Kombucha is making waves among health buffs as it hits the supermarket aisles. It is both fascinating and intriguing as it contains live and expanding bacterial culture called probiotics.
These are good bacteria that help the body absorb nutrients while strengthening the immune system. But, what exactly is kombucha, is it safe, and how does it benefit your health?
Kombucha in a Nutshell
Kombucha is a type of fermented beverage that contains either black or green tea and sugar from different sources. Some kombucha beverages also contain flavorings or fruit juices.
However, the real ingredient that sets it apart from regular tea is that it also contains yeast and a colony of bacteria that initiates the fermentation process the minute you mix it with sugar.
Although sometimes referred to as ‘mushroom-tea’, kombucha does not contain any mushroom. This is because the yeast and bacteria form a mass similar to a mushroom cap in appearance while you brew it.
After the fermentation process, the beverage becomes acidic and contains antioxidants, sugar, B vitamins, enzymes, and probiotics. It will also contain some alcohol.
Bottled kombucha is sold commercially as a non-alcoholic beverage, so it must only contain a trace amount of alcohol — 0.5% or less. Some people who constantly crave fizzy drinks find it a healthier alternative to soft drinks.
Benefits of Kombucha Tea
Kombucha helps boost the immune system as it is rich in antioxidants that help detoxify and protect the body against various diseases and free radicals that cause problems in the digestive system. It is also rich in probiotics, enzymes, amino acids, and other beneficial acids which are all good for the digestion.
In fact, some studies have shown that it can heal or even prevent stomach ulcers. Other than protecting the stomach, kombucha benefits other parts of the body, including the heart, liver, and lungs. It can also help manage diabetes.
Kombucha is a very healthy drink that can potentially cure or prevent many diseases. However, since it involves bacteria that grow on a liquid you will drink, it could cause illness rather than prevent it if you do not prepare it properly.
As such, don’t try to brew one yourself if you don’t know how to prepare it to avoid getting sick. In this instance, it’s better to just stick with a commercial brand with a good reputation.