You’ll surely have seen kombucha casually stocked at most health stores, but might not really know what it is.
If you don’t know, now you will! Kombucha is made by fermenting a mix of bacteria and yeast in black or green tea for a week to a month. Right, this might not sound healthy, but remember: there is such a thing as good bacteria and good yeast. There are many benefits of kombucha that have been found in studies including:
- It’s full of probiotics
As mentioned, since kombucha is made by fermenting good bacteria and yeast, your gut and digestive tract will definitely benefit. Essentially, if you’re suffering from nausea/digestive issues, IBS, or bloating, kombucha is a great natural solution.
- It’s detoxifying
Alongside good bacteria and yeast, kombucha contains plenty of antioxidants – especially when made with green tea. Kombucha may even help to reduce liver toxins.
- It can help with bacterial infections
When fermenting kombucha, one of the major substances produced is acetic acid (also found in vinegar). Acetic acid, along with the polyphenols found in tea (and therefore in kombucha), can help fight off bad bacteria and yeast while keeping the healthy and good bacteria and yeast safe. In particular, kombucha has strong antibacterial properties that can help in fighting off infection-causing bacterial and Candida yeast, which is what causes thrush. While it may not be a cureto infections like thrush, it can help prevent them.
- It can boost bone health
Knee pain? Drink kombucha! While it’s not completely understood how kombucha helps with bone health, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting it does, and two prominent scientific theories to back it. Firstly, kombucha may contain the following: glucuronic acid, chondroitin sulphate, mucoitin sulfate, heparin, hyaluronic acid, and glucosamine…all enzymes that are thought to be responsible for rebuilding bone tissue, especially in the knees. Alternatively, kombucha may contain the building blocks to restore joint cartilage and fluids (if you’re into long and complicated scientific names, then here they are: kombucha may contain the building blocks responsible for the formation of mucopolysaccharides of the polysaccharide colony…obviously). In short, many people have seen their arthritis pain alleviate because of kombucha, especially the knee-pain sufferers!
- It pumps your energy up
Kombucha contains B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, which can boost your energy and help with your well-being. In fact, many energy-boosting supplements actually contain dry kombucha products! If you’re looking for a healthy and natural way to get your energy (and your vitamin levels) back up, then kombucha is your one-stop wonder.
It’s clear that kombucha has incredible benefits, many of which are evidence based. But before you go and get yourself a ton of kombucha, remember that too much of anything (even a good thing) can cause harm, so stick to about a bottle a day at most. Additionally, watch out for kombucha with a lot of added sugars, since this will be a bit counterproductive to all these benefits. Yes, you can make it at home (and there are plenty of recipes online) but this should be done with a lot of caution. Brewing kombucha incorrectly can create a bad batch that’ll make you sick, so if you want to test the benefits, best to stay safe and buy in-stores. Finally, it’s worth mentioning (because we’ve been asked): no, you can’t get drunk off kombucha. Because it’s fermented, kombucha may contain a bit of alcohol, but typically will contain less than 0.5% and if it contains more, it needs to be properly labelled. Because of this low percentage, most kombucha (again, unless specified) is NOT considered an alcoholic beverage and it is safe to consume. Instead, it’s healthy, tasty, and will surely become your new favourite drink!
Looking for a brand of Kombucha to try? Meg recommends Jarr Kombucha.