What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has a long history going back thousands of years. The drink is made by adding a colony of live bacteria and yeast to tea and allowing it to ferment. It has been termed the “tea of immortality”. However, it is important to keep in mind that the drink has evolved into a $475 million industry in the United States as it has grown tremendously in popularity over recent years.
Is Kombucha good for you?
Kombucha’s nutritional content will vary depending on the brand and how it’s prepared, so consumers should make sure to read the nutrition label. The fermentation process makes kombucha rich in probiotics. Many nutritionists believe that the probiotics in kombucha provide benefits to digestion and gut health, which evidence shows have profound links to immunity and mood.
Kombucha also includes some vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, B1, B6 and B12. Research indicates the tea may have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties from high antioxidant content. While kombucha is not a sugar-free beverage, it certainly has benefits that make it an appealing alternative to soda or other soft drinks which have many adverse effects on health. However, it is important to note that kombucha should not be the sole beverage consumed in one’s diet. It does contain small amounts of caffeine from the tea, which can be a diuretic and make you dehydrated if you are not supplementing with water.
Kombucha is a great option to introduce into your routine, but should not be viewed as a replacement for nutrients you can get from other foods in your diet. Many fruits, vegetables and olive oil can also provide antioxidants. Probiotics can be found in foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and kimchi. If there is one takeaway from this post, let it be that kombucha has many benefits. However, there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution to hitting these dietary recommendations—individuals should aim to experiment by eating a diverse array of fresh foods.