Kombucha has been consumed in certain Eastern European cultures for thousands of years. Recently there has been a rise in interest in the West about the benefits of drinking this probiotic drink. There are many benefits to drinking Kombucha such as weight loss, blood sugar control and good gut health.
- What is it?
It is a fermented drink made from sweetened tea and a culture known as a Kombucha Scoby. Scoby stands for ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts’. You may buy the scoby in a Kombucha Starter Kit which is available to purchase from many online stores. Or if you’re very lucky, someone will gift you the scoby. This scoby can be used to ferment more batches of the drink so you don’t always have to hunt out a new source of Kombucha for sale.
- How do I make it?
It is possible to make this beverage at home. It must be made correctly and by following the instructions in your starter kit. The most important thing to note when making anything is that hygiene is a priority. Don’t contaminate the essential bacteria. Firstly, tea and sugar is steeped in boiled water and left to cool before adding the scoby. This is covered and ferments for up to a week. The bacteria and yeasts contained in the kit, change sugar into ethanol and acetic acid. This acid gives the liquid a unique sour taste. Then it can be poured into an airtight container and left for several more days. The longer it is left the fizzier the final drink will be. You may also add fruit to suit to your taste.
- What health benefits are there?
There are many benefits to drinking this tea. It is a source of probiotics which help balance the gut biome and aid digestion. It is also high in antioxidants which prevent damage which is caused by free radicals. It also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and B vitamins B1, B6 and B12 These are produced when the yeast breaks down the sugars. We know that green tea has many health benefits and if green tea is used as a base it can provide the same benefits, including weight loss and blood sugar control. In scientific studies it has been shown to improve “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol levels. It may also protect against heart disease. The juice can also help manage Type 2 Diabetes because it encourages carbs to break down more slowly which reduces your blood sugar levels.
- What else can I do?
Other ways to encourage good gut health include adding live yogurt, kefir grains, kimchi, sauerkraut or miso soup to your regular diet. Add to this drinking a glass of Kombucha Tea with every meal and you’re sure to feel the health benefits within a short period of time.