Chances are that you have at least heard of ‘kombucha’, or seen the strange-coloured, murky drink at your local health food shop. But do you know exactly what it is? If you’re not sure what all the fuss is about, then read on as we’re about to tell you just why you should be drinking kombucha this year.
Just so we’re clear…
Developed almost 2000 years ago in China and known as the ‘Immortal Health Elixir’, kombucha is a fermented drink, made of a mix of black and/or green tea, sugar and a yeast culture called SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria) and therefore has a whole host of associated health benefits.
Read on for the list of the biggest and the best…
Healthy gut, healthy mind
We’re beginning to realise the significance and connection between gut health and mental health.
You might be aware of the effects of an unbalanced gut on the mind without even realising it. When the gut is unhappy it can lead to feelings of anxiety and fogginess – this can occur when harmful bacteria called pathogens take over the gut and leave us feeling out of sorts.
The good news is that as a result of the fermentation process that occurs, stimulating the growth of probiotics, the kombucha’s ‘SCOBY’ aids gut health and the general function of the digestive system. Introducing good bacteria into the gut in the form of probiotics can lead to a feeling of mood stability and mental clarity. Not only that but Kombucha has been proven to minimise and kill Candida bacteria which can often plight tummies for years and cause thrush.
Could your liver do with a spring clean?
The natural cleansing properties of Kombucha mean that it can aid in the detoxification of build ups within our digestive system and in particular, the liver (something we could probably all use a little help with). The gluconic acid in kombucha is shown to be a natural antioxidant. It’s claimed that regularly drinking kombucha can aid liver detoxification by up to 70%.
Supports the immune system
If that’s not enough, Kombucha also contains another powerful antioxidant called DSL which occurs as part of the fermentation process of the black tea. As you know, antioxidants help rid the body of free radicals which can cause premature ageing and disease. This, in combination with naturally occurring Vitamin C and high B Vitamin levels, help support and even boost the immune system.
Could it help stave off heart disease?
There’s more. Studies in the US have shown that LDL (the bad cholesterol that clogs your arteries) can be reduced by drinking Kombucha – again, this is through the process of antioxidation which happens in the gut. LDL has been associated with a heightened risk of heart disease so the findings point towards komucha as being potentially helpful in avoiding heart disease.
Creaky joints be gone…
Kombucha is also packed full of glucosamine which encourages the production of hyaluronic acid (HLA) all over the body. HLA also promotes the growth of collagen. Good levels of HLA help to lubricate joints via the synovial fluid, and collagen is found in joints and connective tissue. This can relieve the pain of sore joints, whilst simultaneously protecting against any further damage. Amazing huh?
Worth swapping the coffee for?
Several soft drink brands are actually freeze-drying kombucha and adding it to energy drinks to strengthen their potency. This is because the small amounts of iron, together with varying B vitamins present give your system an instant boost, whilst the prolonged release of caffeine via green tea keeps you energised all day long. Worth swapping a coffee or sports drink for we think.
Too much of a good thing?
As kombucha is naturally detoxifying, it is recommended that you don’t drink it daily as it’s a lot for your system to take on initially. It is al, it naturally contains trace amounts of alcohol, so be careful not to drink it in huge quantities. Commercially available Kombucha should contain 0.5% alcohol. However, the exact levels aren’t printed on most kombucha labels as it isn’t yet a legal requirement in the UK.
All that, and there’s more…
If it has been left long enough for the fermentation to take place, kombucha can taste great. Unflavoured kombucha can be an acquired taste, however different varieties such as blueberry, acai, ginger or pomegranate are available and combine the health benefits of other superfoods into one gorgeous drink. Kombucha naturally becomes carbonated, offering a sparkling experience which is refreshing to boot. Enjoy!