When I was little, I used to suffer from a lot of digestive issues like diarrhea and heartburn. It seemed to pop out of nowhere and I had no idea what was going on. You see, whenever I’d get a cold or a sore throat, my parents would mindlessly give me an antibiotic. Although antibiotics are great for getting rid of the harmful bacteria in our gut, the beneficial bacteria that boosts our immune system get wiped out too. Unfortunately, this led me into a vicious cycle of a compromised immune system, which led to upper respiratory issues, which led to more antibiotics and ultimately affected my mental performance. The damage to my gut health caused me to worry a lot and lose my focus in school. Nevertheless, I don’t blame my parents because they were just doing what they knew best at the moment. In fact their misconceptions about antibiotics and gut health are still prevalent in society up to this day.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into one of my favorite ways to take care of my gut health, boost my immune system and lift up my mood all at the same time: drinking kombucha!
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fizzy, tangy, mildly sweet fermented tea that originated in Northeast China around 220 B.C. It has vast health benefits which include:
- High antioxidant content mainly from the polyphenols and catechins found in black and green tea that remove free radicals, prevent cancer and help the liver detoxify the body.
- Contains beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus, which wipes out harmful pathogens in the large intestine and improves nutrient absorption and bowel movement.
- Has prebiotic fibers (from the tea) which proliferate multiple strains of good bacteria in the gut that produce feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
- Has a little amount of non-crashing caffeine (from black and green tea), which is scientifically proven to boost energy, improve cognitive function and aid in burning stored body fat.
- Has organic acids such as acetic acid and lactic acid which help regulate blood sugar and minimize cravings.
- Contains glucosamine which restore skin elasticity (younger looking), and strengthen joints.
How is it made?
Kombucha results from the fermentation of fungus, black or green tea and sugar.
First, the fungus, otherwise known as SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), consumes the added sugar and prebiotic fibers found in tea. Then, after 1 to 3 weeks of fermentation, much of the sugar is gone and byproducts such as organic acids and ethanol are released together with a little caffeine. The result is an energizing, fat-burning, gut-healing and feel good tea called kombucha!
How to consume?
Be warned that the longer the tea is fermented, the “stronger” it becomes. This means a stronger fizz, less sweet, more tangy, higher acidity and higher alcohol content found by volume. But don’t worry, a typical 12oz or 350ml of komhucha that is fermented for 3 weeks contains only about 2 to 3g of sugar and 0.5% ABV. If you’re sensitive to alcohol, do take it in moderation.
I’d recommend getting a homebrewed kombucha since commercial kombucha is often pasteurized with yeast inhibitors and preservatives to prolong its shelf life. Avoid shaking the bottle as it contains natural gasses and may explode!
Pour it over a glass of ice and consume it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (but if you have acidity problems, consume it mid-day with a meal) or before your workout for an energizing boost. Keep it refrigerated to slow down further fermentation (if you want to keep it mild). Kombucha doesn’t really go bad, it just strengthens over time.
Cultur’d Homebrewed Kombucha
Kombucha by itself is already an amazing beverage, but to further boost it’s health benefits, Cultur’d Homebrewed Kombucha adds real whole fruits–creating not only a fun and refreshing drink, but also an elixir of harmony and vitality.
Each bottle is lovingly made and comes in 3 flavors: Peach Please, Wild Dragon fruit and Blueberry Burst–each with their unique taste and health benefits.
During a time when our immune system needs to be strong and our mental well-being functional, taking steps to take care of our body like drinking kombucha is one of the few things we can do to boosts our health and stay away from disease.
Although the answer to whether kombucha is good for you or not has been a resounding YES, still take it with caution especially if it’s your first time. If you are avoiding alcohol or have acidity issues, you may want to take it easy. Start with half a glass with a meal and slowly work up your tolerance. In no time, you’ll be enjoying this drink on a daily basis and reaping its benefits.