Kombucha has been around for over 2,000 years, but recently it has captured a lot of attention. The grocery stores are stocked with many different varieties and brands, there are kits available to brew your own Kombucha from home, and you are seeing it on many restaurant menus and in trendy social spots. Kombucha is rich in vitamins and nutrients, resulting in some valuable health benefits. However, Kombucha is not the cheapest drink on the grocery store shelf so many are turning to home brewing. If you have never brewed before, it can be a bit overwhelming to think about, but it is actually so easy! Below we will discuss 5 Kombucha health benefits and I will show you just how easy it is to brew your own, in a step by step video tutorial.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from bacteria and yeast, mixed with black or green tea, and sugar. The tea goes through a fermentation process with the help of a SCOBY, which we will talk about below. The fermentation process results in a drink filled with rich vitamins, enzymes, probiotics, and acids.
What is a SCOBY?
SCOBY is short for: Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. It is essentially responsible for turning the black or green tea into a probiotic beverage due to its collection of microbes. A SCOBY is shaped like a rubbery disc that covers the surface of the brewing liquid, sealing it from the air. If taken care of properly, a SCOBY can last for many years. In addition, you can separate a layer of SCOBY to give to someone, and they can brew their own Kombucha from this SCOBY.
Kombucha Health Benefits
If you talk with a Kombucha drinker, you will hear them say there are so many Kombucha health benefits. However, if you google the health benefits of Kombucha, you won’t find too much information to support these claims. Many articles come to the conclusion that there has not been enough research to prove that Kombucha is the magic, cure all drink that some perceive it to be. Sure, the research has not been done to back Kombucha health benefits, but given the immense amount of rich ingredients contained in the tea, there is no question that it is beneficial for your health. Below are just a few health benefits of Kombucha soley based on the nutrients it contains:
1. Supports a Healthy Gut
Our gut can be very unbalanced due to a variety of reasons. Because Kombucha contains probiotics, numerous enzymes, and beneficial acids, it aids in keeping the gut balanced.
2. Promotes Healthy Liver and Kidney Function
Kombucha contains phytonutrients that have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that these properties promote healthy liver and kidney function, and reduce diabetic complications. (1)
3. Immune Boost
Kombucha is high in antioxidants and is very supportive of the immune system. It contains a compound called, D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone which has amazing antioxidant properties and benefits. DSL has been specifically identified as beneficial for cellular detoxification. (2)
4. May Improve Mental Health
Kombucha contains B vitamins. B12 vitamins in particular are known to increase energy levels and contribute to your overall mental well-being. It’s high vitamin B12 content is one reason supplements sometimes contain dry Kombucha products. (3)
5. Healthier Alternative to Soda
Kombucha is a great alternative to sugar loaded drinks like soda. Unlike soda, Kombucha is naturally carbonated. Meaning, the secondary fermentation process (flavoring stage) naturally produces bubbles and carbonation. We all crave a fizzy drink at times. Kombucha is a healthy option to cure these cravings. Although Kombucha contains sugar, the sugar is used to help create beneficial bacteria and most of it is consumed in the fermentation process.
What Does Kombucha Taste Like?
Kombucha has a sweet and tangy flavor. Depending on the brand and home brew, it can take on various flavors. If you are brewing at home, it is fun to put in some fruit or herbs which will give the flavor a unique taste.
Where To Get Kombucha
Most grocery stores now carry Kombucha. Popular brands like GT’s, have been around for quite a long time and have a respected name. The drink is also now being offered on many restaurant menus and there are actually Kombucha bars and cafes popping up around the country.
Making Your Own Kombucha
Buying Kombucha can be expensive. The average price is $3.50-$5.00 per bottle. Because of this, it is not something that many buy on a regular basis as their drink of choice for the week. Instead, brewing homemade Kombucha is gaining in popularity. There are numerous kits available today that make it easy to brew your own, for a fraction of the price.
There are some precautions you will want to take if you choose to brew your own Kombucha.
- Be sure you buy a kit from a reputable company that provides a quality SCOBY.
- Carefully sanitize all equipment before using to avoid harmful bacteria or mold growth. Do not use soap to clean out jars, simply use hot water and a small amount of vinegar (if needed).
- Kombucha contains a very small amount of alcohol, usually around 0.5% or less, which is similar to an over-ripe banana, just to give you some perspective. Although this is by no means a significant amount of alcohol, it is still important to be aware of.
Where to Buy a Kombucha Kit:
There are endless options online when looking to buy a starter kit. They range in price from very affordable, to quite pricey. I suggest finding a reputable company that is not too expensive, as a kit really should not cost too much. I recommend buying your kit from YeaBucha. They provide a high-quality SCOBY and everything you need to get started from the 1 gallon brew jar all the way down to a journal for keeping track of your brew. To get more information on YeaBucha, you can visit their website at: www.YEABUCHA.com.
How to Make Your Own Kombucha:
Brewing your own Kombucha may sound intimidating, but it is actually very easy to do. After I received my kit, a seasoned Kombucha brewer friend of mine came over and helped me get my first batch started. To show you just how easy it is, we filmed it, and I’d like to share it with you.
This is a 2-part video.
- Part 1: I received my kit from YeaBucha, and we are going to make our first batch
- Part 2: My Kombucha has fermented all week and now it is time to flavor it and start my second batch
Final Thoughts on Kombucha
This post took me quite awhile to research and write. I expected to find endless amounts of research backing up Kombucha health benefits, but this wasn’t the case. Not because it has no health benefits, but simply because the research hasn’t been done yet. Do I think there is a trendiness to Kombucha right now? Yes. Do I think Kombucha is here to stay because it really is great, and someday the research will back it up? YES! I am sure I will be updating this post in years to come as further research and statistical information presents itself. In the meantime, I will conclude by saying, Kombucha is a tasty, naturally carbonated drink, filled with so many beneficial ingredients that may result in amazing healthy benefits for you. So, for this reason alone, I say goodbye to fake carbonated, sugar loaded drinks, and bring on the Kombucha!