The popularity of fermented food has increased massively over recent years. This is partly due to the increased amount of evidence stacking up about gut health. Kombucha may be one fermented product you haven’t heard much about; however, it’s becoming more popular with health-conscious consumers due to its nutritional benefits and uniquely addictive taste.
Kombucha is a mildly sour, slightly fizzy drink and is a great alternative to soft drinks which are often loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Kombucha is made from sweetened tea along with a specific kombucha culture called ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts’, or “scoby”. The yeast and bacteria convert sugar into acetic acid and ethanol. The acetic acid gives kombucha its sour taste.
What are the Health Gains from Drinking Kombucha?
There is a lot of evidence that probiotics benefit our digestive system. Probiotic foods and drinks may provide relief for many conditions including constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. Kombucha also provides a source of enzymes and organic acids which may help to encourage a healthy digestive system.
Research shows that a healthy gut is essential to a healthy and strong immune system. Approximately 70-80% of your immune system is contained in the gut. Beneficial bacteria can increase your natural defence system to protect against illness and harmful microbes. So, by drinking kombucha regularly you may boost your immune system and keep your gut healthy.
Kombucha may provide a natural aid in detoxification. Due to the organic acids and enzymes contained in kombucha, toxins can be expelled from the body. One of these acids, gluconic acid may increase the liver’s ability to detox while the antioxidants in kombucha may protect the liver from oxidative stress.
Kombucha contains natural sources of antioxidants and organic acids which may promote fat loss. Along with this, when consuming kombucha before meals, it has been indicated that it may boost metabolism.
- Mental health
The gut-brain connection is becoming an important part of recent mental health research. A healthy gut has been shown to reduce the symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. As well as this, kombucha provides a good source of B vitamins which may help to stabilise mood and improve concentration.
- Heart disease
Studies on animals have shown that kombucha may help to reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol (1) (2).
Recently there has been some evidence showing that beneficial gut bacteria, which is found in kombucha, may have cancer-protecting properties (3) (4). These living organisms may strengthen the immune system against free radicals and some types of cancer.
Where to Find Kombucha
You can buy kombucha in Australia from many health food stores. You may even find kombucha for sale in cafes due to its increased popularity recently. If you can't find kombucha near you, it's relatively simple to make yourself. You can make organic kombucha from home with a few simple ingredients, most which you may already have in the pantry, such as tea and sugar. You will also need to buy kombucha scoby and a kombucha pot to get started.
To enjoy the many health benefits of kombucha you can buy kombucha scoby and other kombucha supplies from Nourishme Organics.
Author: Kriben Govender
Food Scientist and Founder of Nourishme Organics
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kribengovender/