Kombucha is a very popular probiotic drink made with tea. It is in the spotlight because of the immense health benefits it bestows.
Kombucha has been used for over 2,000 years in Chinese and they refer to it as the “immortal health elixir” or the “tea of immortality”. This ancient drink has been known for its tremendous health benefits since ancient China.
It also protects and improves the health of your skin. 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. Probiotics improve your general well-being.
There are many fermented foods available and one of the most common is Kombucha.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a therapeutic drink made by mixing white, black, or green tea with sugar (and other ingredients of your choice) with sugar.
This is fermented at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Due to this, many people incorrectly describe them as mushrooms. This is why some call it Kombucha mushroom tea.
But it is not a mushroom but a colony of bacteria and yeast.
It has a slightly sour taste and a yellow-orange color. This drink is also fizzy because it becomes carbonated after fermentation. The therapeutic effect of Kombucha is due to the probiotics it contains.
Apart from probiotics, this healthy drink also contains B vitamins, vinegar, enzymes, a high concentration of acids, and other medicinal compounds.
What is The Nutritional Status of Kombucha?
The nutritional status of Kombucha differs between brands and homemade ones but the nutrients generally found in this wonderful elixir are:
- Very low calories
- Thiamine and vitamin B6
- Folate, etc.
A 16-ounce bottle of unpasteurized organic Kombucha drink contains the following nutrients:
- 20% DV of vitamin B12 (1.2 micrograms)
- 20% DV of vitamin B3/niacin (4 milligrams)
- 20% DV of vitamin B1/thiamine (0.3 milligrams)
- 20% DV vitamin B6 (0.4 milligrams)
- 20% DV vitamin B2/riboflavin (0.34 gram)
- 25% DV folate (100 micrograms)
- 20 milligrams of sodium
- 14 grams of carbohydrates
- 60 calories
Amazing Health Benefits of Kombucha
This amazing probiotic drink is a healthy alternative to conventional carbonated drinks and sodas. The probiotic in this drink offers numerous health benefits.
Below are some of the research-backed benefits of Kombucha.
Diseases or health start in the gut. The state of your overall wellbeing and general health depends on the state of your gut.
Kombucha, just like other fermented foods contain healthy bacteria that promote gut health. It helps the body maintain a healthy level of probiotic community in your gut.
This is called your gut microbiome. By adjusting this ecosystem of microbes, you can reverse diseases and even prevent them from happening in the first place.
For people who suffer diarrhea due to antibiotic use, Kombucha and other probiotic food can help them. It also relieves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
Boosts immune system
The probiotics present in this drink line the tract of your gastrointestinal tract where they help in absorbing nutrients and fighting off infections and illnesses.
80% of your immune system is located in your gut and the second largest part of your neurological system is your digestive system. This is why many health experts refer to the gut as the “second brain”.
Regular consumption of Kombucha will help you maintain peak health due to its immune-strengthening properties.
Prevents heart disease
High levels of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) increase one’s risks of heart disease.
Kombucha reduces the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and it also reduces all other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The fermentation process produces acetic acid in Kombucha. This acid is also present in vinegar and has strong antimicrobial properties.
With these antimicrobial properties, Kombucha kills a wide range of bad bacteria and fight them off from your body.
It also prevents infections in this way. It kills them before your body absorbs them.
Promotes liver health
Kombucha is a storehouse of antioxidants. These are molecules in your body that fight damaged cells.
This protects your liver from damage, especially drug-induced damages. This, in turn, promotes liver health and prevents the inflammation of the liver.
Improves mental health
There is strong evidence to show that our gut health affects our mental health. Serotonin, the happiness hormone is produced in your gut. Your gut can affect your mood. Fear also starts in the gut.
Your gut and brain are connected through the gut-brain axis. It is through this pathway, they communicate. Taking a probiotic-rich drink like Kombucha improves your mental health in many ways.
It improves your mood and helps you manage conflicts easily. You will be so calm and relaxed and it keeps depression at bay.
Inflammation in the gut has been linked to depression. Kombucha has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and this helps in stopping the inflammation and relieving the symptoms of depression.
Improves the symptoms of type II diabetes
Kombucha can help your body maintain healthy sugar levels. This is of great help to people managing type II diabetes.
However, this should be taken in little quantities by diabetic patients since it contains added sugar.
Protects against cancer
Cancer is a leading cause of death in the world today and it is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth and cell mutation.
Due to the rich content of probiotics, antioxidants, and tea polyphenols, Kombucha prevents the growth and spread of cancer cells.
How the tea polyphenols work against cancer is not yet well understood. Some experts believe they fight cancer by blocking gene mutation and also blocking the growth of cancer cells.
Tea polyphenols also promote the death of cancer cells.
Promotes lung health
This is one unexpected benefit of Kombucha. It has been studied and seen to be a potential treatment for silicosis, a disease of the lung caused by the repeated exposure to silica particles.
It even treats this condition just by inhaling Kombucha. Other diseases of the lungs caused by the inhalation of dangerous chemicals can be treated with this tremendous probiotic drink.
Glucosamines are present in kombucha and one of the functions of this compound is to relieve joint pain. It increases the levels of hyaluronic acid in your body and this helps to protect and lubricate your joints.
It is as effective as some OTC pain killers.
How To Make Kombucha At Home
It is very easy to make this wonderful healing elixir in the comfort of your home. What you need are:
Ingredients for SCOBY
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of raw or granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon of unflavored black, green, or white tea
- 1 16 oz. bottle of premade Kombucha (raw, unpasteurized, and unflavored with sediment)
Make sure the premade Kombucha you purchase is raw, unpasteurized, and unflavored.
All these unnatural additives and processes interfere with the health of the probiotics in the Kombucha.
Look for brands that have floaty sediment in their bottle. The more the floaty sediment, the better the product. This may not look appealing, lol, but it is what your body wants.
Ingredients for Kombucha
- 3 cups of water
- 1 SCOBY (1/4 thick)
- Half cup of Kombucha starter tea
- 3 tablespoons of raw or granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of unflavored tea
- Fresh fruits, herbs, or juice for flavoring. This step is optional
The procedure for making SCOBY
- Bring water to a boil in a stainless steel kettle. Get a clean glass jar, about 4 cups wide, and combine the tea and hot water into it. Allow it steep for 5 minutes. Strain out the tea or remove the tea bags. Stir in the sugar and allow it to cool until it becomes room temperature.
- Pour in the premade Kombucha with the sediment in the bottle. Stir to mix thoroughly. Cover the jar with a coffee filter or any lint-free cloth. Secure the covering using a rubber band.
- This will enable the live microbes (SCOBY) to breathe.
- Put the jar in a clean area and it should be out of direct sunlight.
- You will know that your SCOBY has started forming when you see white snowflake-like clusters form on the surface. It will slowly create a film on top and join together into one cohesive mass with a glossy top.
- Once your SCOBY has formed and grown at least ¼ in thickness, it is ready for use. This should take 1 to 2 weeks and at most 4 weeks.
- You can now use your SCOBY in your next brew. Reserve tea mixture to use as a starter in your next brew.
The procedure for Making Kombucha
- Bring water to a boil in a stainless steel kettle. Get a clean glass jar, about 4 cups wide, and combine the tea and hot water into it. Leave it to steep for 5 minutes before straining out the tea or removing the tea bags.
- Stir in the sugar and leave it to get cool to room temperature.
- Begin fermentation by pouring your Kombucha into the sweet tea mixture and mix well. Wash your hands and add in your SCOBY.
- Cover the jar with a coffee filter or a lint-free cloth and secure the covering with an elastic band. Tore the jar at room temperature and keep it out of direct sunlight.
- Start tasting your Kombucha after 3 to 4 days. If it reaches your desired acidity, start the second fermentation.
- To start the second fermentation, use clean hands and remove the SCOBY from the jar, and put it in a clean container. Gently stir in your Kombucha and reserve half a cup as starter tea for your next brew.
- Put the remaining Kombucha into a clean brewing bottle, you can strain it if you like.
- If you want, you can flavor your Kombucha, you can add up to ¼ cup of fresh fruit, puree, or juice. You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of any herb of your choice into the bottle.
- Place the cap lightly and keep the bottle out of direct sunlight. Shake the bottle once a day to release excess carbonation. When you have achieved your desired level of acidity and carbonation, refrigerate the Kombucha until you are ready to serve.
- It takes 2 to 3 days to achieve the desired level of acidity and carbonation.
Risks And Side Effects Of Kombucha
There are little to no adverse side effects. However, there are some dangers in making Kombucha yourself.
The risk of contamination is higher when you are making it. To prevent this, you have to wash your hands properly, make use of clean and sterilized utensils, and clean your work environment before starting.
Also, use high-quality ingredients.
Due to the high levels of acids in this drink, it can cause problems for some people with digestive disorders like heartburn, stomach ulcers, and sensitivity to highly acidic foods.
These people can experience bloating, allergic reaction, infection, and nausea when they take Kombucha.
If you want to improve your overall health, you can target your gut microbiome by increasing your intake of probiotic-rich foods of which kombucha is one.
You can buy and you can also save some money and make yours. Just do it in a neat and sterile environment.
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