When you think of Kombucha, you may picture a bunch of hipsters sitting around swapping stories about bands you’ve never heard of and munching on overpriced avocado toast. While some may just drink it for the aesthetic, Kombucha actually has pretty amazing health benefits. Before I get into why you should add this incredible drink into your diet, I’ll go over a bit of what it is. Simply, Kombucha is fermented tea; the most basic recipe for this drink is black tea, SCOBY (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast – YUM!), and sugar but it is popular recently to add flavors, making for much variety. While the ingredients are simple, the multiple week process is somewhat complicated. The tea is fermented using the SCOBY for a specific amount of time in order to achieve the correct PH. Then it is chilled to stop the fermentation process. Over fermenting can lead it to be very vinegary and unpleasant as well as raise the alcohol content. Brewing the perfect batch does take some practice. The SCOBY is what give this drink life (literally). It is the source of the fermentation because it is literally a living colony of good bacteria and yeast that will make you GI tract happy. You’ll hear the hard-core Kombucha drinkers yell “SCOBY up!!” and down this gooey part of the beverage along with the rest of it. After fermentation, the Kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, and a ton of probiotics.
While the process of making Kombucha might sound weird, the effects it will have on your body are totally worth it! Much like drinking regular tea, Kombucha can aid weight loss and boost your immune system. What makes Kombucha different from regular tea though, is that it is specifically great for your gut health. 70% of your immune system is located in your gut making it important to ensure that it is as healthy as possible so that you are as healthy as possible! What makes it so great for your gut is that it contains a ton of probiotics which are the same organisms that give yogurt its health benefits. Probiotics are popular for those that wish to prevent digestive disorders and oral health problems as well as boost their immune function. Kombucha also has plenty of B12 vitamins which have been studied in relationship boosting energy and mood. It also contains enzymes and healthy acids that keep your GI tract acidic and inhospitable to unwanted pathogens. For those of you who like to drink soda, Kombucha is much lower in calories and still has the carbonation that you’re used to. Cutting out these extra calories and sugar can help you cut down on extra pounds. Switching to Kombucha isn’t even just cutting out a negative, you’re actively doing something positive for your health.
Now that I’ve convinced you that Kombucha is absolutely something you should add to your diet you’re wondering, where can I find it? While a short time ago you may have only been able to find this drink in small health stores and hip cafes, recently you’ll be able to find Kombucha in almost any of your local grocery stores. Many brands of Kombucha come in a glass bottle and are sold individually as well and in 6 packs. The drink can run between $3 – $5 per bottle depending on the location and quantity of your purchase. The industry and market for Kombucha is growing quickly so it will be even more accessible in the coming years. To those who have never tried Kombucha before, your body will thank you!
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