Health Benefits of Kombucha

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Kombucha is known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and lately the drink has been riding a big wave of popularity. This popularity is largely due to its perceived health benefits. Many say that the beverage promotes improved digestion, increased energy, weight loss, immune support, and even cancer prevention. The drink originated in the Far East around 2,000 years ago and it is is a fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drink.The potent beverage has a vinegar-like smell and a taste that has been described as everything from rotten apple cider to fizzy, tart apples.

So how is it made and why do people think it’s so good for you?

Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast (also known as SCOBY).  A scoby is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha — think of the scoby as the coral reef of the bacteria and yeast world. During the process of making kombucha, scoby floats at the top of the liquid; it’s rubbery and a bit slippery, brown stringy bits hang from it, and it transforms sugary tea into something fizzy and sour.

The probiotics from this live bacteria and yeast are one of the reasons that people think Kombucha is good for your digestive system. Though we usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases, these microorganisms help with digestion and offer protection from harmful bacteria, just as the existing “good” bacteria in your body already do.

Kombucha is also full of enzymes and B vitamins that help to break down our food and absorb nutrients.

Antioxidants come up frequently in discussions about good health and preventing diseases, and Kombucha contains abundant antioxidants including vitamins E, C, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids. Increasing your antioxidant intake is essential for optimum health. Because the body just can’t keep up with antioxidant production, a good amount of these vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes must should come from your daily diet, and Kombucha is the perfect way to get these important vitamins to your body. Boosting your antioxidant intake can help provide added protection for the body against heart problems, eye problems, memory problems, mood disorders and immune system issues.

Another health benefit of Kombucha comes from the glucosamine that is found in the beverage. Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical found in the human body that is involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the thick fluid that surrounds joints. Joints are cushioned by the fluid and cartilage that surround them, but sometimes this cartilage breaks down and can become thin. If the cartilage breaks down, this results in joint friction, pain, and stiffness. Researchers think that adding glucosamine to your diet may either increase the cartilage and fluid surrounding joints or help prevent breakdown of these substances. Since Kombucha is rich with glucosamines, many people drink it to help prevent this breakdown and to ease joint pain.

Whether you’re interested in Kombucha for the health benefits or for the tart, tangy taste, we hope you give it a try!

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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