In case you hadn’t noticed, kombucha has officially arrived as the latest go-to health drink for nutrition enthusiasts and wellness gurus. Many claim the popular tea-based drink provides a string of health benefits, such as improved digestion, lower blood pressure and a boost in energy. Plus, it naturally contains a trace amount of alcohol and caffeine which for many, is reason enough to drink it.
I still remember the first time I spotted kombucha at Trader Joe’s and immediately went home and looked it up on the internet. Fermented tea that contains a combination of bacteria and yeast? My first reaction: No thanks. I mean, what could be more unappetizing than bacteria and yeast? But when I read about many of the health benefits of kombucha, I was intrigued enough to give it a try. And I was surprised to find that it could be delicious (depending on which flavor you choose and personal preference of how you drink it). Some find the fruity, vinegary flavor of kombucha to be an acquired taste, so if you’re sipping it for the first time, make it a point to sample a few different varieties before you entirely give up on it.
If you’ve been on the fence about trying kombucha, read this list of surprising health benefits:
Kombucha Contains Probiotics
Kombucha is made by introducing a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (also known as SCOBY) into brewed black or green tea, with sugar. The mixture is then left to ferment over a period of time. During the fermentation process, a large amount of probiotic bacteria is also produced. Probiotics are vital to good health as they provide the digestive system with the necessary ‘good’ bacteria to help function properly. Consuming adequate amounts of probiotics have been associated with improved digestion and enhanced performance of the immune system. Gut health is key to overall health, making kombucha a highly nutritious drink.
Kombucha Is a Good Source of Antioxidants
Because black and green tea contain high amounts of antioxidants, it comes as no surprise that kombucha, too, contains high amounts of antioxidants. Kombucha brewed from green tea will have a higher concentrations of antioxidants from the polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals and protect the cells from damage.
Kombucha is a Source of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 may benefit your body in important ways, such as by boosting your energy, improving your memory and helping prevent heart disease. It is also said to help with mood disorders such as depression and supports healthy skin, hair, and nails.
The most common dietary sources of Vitamin B12 comes from animal-based foods such as meat, milk, eggs, fish, and shellfish. However, Vitamin B12 is synthesized by bacteria, which means that fermented foods like Kombucha are great plant-based sources of Vitamin B12. This is particularly helpful to those who eat a plant-based diet, like vegetarians and vegans.
Kombucha Contains Glucosamine
Glucosamine is a natural compound that plays a vital role in building and maintaining cartilage in the body. Glucuronic acid, a compound found in brewed kombucha, can be converted by the body into glucosamine. Studies show that glucosamine may produce a gradual and progressive reduction in joint pain and tenderness. Consuming kombucha can help to supply the body with glucosamine, which helps keep joints strong and may help ease joint pain.
Have you tried Kombucha yet? What are your thoughts?