What is kombucha?
Kombucha dates back more than 2,000 years and qualifies as an ancient concoction. This drink is a fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black tea drink commonly consumed for its positive health benefits.
Kombucha consists of:
· Tea (usually either black or green).
Possible benefits of kombucha:
Probiotics are “healthy little microbes” in kombucha that can do a lot of good in your body. Many of kombucha’s touted benefits are similar to those of other fermented foods, like sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir and yogurt.
· Limiting inflammation
Kombucha is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols that work overtime to protect your body from damage. This can help limit chronic inflammation that can lead to health issues such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Polyphenols are known to act as strong antioxidants in the body and decrease inflammation, which is the root cause of many diseases and conditions and the fermentation process actually increases the amount of polyphenols.
· Boosting your gut health
Not all bacteria are bad. Want proof? Consider your gut. “Good” bacteria are essential for your gut microbiome to thrive — and fermented foods such as kombucha contain probiotics to help keep those levels high. Kombucha can really help feed and increase that good, healthy gut bacteria, which can help decrease any bad bacteria. Maintaining that balance can have positive benefits on your digestive system and overall health and longevity.
· Strengthening your immune system
The nutritional resume of kombucha also includes hefty amounts of B vitamins, which are key to keeping your immune system humming along. The fermented tea also is high in acetic, glucuronic and D-Saccharic acids. These organic acids can be antimicrobial, making them something of a superhero in the fight against bad bacterial growth. Polyphenols deserve a mention here, too, as they can help regulate your immune system in addition to knocking down inflammation.
· Cancer fighter
Could kombucha be a useful ally in the fight against cancer? Some research suggests that antioxidants found in the fermented tea could offer some protection against the disease. Cell damage leads to can lead to cancer and other diseases. The more cells we protect with antioxidants, the less damage we have — and that can really help suppress the risk of cancer.
Enzymes and acids in kombucha can assist your liver as it gets rid of undesired compounds in your body, says Smith. Some research even suggests kombucha may have potential as a therapeutic dietary supplement to combat fatty liver disease.
· Heart health
A healthy diet is key to protecting your heart — and there’s evidence that some sips of kombucha may benefit your ticker. Studies show that kombucha can increase your “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Kombucha has been shown to limit the plaque that can build up in your arteries, which is what we really want to prevent.