Kombucha Confusion? Here’s All You Need To Know

22 Oct 2019

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Kombucha, once known only in East Asia, is now a popular drink for losing weight, staying healthy, and having flawless skin. There’s a sudden buzz about kombucha on the internet and everyone is talking about it. Wondering what it is and what it does? Read on to know more.

All About Kombucha

Kombucha, also known as Manchurian mushroom tea, is an ancient beverage that originated in China more than 2,200 years ago and was known for its detoxifying and energising properties. By the 1960s, Kombucha traveled across Russia and Europe. Soon the Swiss scientists discovered that kombucha was beneficial to the gut, just like yogurt.

Black or green tea forms the base for kombucha. Added to this base are two things — sugar and ‘SCOBY’ (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) also referred to as ‘tea fungus’. This concoction is allowed to ferment for a week or two and voila, kombucha!

It’s the fermentation process that gives kombucha its quirky flavors, ranging from pleasantly fruity and sour to a subtle vinegar-like taste. The fermentation process is important, as the SCOBY changes the polyphenols of the tea into other organic compounds. These new organic compounds are what provide health benefits beyond those already found in green or black tea. The fermentation process also extends the shelf-life of kombucha and produces a tiny bit of alcohol, less than 0.5 percent.

A Power Beverage

Kombucha contains healthy bacteria that improve a range of bodily functions, from our mood and stress levels to our weight and food cravings. Additionally, most of the sugar in the drink is transformed by the bacteria during the fermentation process and the final product has plenty of probiotics with a little sugar, making it ideal for weight loss and diabetes. The other benefits associated with kombucha are improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and better immunity. As a result of a healthy stomach and gut, as well as creating a strong defense against diseases, kombucha also helps keep your skin glowing and acne-free.

Kombucha even acts as a synbiotic, meaning it contains not just probiotics, but also prebiotics that feed the probiotic bacteria and increase their benefits. It has acidic properties because of which it may help prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms like E. Coli and salmonella that cause severe food poisoning.

When made from green tea, kombucha contains many of the same plant compounds and similar properties such as being a powerful antioxidant, improving cholesterol levels, controlling blood sugar, reducing belly fat, and more. It even helps your body burn more calories and helps lower the risk of heart disease.

Is Kombucha For Everyone?

New to kombucha? Start small. You can consume 100 ml a day and gradually work towards drinking bigger amounts. Keep in mind that kombucha may not be for everyone due to a variety of reasons.

  • First off, not everyone finds the taste appealing which is why kombucha makers add processed fruit juices and extra sugar to make it tastier. While most of the original sugar content is fermented, the added sugar content makes it less ideal for weight loss.

  • Nutrition experts say it’s fine for most people to drink a bit of kombucha every day, but people with compromised immune systems may not react well to extra probiotics in their system. They need to check with their doctors before drinking kombucha.

  • There are even kits for making kombucha at home, but trying your hand at making kombucha can be risky as it can get contaminated if not prepared properly.

Make sure you read the label before buying kombucha so you know what it’s made of and what’s been added to it. Picking the right kombucha drink can be your gateway to the many health benefits of this amazing beverage.

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