Maybe you are new to the kombucha party, or maybe you’re still curious what this new drink craze is all about. Today I am giving the rundown on what it is, what makes kombucha magical and different ways to pour down the fun.
What is Kombucha??
Kombucha in it’s most simple form is black and/or green tea that has been fermented. Much like wine, the process of creating Kombucha starts with the tea, yeast, sugar and water. Before long the yeast has fed off the sugar and leaves behind the delicious drink we know and love. This drink has been growing in popularity for a couple of years now due to it’s variety of flavors, refreshing taste and as an alternative to soft drinks. It doesn’t hurt that it comes along with some amazing healthy perks! There are a TON of brands out there but the major ones you will likely see are your local grocer are KeVita, Health-ade, GT’s and Simple Truth. There are even DIY Homebrew Kombucha kits on Groupon and Amazon, which my research shows is super simple when you get the kit that comes with SCOBY (the yeast).
What makes Kombucha so good for you?
The health benefits of kombucha are plenty and include the promotion of a healthy gut, a hefty antioxidant punch, a source of B12 vitamins, improved cardiovascular health and the list could go on. Here is some of what I was able to dig up:
I ❤ My Gut: Much like the other fermented foods we love, fermented tea feeds the gut good bacteria (naturally created through the fermenting process) and you can usually find the probiotic count somewhere on each bottle. Because you’re reading a health blog, you probably already know that 70-80% of your immune system lives in the gut. When I hear that it translates to, I am what I eat and, more importantly, absorb. The more we learn about gut bacteria, the more important it is to incorporate these foods into our diets. Incorporating natural sources of probiotics aids in diversifying the strains and the number of bacteria living inside the gut to build a healthy immune system and fight off bad bacteria.
Antioxidants Unleashed: I cannot say no to beautiful skin and the cancer fighting protection provided by them! According to Dr. Axe, the act of fermenting black tea releases an antioxidant, called glucaric acid, that supports cellular function not found in black tea brewed by traditional methods. If you are not yet familiar with how GT’s started then click here and read their incredible story. Kombucha also increases the effectiveness of other antioxidants with the proven benefit of detoxifying, having an anti-oxidization effect and promoting the immune system.
B Vitamins: Hello, energy! There are claims that state fermented tea is a great source for B vitamins, particularly B12, that are created during the fermentation process. Most of us know B12 is responsible for lifting moods and supporting our metabolism to give us that energy boost!
Healthy Heart: A glass of kombucha is linked with a healthy ticker. Unfortunately, this claim has not been observed in the human-kind yet but it is worth mentioning the benefit. Healthline cites that kombucha is proven to improve the LDL and HDL cholesterol markers in animal studies. In addition, regular consumers of green tea is linked to a 31 percent reduction in risk of heart disease which should also be present green tea-kombucha drinkers.
How often should I drink it?
Personally, I like to enjoy a glass of this magical goodness on a couple nights out of the week in place of wine. The only caveat to this is that many different brands and flavors contain added caffeine and a great deal of sugar per serving (sugar added post-fermentation). Therefore, next time you’re shopping don’t forget to flip your bottle over and take a peek at that nutrition label. Sneaky sugars beware! I would aim for a selection with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving but awareness and mindful consumption is the main thing here. This is one of the reasons I like to enjoy my tea in a wine glass, as well as to magnify the experience of the effervescence from the bubbles and the pretty color. You can also, mix your glass with half tea and half sparkling water to reduce the amount of sugar in one serving while still enjoying the taste and health benefits.
What other magical powers does Kombucha harness?
Take your booch to the next level! This tea makes a great base for other drinks, including my Raspberry Lime Kombuch-ade that I recently posted on my IG @healthyrations
How to Mix: Mojito-Lime Mint Coconut Mojito (or any Lime-flavored Kombucha will do), a handful frozen raspberries, a few sprigs of fresh mint. Start with raspberries in your glass, followed by the tea and mint. You can leave the raspberries as they are to keep your drink cold, OR if you want a berry-er taste then you can muddle your berries to extract some of the juices into the rest of the drink. Now, enjoy!
Try this drink or experiment with some variations of your own!
Having a celebratory drink? Check out one of these:
Healthy Rations Berry Coconut Mixer – Raspberry Lemon flavored kombucha (I used KeVita Master Brew) with muddled raspberries and a shot of Carribean Coconut Rum. Add tea to desired taste.
What is your favorite way to enjoy Kombucha? Have you tried a home Kombucha brewing kit? Share with me by leaving a comment below!