Kombucha: Soda That Is Healthy
Did you know that there is a soda that is healthy? Natural, and beneficial to you, kombucha is not only delicious, it can also give your body a big health boost. Read on to find out all the ways in which kombucha, the healthy soda, can upgrade your health.
Do you sometimes wish that there was a soda that is healthy? Well, there is! Kombucha is a natural soda, which has some far reaching health benefits. Not only is it devoid of chemicals, and lower in sugar than regular soda, it also is a probiotic. Packed full with live probiotics, kombucha has the power to increase gut health, boost your mood, ramp up your immune system, improve you skin and much more.
Besides being able to power up your health, kombucha also tastes great!
What is Kombucha
Kombucha is an ancient drink that comprises of fermented tea. It is made is by brewing a batch of sweet black tea, and then placing the kombucha culture, commonly known as a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts), into the tea. The batch is then left to fermented for 1-2 weeks, during which time the bacteria and yeast feed on the sugar in the tea. They produce acids, which give kombucha a tart taste, and create fizz.
At the end of the fermentation period, the kombucha is ready to be bottled, flavored and enjoyed.
What Does Kombucha Taste Like
If you have never tasted kombucha before, then you are probably curious to know what it tastes like. First off it is usually super fizzy. Which is what gives kombucha its health soda status. Typically drunk cold, the fizz makes kombucha uber refreshing, and very similar to soda.
However where kombucha and regular soda differ is that kombucha is typically nowhere near as sweet as regular soda. Some brands are sweeter than others, but generally kombucha is not very sweet. During fermentation the bacteria and yeast consume some of the sugar in the black tea, and turn it into acids.
These acids give kombucha a tart taste, which can be quite enjoyable.
Besides having a flavor balance between sweet and tart, kombucha is also often flavored with fruits and spices. The fruits, spices, or herbs used to flavor a batch of kombucha will play a large role in how it tastes.
Why Is Kombucha Healthy
If you want to drink kombucha for its health benefits, then you will be pumped to know that kombucha can benefit a number of areas of the body.
Before we start, let’s preface by mentioning that Kombucha has to some degree a reputation as a panacea of wellness. This is completely unfounded, and not backed up by science or clinical studies. However – although it is not some miracle drink that cures all ailments – kombucha does have some hefty health benefits, which are backed by science.
Kombucha Is a Probiotic Drink
The key to kombucha’s ability to boost the body in a variety of ways, lies in its probiotic qualities. Because kombucha is a naturally fermented drink, it contains a number of probiotic strains of bacteria.
Probiotic bacteria are naturally occurring in our digestive system. As well as on the surface of plants, and in fermented foods and drinks. The probiotic bacteria in our digestive system play a host of crucial roles.
So if they are already present in our digestive tracts, why drink kombucha? Because we are all exposed daily to a number of factors, which have the capacity kill off the flora in our guts. This is the reason why many of us can benefit from eating and drinking probiotic, fermented foods and drinks, like kombucha.
Let’s take a look at some of the key ways in which kombucha and probiotic fermented foods and drinks can boost your body.
Kombucha Can Enhance Digestion & Nutrient Uptake
In order for proper digestion and nutrient uptake to take place, our digestive tracts need to be lined with probiotic bacteria. This is because these bacteria are the ones that do the heavy lifting when it comes to processing the food that we eat.
Drinking kombucha can help to boost these colonies of hard working bacteria. This can result in better digestive function, and enhanced nutrient uptake.
It doesn’t matter how healthy a diet one eats, or how many supplements we take, if digestion is impaired. If this is the case, then drinking kombucha can help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your diet and supplements.
Kombucha Can Ramp Up Detoxification
Probiotic bacteria in the gut are not only responsible for many aspects of the digestive function. They also play a big role in elimination and detoxification.
For regular bowel movements it is vital that the gut flora bacteria are present in adequate numbers to facilitate this. Irregular bowel movements and constipation contribute to toxin retention.
A further way that kombucha may boost detoxification is by enhancing liver function. Glucaric acid, a compound found naturally occurring in kombucha, is showing signs of being able to increase the efficiency of the liver’s detoxifying tracts.
The probiotic bacteria present in kombucha and fermented foods have also been shown to be able to assist the body in eliminating heavy metals. A study done in 2012 found that probiotic bacteria can play a key role in supporting heavy metal elimination, and concluded that “Lactobacilli and potentially other bacterial types used in the food industry or as probiotics are ideal organisms to use as an adjunct tool to prevent/reduce heavy-metal toxicity and prevent absorption of metals into the human body.“
And kombucha’s ability to assist in detoxification does not stop there. It appears that the probiotic bacteria within kombucha and fermented foods are also able to protect the body against pesticide residues. Another study done in 2016 showed that ingested probiotic bacteria were able to “bind to, but not metabolize, organophosphate pesticides and reduce intestinal absorption in vitro’” and prevent the body from absorbing them. This resulted in the isolated pesticide particles being excreted by the body without entering the bloodstream.
This ability of kombucha to protect us from environmental toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides is highly valuable. Environmental toxins are often inescapable, and difficult to counteract.
Kombucha Can Strengthen Your Immune System
Another key benefit associated with kombucha is its ability to strengthen and boost the immune system. This ability is once again thanks to kombucha’s probiotic qualities.
Science has now discovered that up to 80% of our immune system resides in our gut. And the gut bacteria play a key function in its integrity. If your gut flora populations are in remission, this will not only impact your digestive function, it will result in a weakened immune system as well.
By drinking kombucha, one can assist to build up these colonies of probiotic bacteria in the gut. And thereby ensure a healthy and strong immune system.
Immunity protects us from coming down with viruses and being negatively impacted by pathogens. Because infections are detrimental to the body, protecting against them by maintaining a healthy immune system is a key component to vitality.
Kombucha May Boost Your Mood
Another area which kombucha can have a positive impact on is mood and emotional well being. Recently science has discovered what is known as the gut brain axis. It turns out that the gut and the brain are in direct communication with each other. If gut health is down, this can in turn affect the brain. Part of this is due to the fact that the gut produces the brain’s neurochemicals. From the gut they travel to the brain and affect mood and cognitive function.
Because of this important relationship between the gut and the brain, gut health is starting to feature as an integral component of maintaining mental well being.
Preclinical studies are now coming out showing that fermented foods have a direct impact on the mechanisms that underpin depression and anxiety.
Kombucha Can Help Give You a Good Night’s Sleep
Kombucha and sleep? Yes, it has come to light that foods like kombucha, which contain probiotic bacteria, can play a role in getting a good night’s sleep.
The reason behind this lies in inflammation. If probiotic bacteria levels in the gut are out of balance or impaired, this can cause inflammation in the gut. Inflammation is a signal to the brain that all is not well, and that the body is in a state of physiological stress.
And, as we all know, stress is not the ingredient for deep sleep. This is why according to Dr Ellen Vora, fermented foods like kombucha are the first thing to start consuming to improve one’s sleep quality.
Sleep is a time of regeneration, which makes it vitally important for overall health. Boost your deep sleep, and your whole body will thank you!
Kombucha Can Make Your Skin Glow
Another organ of the body that can benefit from kombucha and the probiotics it contains, is the skin. The reason once again lies with inflammation. Inflammation has been deemed by skin experts to be the root cause of most skin problems including wrinkles, dry skin, acne and eczema.
Kombucha and other fermented foods have been proven to be potent anti-inflammatories. Which is one reason why kombucha can play a role in healthy and glowing skin.
In addition to kombucha’s anti-inflammatory action in the body, it can also boost the skin through enhancing digestion. Eating foods which are rich in vitamins and minerals is a key component to having healthy, glowing skin. As mentioned above, probiotic food and drinks like kombucha boost digestion and thereby can potentially increase nutrient absorption and synthesis.
Kombucha Can Curb Unhealthy Food Cravings
Trying to get healthy, but sabotaged by cravings that hit you like a ton of bricks, for all of the wrong foods? If so, kombucha may be able to help.
Science is now revealing the workings behind food cravings, and it turns out that it all starts in the gut. According to research, food cravings are generated not by the body as a whole, but by the probiotic bacteria that live within the gut.
If the probiotic bacteria are all at healthy levels and in balance with one another, this will lead to healthy and balanced food cravings. However if they are out of balance, then this can cause unbalanced food cravings for food that the body does not need.
A common example of this are the sugar cravings that people often experience in conjunction with Candida. Candida is the term for an overgrowth of the candida bacteria within the gut. Candida is a naturally occurring gut bacteria. However if its numbers get out of hand, this can wreak havoc in the body.
The reason why high levels of candida results in sugar cravings is because sugars are what the candida bacteria feeds off of. If it is the dominant bacteria within the gut, it will send out the strongest signal. And that signal will be for what it wants to eat, which is sugary foods, soda and refined carbs.
Having food cravings sabotage your healthy eating plan is immensely frustrating. And makes lifestyle changes that much harder to carry out. However, if you start drinking kombucha on the daily, you may find that your food cravings start to become more balanced.
Kombucha Can Make Healthy Weight Loss Easier
If you are busy implementing a healthy weight loss or weight management plan, then you will be excited to know that kombucha may just be able to assist you in achieving your goals. The question is of course, how is kombucha going to play a role with getting rid of excess pounds?
Well, in a number of ways.
First off, kombucha is a heavy weight when it comes to detoxifying the body. As mentioned above, kombucha, and other fermented foods, have the ability to assist the body in removing toxins and heavy metals. It can also protect the body against pesticides.
This can be beneficial for weight loss. Why? Because according to the research, what the body often does when it is faced with handling too many toxins, is to lock them up in fat cells. These fat cells insulate the dangerous compounds, which prevents them from causing harm to tissues. These fats cells are the hardest to budge. Because they are the last ones the body wants to dissolve. As this will cause a release of potentially harmful toxins into the bloodstream.
The other area where kombucha can assist in weight loss or management is through cravings control! Strong cravings for unhealthy food are the bane of any diet. Therefore, if you experience regulated food cravings while drinking kombucha, this will be likely assist you with meeting or maintaining weight goals.
Kombucha May Protect Against Cancer
Lastly, kombucha may also have a preventative action against cancer. Ronald Reagan allegedly drank kombucha to assist him in managing a form of stomach cancer!
Whether or not this is true we have no way of knowing. But what we do know is that studies are now attributing kombucha with having anti-tumor properties, being a potent antioxidant, and as having been documented to inhibit the development and progression of cancer.
Pretty exciting stuff!
As you can see, kombucha really is soda, that is healthy. It is bubbly and fizzy, thirst quenching, flavorful, and it has a seriously impressive list of health benefits. All backed by science.
If you choose to swap out regular soda for kombucha, you will be avoiding the high levels of sugar in the soda. As well as chemical additives, and exchanging these for vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
Probiotics are being increasingly identified by research as a key component of good health. Through their effect on the gut, they can have far reaching health benefits. From good skin, to better sleep, moods, immunity, digestion and more. Kombucha is an excellent way to take advantage of these benefits. As you can use it as a healthy soda substitute. While at the same time supplementing your body with probiotics, in a form that is super tasty and refreshing.
If you want to find out how to make your own kombucha, check out our full guide for everything you need to get started.
Or, if you are not ready to start brewing yourself, here is another useful guide for you. If you prefer the convenience of store bought, hop on over to our list of best kombucha brands. Not all kombucha is probiotic, because many brands pasteurize their kombucha and therefore it is devoid of probiotic benefits. So to avoid drinking dead kombucha, check out our list of live, and unpasteurized brands.
Until next time, happy kombucha drinking folks!