Even if you avoid an explosion, you need to be careful to stop the fermentation at the right time. If you leave it too long, your kombucha may become too strong (and alcoholic).
If all that sounds like more work (or space) than you can manage, there is a solution. You can get delicious, top-quality kombucha delivered straight to your door from https://www.wonderdrink.com. What’s more, buying from Wonder Drink means your kombucha will be prebiotic. In other words, it will feed the good bacteria in your gut. This puts it ahead of traditional kombucha which is simply probiotic.
Wonder Drink does not claim to carry any of the health benefits listed in the article.