Have you tried Kombucha?

It’s the fermented tea drink everyone keeps talking about. I’ve noticed it seems to be everywhere now; supermarkets, cafes, health food stores so I wanted to share some information on what it is and its benefits as it seems to be the new ‘hip’ food.There are also lots of different brands available that differ in nutritional content so below is a summary of what to look for.

 What is it?

Kombucha originated from China and is a fermented drink made from green/black tea with an added culture of bacteria and yeast (known as the ‘mother), sugar and sometimes juice. Flavourings can be added to offer different health benefits or tastes but nutritionally it contains B vitamins and antioxidants. It is highly acidic and does contain sugar although relatively low in comparison to a soft drink as the caffeine and sugar present is used up during the fermentation process. It has an effervescent mouth feel and a slight sour after taste that most find pleasant.

Kombucha is said to have many health benefits. It contains probioticswhich are good for gut health, helps to detoxify the liver via its high antioxidant content and improve energy through B vitamins. However, brands may differ so here are a few things to look out for if you’re looking to start adding it in to your health routine.

  • Some brands are higher in sugar, offering a more palatable taste but the high sugar content may outway the benefits of the probiotics, antioxidants/B vitamins you are consuming.
  • Pasteurised Kombucha will not contain probiotics as probiotics are unable to survive the extreme heat of the pasteurisation process so look for unpasteurised or raw varieties.
  • If you are drinking it to help digestive issues or a leaky gut it should be consumed in small amounts (1/4 to ½ C) prior to food as a pre-digestive for your meal.
  • Kombucha does offer health benefits but very few studies have been done proving its health effects.
  • If brewing at home, make sure your prep area is clean as contaminated kombucha may cause stomach upsets similar to food poisoning.

Brewing at Home

Typically, it takes 7-14 days to brew at home and as long as you have the time and a clean area and tools it can be done safely and cheaply. There are many articles online that talk you through the process if you’re keen to give it a try.

Verdict:

Kombucha hasgreat health benefits forimproving digestion and promoting a healthy gut. Good gut health is vital as it’s linked to better immunity, improved mental health, better metabolism of micronutrients and a reduction in autoimmune conditions.

When buying, look for brands that are low in sugar and unpasteurized.

If consuming to improve gut health, consume a small amount (1/4 to ½ C)of Kombucha once-twice/day before a meal. If you’re keen to try making it at home, give it a go but just make sure you are working in a clean area with clean utensils.

Yours in good health,

Kate Boyle.