We love Kombucha.
Kombucha - pronounced ‘Com-Boo-Cha', is not only delicious and refreshing, it is also packed with health benefits. In this week's blog, we share some insight on our favourite, trendy health drink.
WHAT IS KOMBUCHA?
Kombucha is a fermented concoction of water, tea (often black or green), sugar, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast - more commonly referred to as SCOBY. Kombucha is typically flavoured, this is done by adding seasonal fruits, herbs and flowers to add a delicious flavour to this healthy tonic.
The fermentation process can take anywhere from one week to one month. Sugar is required for kombucha fermentation, but don't worry, there are only trace amounts of it in the final product as the SCOBY eats most of the sugar during the process. During the fermentation process, the drink becomes naturally carbonated, resulting in a fizzy, refreshing beverage.
KOMBUCHA - THE HISTORY
The exact origin of kombucha seems to remain a mystery, but we do know that this beverage has been around for centuries - perhaps even longer. Many say the beverage originated in China, and that it was referred to as the “tea of immortality” and the “elixir of life”.
The name kombucha is said to have originated in Japan in the 5th century when Dr. Kombu brought the Japanese emperor the “elixir of life”. Combining the Doctor's name - Kombu, with the Japanese word for tea - ‘cha’, is how the word KOMBUCHA came to be.
Fermented foods (and drinks) are extremely good for overall health. All fermented foods go through a process of lacto-fermentation, which is where natural bacteria feed on starches and sugars in the food and create acetic acid. The benefits of lacto-fermentation are primarily nutrient preservation, enzyme production, and probiotics.
Good Bacteria vs. Bad Bacteria:
The fermentation process creates probiotics and acetic acid. Probiotics help line your gut with good bacteria and also restores healthy intestinal flora. The acetic acid and antioxidants help rid the body of bad bacteria and stabilize blood sugar levels. Good bacteria (found in kombucha) also helps improve digestion and reduce inflammation, and many people drink kombucha to help aid digestion.
Free radicals can come from external sources such as cigarette smoke, air pollutants, and x-ray machines. They roam within our bodies and have the ability to destroy healthy cells. Having too many free radicals in the body can lead to illness and other harmful diseases. Kombucha, made specifically with green tea, contains bioactive compounds that act as antioxidants. These help fight off free radicals and can help repair damage caused by those free radicals.Enzymes:
Enzymes help your body break down proteins and sugars that are difficult to digest. Having a balance of beneficial gut bacteria and adequate digestive enzymes helps the body absorb nutrients much easier, and can also aid digestion.
Kombucha is a staple at the withinUs office. Here are a few of our favourite brands:
We are always looking for new kombucha to try! What are some of your favourite kombucha flavours and brands?