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You have probably heard of kombucha – you know, that drink made from bacteria, yeast and tea that your friend has been bugging you to try. To most people, the mere thought of deliberate bacteria and yeast in their drinks seems unappealing. Are there actually kombucha health benefits to be had?
But, in fact, there are!
There are so many health reasons you should start taking kombucha on a daily basis. Once you start learning more, that strange pinkish thing won’t seem that strange and you’ll happily sip away.
What is Kombucha?
So, your friend or family members – or the people behind this article – have recommended kombucha countless times. They have taken you to healthy food stores, showed you numerous kombucha drinks and even tried making it themselves, just to show you how great it is.
It might be annoying but you should know – you have some great people around you.
But what is kombucha, exactly?
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from yeast, bacteria, tea – either green or black – and some sugar. All of this forms something that looks like a mushroom that floats around in a pinkish juice. However, that mushroom is live bacteria and this is what makes kombucha better than other drinks.
Okay, so the origin story is not that attractive, but what comes out of it is way better. The thing that you end up drinking, the kombucha tea has myriad health benefits starting from improving the immune system to digestion and so on.
You can get kombucha almost anywhere – health food stores, grocery stores, coffee shops, and many other places. But before you do that, know that you shouldn’t drink too much of it – a little goes a long way and too much can harm you – and that alcoholic versions are not good for you.
Finally, if you want to make your own, we'll go in to that later. However, you should try store-bought versions first to make sure that you like it before starting your own brew.
Top 7 Kombucha Health Benefits
Now that you know what kombucha is – in all of its glory – you might be wondering why you should be drinking something like that. This is an ancient drink, not just a fad, so that might be one of the reasons.
But, if you need more, here are some that you will find irresistible.
Sure, you have tried numerous detoxification fads, but there’s nothing like drinking kombucha to help with that. It’s full of enzymes and acids which help the natural detox process and it can help the efficiency of your liver’s natural detoxification.
2. Better Digestion
More and more studies show that the ingredients in kombucha can help you have better digestion and that they can help soothe your stomach. It helps restore the normal amount of good bacteria that you should have in your body – that you can lose due to alcohol or antibiotic intake, stress and other problems.
3. Immune System Improvement
Of course, any superfood needs this component. And kombucha health benefits wins again here – it stimulates your immune system and strengthen your defenses against harmful bacteria and other health issues.
4. Kombucha can prevent arthritis
Kombucha also has glucosamine which can help people fight and treat all types of arthritis. Drinking kombucha can prevent this issue and help manage the pain.
5. Can Help Prevent Cancer
The kombucha health benefits you get with every sip includes helpful antioxidants and microbiomes that can help protect your body against cancer.
6. Reduces Cholesterol
Research shows that kombucha can help you reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Including kombucha in your diet naturally is a great way to combat these problems.
7. Improves Energy Levels
Since it has small amounts of caffeine – from the tea – and energizing vitamins like vitamin B and iron, it can improve your energy levels. Many people drink kombucha instead of coffee, especially in the afternoon. It also leads to better athletic performance and it can boost your mood because of all of those beneficial vitamins B.
Does Kombucha Help You Lose Weight?
Now that we have determined that kombucha is an overall good guy for your health, let’s turn to the question that may sound superficial, but all of us are asking whenever we hear about some new health trend.
Can you really lose weight with kombucha?
Starting with the obvious, replacing all sodas, sugary juices and cocktails with kombucha can really help. Even though kombucha is very sweet, it also has bacteria that are great for your gut – something that sodas don’t. And good gut health means weight loss for most people.
Plus, the bacteria eat all of that sugar and what you’re left with is something healthy and refreshing.
The sugar from the sodas makes you gain weight even though to you it might not seem so – after all, it’s all just liquid, not like you are eating bread or pastries. But in fact, sodas prevent your weight loss.
So what? Water can replace those sugary drinks, you might say.
But weight loss benefits of kombucha don’t stop there.
Kombucha introduces a diverse gut flora into your stomach and it helps you shed pounds because your metabolism is actually working properly. Keep in mind that if you have irritable bowel syndrome, you might not be the best person for kombucha and other fermented products.
Best Brands of Kombucha Tea
After all of these benefits, you must be interested in some kombucha drinks that you can try. It won’t hurt to try – we promise.
Kombucha is an ancient drink but it was only recently introduced to the western markets. However, now, it’s basically everywhere – you probably noticed.
You can find it in numerous health stores, grocery stores and even cafes, which is great. But, just like with anything else, there are some kombucha drinks that are simply better than others.
If you are interested in trying some of them out, here are a few brands to keep an eye on in the future:
GT’s Organic & Raw Koffee Kombucha
This is a great replacement for your morning or afternoon coffee. Made of both green and black tea, vanilla and almond, this drink has numerous probiotics that will help restore your gut health.
Suja Organic Pineapple Passion Fruit Kombucha
This kombucha drink will surprise you with the pineapple and passion fruit flavor. It also has turmeric, enhancing the beneficial effects you get from drinking it.
Health-Ade Kombucha Ginger-Lemon
This drink has a lemon and ginger flavor which makes it both tart and sweet and a great addition to your daily hydration.
Kevita Blueberry Basil Kombucha
As you can see, kombucha can come in a wide variety of flavors and one of them is the blueberry and basil flavor which makes it excellent for your health.
Humm Kombucha Hopped Grapefruit
This is a great drink for anyone who wants some energy before a workout. It contains grapefruit and electrolytes to help you workout better.
Jet Bear’s Fruit Strawberry Jalapeno Kombucha
This is a spicy kombucha that will help you with numerous health problems and give you just the kick you need for those late afternoons.
Bao Elderberry Kombucha
As the name says, this kombucha has elderberry that will help you with your soda cravings and it can heal your gut.
Brew Doctor Kombucha Clear Mind
This is an invigorating blend which will keep you energized and in a good mood for much longer than your usual afternoon coffee.
Clearly Kombucha Black Currant
The berry adds another level of flavors here and it improves your energy and mood as well.
How Can You Make Your Own Kombucha?
Some people just don’t like buying premade products until they have already tried to make them themselves. If you have liked kombucha so far, and understand the health benefits it can give you, then you probably want to know how to make your own at home. Making it at home has the added benefits of controlling the ingredients and making it exactly to your taste.
As a bonus, those drinks get quite expensive.
So, roll up your sleeves and prepare your mind (and kitchen!) for the real kombucha making experience.
For starters, gather some equipment:
- Glass jar (quart size)
- Something wooden for stirring
- A cloth with tight weave
- A rubber band
Then, get your ingredients:
- Loose tea leaves
- Distilled white vinegar
- Active kombucha SCOBY
When your SCOBY gets activated, you’ll be able to make batches of your own from that one all the time.
Here are the appropriate ratios for your first, one-quart batch:
- 1 ½ teaspoon loose tea
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 or 3 cups of water
- ½ cup vinegar
Make sure that you are following the ratios of any recipe properly because this is a sensitive process and making a mistake in ratios could result in a failed batch.
Here are steps to making your own kombucha:
- Mix hot water and sugar in your glass jar
- Stir until the sugar is dissolved
- Put the tea into the water to steep (you can use a metal tea ball but make sure you remove it before adding SCOBY)
- Cool this mixture and remove the tea after 10-15 minutes
- Add distilled white vinegar (in the future, you will use a bit of the tea from the previous batch as the starter tea)
- Add active kombucha
- Cover the jar with cloth and secure with rubber band
Let it sit in the sunlight for 7-30 days. The longer it sit, the more vinegary it will taste, so keep that in mind.
When you want to drink kombucha, just pour it through the cloth and consume it but save the SCOBY with enough tea in the bottom to use for the next jar.
Add flavors to taste, such as fresh or frozen fruit, fresh herbs & spices, or extracts.
Kombucha is a well-known source of probiotics and numerous other healthy ingredients. However, most people avoid it because they aren't sure of its benefits, and because it may seem off-putting. But when you learn more about this amazing probiotic food, you'll start using it immediately.