Known as the `Immortal Health Elixir` by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits extending to your heart, your brain and (especially) your gut.
Due to the fermentation process involved in creating kombucha, it contains a large number of living healthy bacteria known as probiotics. These bacteria line your digestive tract and support your immune system, as they absorb nutrients and fight infection and illness.
Since 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, and the digestive system is the second largest part of your neurological system, it is no surprise that the gut is considered our `second brain`
If you already eat a whole foods based diet, drinking kombucha regularly is a great addition that can help you maintain peak immune health, which trickles down into an impressive number of benefits for your overall health.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink that is popular for its purported health benefits – a good source of probiotics.
The sweetened green or black tea is fermented with a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, otherwise known as a SCOBY (Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)
During the fermentation process, the yeast in the SCOBY breaks down the sugar in the tea and releases probiotic bacteria.
Many people believe that kombucha helps treat all sorts of chronic health problems.
However, human studies on the effects of kombucha are few and the evidence for it is health effects limited.
In contrast, there is ample evidence for the benefits of tea and probiotics, both of which are found in kombucha.
At specific concentrations, the probiotic bacteria found in Kombucha can help balance the gut micro biome in humans and improve digestion. It is rich in tea polyphenols and acetic acid, which have both been shown to suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts.
Other health benefits of Kombucha:
- There is evidence that fermented drinks contain powerful antioxidants that can help detoxify the body and prevent illness and inflammation.
- The antioxidants prove this ancient tea counteracts free radicals that create mayhem in the digestive system.
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial
- Because of the type of bacteria found in kombucha, drinking the live cultures actually destroys bad bacteria responsible for infections.
- Studies have shown that kombucha contains both antimicrobial components. It has the ability to kill bad bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and shigella. Protection against these bacteria may help stave off food poisoning.
Improves mental state
- Kombucha is also able to protect your mind. It is high in Vitamin B12 content is one of the reasons supplements sometimes contain dry kombucha products.
- The gut-repairing function also plays a role in mental health. Depression may be a major symptom of leaky gut, specifically due to the way that bad gut permeability contributes to inflammation.
Improves good cholesterol
- Kombucha helps lower triglyceride levels, as well as regulate cholesterol naturally.
- Kombucha has been shown in some scientific models to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides while increasing good cholesterol (HDL)
Are there risks?
- Making kombucha involves letting bacteria grow in a liquid you’re going to drink. Much of the bacteria are considered probiotics, but if it is not prepared properly, the drink can grow harmful bacteria or mold.
- Because Kombucha is a probiotic-rich tea with so many potential health benefits, you should try to incorporate this in your daily diet. Our favorite Kombucha producer in Bali is Konscious Goods, (Tip: their Ginger Kombucha is absolutely delicious)
- Improperly prepared kombucha may have adverse health effects so we suggest you buy bottled kombucha.
- If you are concerned about how Kombucha may affect you, start by drinking a small amount and gradually work your way up to see if you have any negative reactions to it.
Medical News Today