We get that the idea of drinking something fermented may be a little off-putting, but hear us out. Kombucha tea has a heap of health benefits. The ancient Chinese fermented tea is sworn by for it’s probiotic, antioxidant, and digestion-easing benefits. It’s the hottest new wellness tea and has taken the fitness world by storm; not simply because it’s so refreshing but because it’s great for you.
Kombucha is made using a SCOBY (a symbiotic culture of bacteria) which is used as the ‘mother’ in which tea can be made – sounds pretty cute, but looks pretty weird (above)! The SCOBY is then added to a mixture of water, sugar and tea leaves. It ferments and creates a sweet and sour tasting tea full or good-for-your-gut probiotics and free radical-fighting antioxidants.
Here’s how adding Kombucha to your diet could do your body wonders:
1. It’s great for your stomach
Kombucha tea contains acetic acid that kills harmful bacteria. Acetic acid is also found in vinegar (we love apple cider vinegar for its antibacterial properties) and is what makes it so effective as a cleaning agent throughout your home – it gets rid of all the nasties. The small amount found in Kombucha tea works to fight against infections, diseases, and ease any digestion problems, like bloating. Due to its belly-loving properties, it can also help with any bowel issues by acting as a very gentle laxative, which furthers its ‘cleansing’ properties.
2. It detoxes your body
According to a study, A Review on Kombucha Tea—Microbiology, Composition, Fermentation, Beneficial Effects, Toxicity, and Tea Fungus, Kombucha tea also contains antioxidants. Antioxidants are found naturally in your body and rid your body of toxins and aging free radicals. Free radicals work against the body’s cells and can cause damage to your cells, proteins, and even your DNA. Free radicals are also found naturally in your body and are present in foods that we eat, so increasing your antioxidant intake helps your body to combat free radicals.
3. It makes you happier
Kombucha tea may even make you feel good. Due to the fact that Kombucha also contains probiotics, it may also help your mood. A study, The Effects Of Probiotics On Depressive Symptoms In Humans: A Systematic Review, states that there is a strong connection between improvement in mental health conditions such as depression and the use of probiotics.
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4. Better gut health = better skin
Probiotics, a type of good bacteria, are essential for maintaining a healthy gut and are not only amazing for your digestive and immune systems, but they also aid in nutrient absorption as well. The better your body can absorb nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, the healthier your hair, nails, and skin will be as your vital organs get first pick of the good stuff. Kombucha is packed with probiotics that will also help improve inflammation in the body and can even help aid in weight loss as they help the body break down undigestable fibers, turning them into good-for-your-body fatty acids.
5. It loves your heart
Cholesterol in some forms can be harmful to your heart. Kombucha tea works to fight against bad cholesterol, preventing heart disease. During clinical trials using Kombucha tea, results showed that over 50 patients who suffered from Atherosclerosis, a disease which causes plaque to build up in the arteries, had their cholesterol levels reduced from dangerously high levels to normal levels. Pretty incredible!
Drinking Kombucha Tea
You can actually brew Kombucha at home – provided you have a SCOBY. There’s plenty of how-tos online that will guide you through the process. It’s best to find someone near you who already has a SCOBY, as it is a ‘living’ organism and can die and lose its effectiveness if it has to travel a long distance. There are a lot of home-brewers who keep multiple SCOBYs, also known as SCOBY hotels. As Kombucha tea is known for keeping you, *ahem* ‘regular,’ you don’t want to overdo it all in one go. It’s recommended that once you’ve made the tea, start by drinking one glass a week, followed by one every other day and once your body (and taste buds) are used to it, once a day. You can also buy Kombucha tea from lots of local health food stores and cafes.
Also note, it may have a small amount of alochol in it due to the fermentation process (less than 1%), so be sure to check the labels if you don’t drink alcohol. Have you guys tried this? Let us know what you think in the comments below.