Kombucha is my addiction right now. At first, it was just all right. A little fizzy, which was new to me because I’ve never been one to drink seltzer or sparkling water or any find of fizzy drink. But then I felt some of its effects, and now I’m totally in love. I’ve even got my husband hooked. I haven’t tried very many flavors yet, because I’m so hooked on GT’s Synergy Gingerberry. Seriously good.
Okay, so first let me tell you why I wanted to give it a try.
Good gut health. About the time that my grandmother had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her colon, I started paying more attention to that area of the body. Around the same time, I was learning about probiotics and fermented foods from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I was already adding yogurt to my smoothies for the probiotic benefits, but, besides that, they weren’t much a part of my regular diet. When I saw kombucha on sale in the fridge near the check-out at the grocery store, I decided to pick it up (side note: In my area, I’ve found Target has the best price on my favorite GT’s Synergy Organic Kombucha).
What is Kombucha?
It’s a drink that originated thousands of years ago in ancient China (or Russia?) and has become super trendy as of late. It’s fermented black or green tea (tastes nothing like tea!) in combination with sugar and a colony of bacteria.
Mmmmmm yum, bacteria…. just what you want to be sippin’ on, right? Well let me tell you why it’s good:
It’s good bacteria. Think of it as taking in a whole lotta tiny little “good guy” fighters to defend your body against the “bad guys” that are already living down there.
When your body is imbalanced with more bad bacteria than good bacteria (called dysbiosis), you suffer. Your microbiome is out of whack. Your immune system is weakened. You may have digestion or gastrointestinal issues, bloating, hormonal issues, acne, chronic fatigue… the list goes on. And on. What goes on in the gut affects everything.
Keep it in check. Change your gut, change your life.
Why Drink Kombucha? Here’s What I’ve Experienced:
It’s my afternoon cup of coffee replacement. If I need a pick me up, this is my go-to. It makes me feel so much more alive…. and maybe a little buzzed?! See notes below on how it does contain small amount of alcohol.
Maybe it’s because it just hits the spot? Or maybe it’s because of the energy boost? I don’t know what it is, but it works for me. When I have kombucha in the house, I am much less likely to need my nightly sugar fix.
Stronger immune system
Besides being loaded with the good gut bacteria, which defend the immune system on their own, kombucha is also loaded with antioxidants. Soooo it’s a double whammy. I’ve been able to escape a nasty summer cold and stomach bug that went down in my house earlier in the summer, and I do believe my kombucha habit helped me with that.
The benefits of kombucha extend far beyond what I’ve listed above, but these are the benefits that I have personally experienced. Others claim that kombucha has improved everything from bowel movements to arthritis to depression. I encourage you to try it for yourself and see what it can do for you. Do realize though that every body is different and people react differently to everything. You may try it and hate it. You may try it and love it. It’s bio-individuality.
A few more things you should know about kombucha:
It naturally contains a small amount of alcohol
The fermentation process naturally produces alcohol. A tiny amount of only 0.5% if sold in stores… an at home brew may have more. Many fermented foods, even very ripe fruits such as bananas contain trace amounts of alcohol naturally. It’s not enough to get you drunk, but it is enough for the bottle to have a label saying consult with a doctor before drinking if you are pregnant or nursing.
Some brands have more sugar than others
Kombucha is made with sugar. It has to have it for the fermentation process. However, for taste, some flavored kombuchas have more sugar than others. Check the label and aim for 2-6 grams of sugar per 8-ounces.
It’s acidic, so rinse you teeth after drinking
I try to be conscious of the enamel on my teeth… I want to keep it there for as long as possible. So, just like after drinking lemon water, soda, or any other acidic beverage, it’s a good idea to rinse or brush your teeth after drinking it.