With a distinctly sweet-and-sour taste, many health-conscious folks swear by Kombucha’s wellness benefits. It’s suggested that Kombucha consumption aids digestion, detoxifies the body, and boosts overall energy.
While there isn’t sufficient scientific evidence or independent studies to support the health claims of Kombucha, in this post, we’ll take a closer look at how Kombucha is made and explore its various suggested health benefits.
How is Kombucha Made?
The three fundamental ingredients you’ll find in all Kombucha are yeast, sugar, and tea. To start, these three ingredients need to be mixed together and then left for about a week. During this time, bacteria and acids will begin to form. This is known as fermentation and is similar to how traditional sauerkraut or kimchi is made.
The bacteria and acids start to form a film on top of the liquid. This film is called a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (or SCOBY for short). And, you can use this same SCOBY to ferment more Kombucha.
What are the Health Benefits from Kombucha?
Perhaps the two most recognized health benefits of Kombucha is that its bacteria includes lactic-acid bacteria–which works as a probiotic. Secondly, Kombucha also contains a healthy dose of B vitamins. Amongst other things, B vitamins are crucial for optimal energy levels, proper brain function, and cell metabolism. Below are a few other potential health benefits from Kombucha:
- Aids Digestion: As mentioned above, claims that Kombucha helps to aid digestion comes from the fermentation that creates probiotics. Probiotics are similar to the friendly bacteria found in our gut. Probiotics are thought to promote a healthy gut flora––which will assist with digestion and help relieve various IBS symptoms.
- Antimicrobial Properties: When Kombucha ferments, the process produces a type of acid called acetic acid. This acid can also be found in vinegar. Research suggests that acetic acid has various antimicrobial properties, which means that Kombucha can help fight off bad bacteria (which can lead to infections) in the body.
- Improves Mental Health: According to research, there may be a link between probiotics and depression. There are substantial links between depression and inflammation, so the anti-inflammatory properties of Kombucha may help some symptoms of depression. However, research suggests probiotic-rich foods and beverages may benefit mental health, not Kombucha specifically.
- Green Tea Benefits: When Kombucha is made using green tea, people will get all the benefits of drinking green tea too. Green tea is full of bioactive compounds and rich in antioxidants that help burn fat, help our cells fight against free radicals, and protect you from heart disease.
Remember that while some of these studies show benefits in mice, this does not mean that they will have the same effect on human participants. While Kombucha may have many potential health benefits, more human-based research is needed in order to provide substantial evidence. In the meantime, drink up and enjoy delicious Kombucha at home or on tap at your favorite restaurant or bar. Not only does it taste great, but Kombucha it’s a great alternative to sugary sodas and juices.