Kombucha. When you first hear about it, you might pass it off as just another trending health fad. However, you may be surprised to know that humans have been drinking kombucha for its health benefits for thousands of years. In fact, ancient Chinese cultures even referred to it as the “Tea of Immortality”.
So what is it about this fizzy super-drink that makes it so attractive for health-conscious people around the world? Essentially, kombucha helps promote a healthy symbiotic environment within your stomach with its probiotic contents. Think of it as the yogurt of drinks. Kombucha is a fermented drink made with only a few simple and natural ingredients: yeast, a culture of healthy bacteria, black/green tea and sugar. Often times, juice is added to kombucha to create a refreshing and fruity drink. Here are some benefits of drinking kombucha.
Like yogurt, kombucha derives a lot of its health-based fame from its probiotic nature (probiotic meaning bacteria that are good for gut). This is mainly due to the fermentation process that kombucha undergoes. The gut is one of the most important organs to consider when trying to improve your health, as it is related to so many other bodily functions and has a direct effect on how you feel from day to day (i.e. stomach aches, diarrhea, etc.)
Because kombucha is generally unpasteurized, as pasteurization will eliminate all helpful and harmful bacteria, it is very important to only purchase kombucha from a reputable company. Drinking kombucha that has been tainted with harmful bacteria can lead to indigestion and food poisoning.
Promoting a healthy gut can have a significant impact on your immune response as well. The bacteria in your gut are intricately involved with keeping your immune system functioning at a high level, protecting you from illnesses like the common cold. Giving a boost to these helpful bacteria will naturally help improve your immune response.
Kombucha also contains a significant amount of antioxidants as well. Antioxidants and compounds that fight harmful agents in the body called free radicals. These molecules, when left unchecked can have a major negative impact on your health and may lead to the development of serious conditions later on in life such as heart disease and cancer. Much of the antioxidant properties present in kombucha come from the green tea used when making the drink, as green tea is known to have powerful antioxidant properties.
While more scientific research is needed to support the claims, many people are reporting detoxifying benefits of kombucha. Gluconic acid, which is present in kombucha, can bind to certain harmful toxins in the body, marking them for removal from your system. This may help purge your liver of the many toxins it may contain, promoting a healthier and cleaner body.
Kombucha is becoming more widely available for purchase in many grocery stores around the country. While you shouldn’t be letting your kids drink it just yet, as it contains traces of alcohol and caffeine, there is no denying the probiotic benefits kombucha can have for adults looking to improve their gut health!