Kombucha seems to be everywhere. Majority of grocery stores and markets carry multiple brands and numerous flavors. Restaurants and bars are now offering kombucha on tap. You can even go to some weddings and see kombucha being offered to guests in addition or lieu of alcohol.
So, is the popularization of this beverage worth all the hype? I am nodding my head in an enthusiastic yes!
In a culture where caffeinated, sugar-laden and alcoholic drinks have been monopolizing the market it is refreshing to see a healthy, low-sugar, probiotic-rich powerhouse beverage gaining popularity among the masses.
From energy drinks to coffee-latte-cold-brews, to high sugar sodas and the never-ending plethora of alcoholic beverages, it is time that we see these beverages for what they really are. Adrenal-zapping (read: energy-zapping), weight-gain promoting, anxiety-riddling drinks. That overall just do not make us feel good.
A beverage that does the exact opposite in all these areas becoming more readily available is a huge sigh of relief.
So what exactly is kombucha?
Kombucha is a beverage that is made with sugar and tea and is fermented with a SCOBY. SCOBY stands for a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. It is the bacteria and yeast which transforms the tea and sugar into a probiotic-rich drink. The fermentation process takes about approximately 12 days, more or less, depending on the temperature and the strength of the SCOBY.
Now I’m sure you are thinking, how does this sweet tea beverage become a health drink? The SCOBY feeds off the sugar, consuming over 90% of the sugar during the fermentation process, which results in a low-sugar drink. One serving usually has about 2 grams of sugar.
Now that you know what kombucha is and how it is made, what is all the hype about? Why is kombucha a health beverage?
Here are the top reasons I love kombucha for your health:
Kombucha gives you more energy. The high concentration of probiotic-rich acids can provide a powerful energy boost without the caffeine rush. Kombucha is also high in B vitamins which are known to increase energy levels.
Kombucha helps you lose weight. When your digestion is out of whack so is your ability to digest food properly. One great way to help your digestion get back on track is to add beneficial bacteria to your gut. The B vitamins in kombucha also help regulate metabolism and therefore your weight. To use kombucha as an aid for weight loss try having 6-8 ounces 30 minutes before and/or after a meal.
Kombucha can reduce your anxiety. While this is not new information, it is important to remember that the gut-brain-axis is real. When feeding your gut the good bacteria it needs to function properly you are not only promoting your digestive health, but you are also giving your body the nutrients it needs for your brain and mood health. If you suffer from anxiety looking at your gut health is crucial. So why not drink a fermented bubbly beverage that helps reduce your anxiety?
Kombucha helps you get sick less. When you consume probiotics, it helps you fight off colds because you are fortifying your immune system. That is because 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. Therefore, a healthy gut equals a healthy immune system, and a healthy immune system means you get sick less.
A few of my favorite brands are GT’s Kombucha and Health-Ade. Both can be found at Whole Foods or at your local natural food store.
Here is a kombucha toast to your health!
(excerpt from Melissa Patruno blog)