You’ve heard of it, but what’s the hype all about?
Kombucha (pronounced kahm-boo-cha) is a popular fermented tea beverage (made from black or green tea) that’s been consumed for thousands of years. And now? It’s widely known to offer various health benefits.
Here’s what health experts say:
- Kombucha is a rich source of antioxidants.
- In addition to offering the health benefits of black or green tea (some of the planet’s healthiest beverages), it is also rich in beneficial probiotics.
- It can kill harmful, infection-causing bacteria. How? During the fermentation of kombucha, a substance called acetic acid is produced. Acetic acid can kill many potentially harmful microorganisms. Kombucha’s strong antibacterial properties suppress the growth of undesirable yeasts and bacteria.
- Kombucha is reputed as a potential warrior against heart disease. It’s been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors and improve both ‘bad’ LDL and ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels (when tested on rats).
- In similar tests, kombucha improved blood sugar levels as well as several markers of diabetes.
So, it all sounds fabulous. But, what else should you know?
- Due to its fermentation, kombucha does contain traces of alcohol, as is the byproduct of any fermented drink. That said, know that commercially-produced kombucha must contain less than .5% alcohol to be sold as a non-alcoholic beverage. At this level, it would require drinking several bottles in a very short period of time to feel any effect of the alcohol.
- Although kombucha is good for you, it isn’t great for everyone. As kombucha is fermented (and also carbonated), its ingredients and properties may be a trigger for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) flare-ups.
- While some prefer to ferment their own kombucha, please note that improperly prepared kombucha may have adverse health effects. Our suggestion? Buy it already prepared and bottled at the store. Look in the refrigerated cases in produce sections to find the various flavors and brands.
Cheers to healthy living!