What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a naturally carbonated, fermented tea that’s low in sugar. Pronounced kom-BOO-cha, it has been around a long time, dating back 2000 years. Since then, it has been passed around the globe from culture to culture. Its roots can be traced to Russia or China, depending on which source you believe. What was once a home remedy, the fermented tea is now a mass-produced beverage available in most grocery stores.
What Does Kombucha Taste Like?
Kombucha is quite bubbly and fermentation gives it a kind of intense, tangy flavor. Each brand has its own style, and may use different varieties of tea—black, white, or green. People often drink kombucha everyday as a “health tonic.”
Why Is Kombucha Healthy?
Kombucha has become extremely popular because of its abundance of health benefits.
People with irritable bowel syndrome or other gastrointestinal problems often find that kombucha, or other fermented foods (kimchi, miso, kefir), really help with digestion and stomach troubles.
Probiotics: Kombucha is filled with probiotics, which are good bacteria that promote balance in your digestive system. Good gut bacteria are CRITICAL to immune function, so anything that improves the balance of good and bad bacteria will improve your immune system and therefore overall health.
Glucaric Acid and Glucuronic Acid: The bacteria and yeast in kombucha break down glucose into glucaric acid, which is a substance with anti-cancer properties. Glucaric acid may also lower blood lipids (fats) and regulate estrogen.
Antioxidants: The antioxidants in kombucha provide so many benefits. They fight free radicals, which contribute to chronic diseases ranging from cancer and heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease and vision loss.
Detoxifying: Kombucha possesses a remarkable ability to detoxify the body, but researchers aren’t quite sure how. Detoxifying is important because it eases the burden on the liver.
Glucosamines: Kombucha is rich in glucosamines, which ease joint pain and helps prevent arthritis. In particular, glucosamines help promote the production of hyaluronic acid which helps reduce arthritis-related pain and preserves the form and structure of cartilages. Hyaluronic acid also allows for the body’s connective tissues to bind more moisture, thereby maintaining healthy tissues, flexibility, and lubrication in the joints.
Kombucha’s potent ferment is recognized worldwide for its detoxifying, energizing and overall health-supportive properties. Drink it in the morning for a healthy pick-me-up. Drink it in the afternoon to give your workout a boost. Drink it in the evening as a detoxifying cocktail mixer. If you're really ambitious, make your own.
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods
The Arthritis and Glucosamine Information Center. Glucosamine Research.