Living Tea: All About Kombucha

Let’s talk kombucha! Perhaps you’ve seen kombucha in the grocery store or have seen someone drinking it at a restaurant, maybe you have no idea what it is! Kombucha is one of my absolute favourite drinks in the entire world! This delicious fizzy beverage not only tastes great but is also chock full of incredible health benefits!

Kombucha is a yummy probiotic tea beverage that contains amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and polyphenols. Kombucha is made by fermenting tea with the help of our friendly SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). SCOBYs look like strange tan coloured, gelatinous frizbees that are a starter culture that turns plain tea and sugar into our carbonated kombucha beverage. SCOBYs are referred to as “the Mother” and after each new batch of kombucha, the SCOBY will regenerate and create a new “baby” SCOBY. Kombucha has been around for thousands of years, in fact kombucha tea’s origins are found in China in the 3rd century BC. A heck of a long time! Kombucha can be made from black, green or white tea (any tea from the camellia sinensis shrub), and is made by brewing tea with sugar, adding it to a large jar with a SCOBY and allowing the tea to ferment for a week or more.    IMG_0824

Kombucha is a probiotic drink, meaning it is full of beneficial bacteria that supports healthy digestion and a strong immune system! Kombucha is also full of glucuronic acid (GA) which binds to toxins in the body and transforms them into waste that can effectively be voided by the body; highly detoxifying! The antioxidant behaviour in kombucha tea is much higher than can be found in regular brewed tea! In fact, kombucha contains high levels of vitamins C and E, polyphenols and other carotenoids. Those high levels of vitamin C (over 100x the amount of vitamin C found in regular brewed tea) are extremely effective at strengthening your immunity! Those antioxidants fight against free-radical cell damage and inflammatory disease! That high vitamin and antioxidant content protects numerous tissues from toxicity such as the liver and kidneys and can prevent such ailments as kidney stones! Kombucha also contains a multitude of B vitamins, including folic acid, which helps prevent headaches, migraines and dizziness. Because kombucha is a tea it shouldn’t be a surprise that kombucha increases energy! Kombucha tea works to improve iron absorption in the body (low iron can make you groggy and is also the cause of anemia), boost the flow of oxygen to tissues and increase blood levels of hemoglobin (protein found in the blood that is in charge of carrying oxygenated blood from the lungs to body tissues and organs). Kombucha is also incredible for gut health! Kombucha protects both the lining of the gut and the mucin content of the stomach (a protein responsible for gel and lubricant-like functions in the body, for example; saliva), protecting the stomach from developing ulcers. Did you know that your gut is linked to your mental health? The kombucha probiotics helping our your stomach health will work their way to your head reducing feelings of anxiety and depression, lifting your mood! Kombucha has also been successful at lowering levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body, while systematically increasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL)! Not only that but kombucha has been associated with lowered cancer rates! It’s incredible! Kombucha can slow or prevent tumor growth at early stages of development due to it’s antibiotic properties and high content of glucuronic, acetic and lactic acids! Finally, kombucha can ease asthma, relieve arthritis pain, decrease blood sugar levels, balance the metabolism and combat infection! Not bad for a delicious fermented tea!

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Kombucha’s growing popularity means it is easier to access these benefits than ever! You can find kombucha in a wide variety of flavours and brands; my favourite flavour is Rise Kombucha’s Mint & Chlorophyll, it is extremely refreshing! When you’re looking for your favourite brand, you do want to find a kombucha that is organic and raw to get the most benefits! I drink kombucha several times a week and find that it can heal in an instant! Unfortunately, kombucha can be expensive so if you do not want to make it at home (I’m excited to tell you I have a post coming about that soon!), it can be a fun drink to indulge in on occasion. The fizzy taste works well as a substitute for soda and kombucha is special enough to enjoy if you are abstaining from alcohol! Though I have no problem drinking kombucha several times a week, there have been instances of people becoming sick after drinking kombucha. Because kombucha so effectively releases toxins from the liver, the body can react by getting overwhelmed and sick. If you don’t normally drink kombucha, it is recommended to start drinking slowly (once or twice a week) to allow to liver to rid of those toxins without flooding the body. However, once your body is used to it enjoy all the myriad of health benefits you will start to see immediately! I find that enjoying kombucha lifts my mood, re-energizes me and gets the digestive juices flowing! I love to treat myself to a kombucha with my after-yoga snack to reward myself for a tough practice and for making the right choices for my body, mind and my soul!

What is your favourite type of kombucha? Do you have a favourite brand or flavour? Do you make your own at home? Are you looking forward to my upcoming post about brewing your own kombucha? I can’t wait to hear from you!

Namaste.

(Note: I was not asked my Rise Kombucha or GTS Kombucha to make this post. I am not being compensated for this post and all yummy bottles of kombucha were purchased with my own money!)

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