Kombucha’s reputation is well known in the beverage world, you can find it pretty much everywhere. The most popular form of distribution is on tap and can be found in grocery stores, coffee shops, corporate offices, yoga studios, homes, basically everywhere.
If you don’t already know by now, kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed by people for thousands of years. It has just three basic ingredients:
- black/green tea
How exactly is kombucha made?
The ingredients are mixed together then set aside for a week or more to ferment. During this fermentation process bacteria and acids form in the drink, along with a small amount of alcohol. The bacteria that form include lactic-acid bacteria, which can work as a probiotic.
What are kombucha’s presumed health benefits?
Kombucha is presumed to offer various health benefits:
- Boosts the immune system
- Helps in weight loss
- Protects against heart diseases
- Lowers blood pressure
- May help protect against cancer
So, how exactly can this fizzy, slightly alcoholic, popular beverage offer so many beneficial effects?
First of all, the probiotics found in kombucha provide your gut with healthy bacteria that help with digestion, reduce inflammation and even offer aid in weight loss.
Kombucha made from green tea is the healthiest version of it. It contains many of the same plant compounds as the tea and is thought to offer some of the same benefits.
Green tea contains many bioactive compounds such as polyphenols that act as powerful antioxidants in the body, fighting off free radicals that can damage the cells in the body. These compounds are also found in kombucha.
Kombucha shares green tea’s health benefits and can aid your body with different situations. It can:
- Increase the number of calories you burn to reduce fat
- Help with blood sugar control
- Reduce risk of prostate, breast and colon cancer
- Reduce liver toxicity
- Reduce risk of heart disease
Although kombucha can have so many health benefits, it can also negatively impact your body if it is not prepared properly so make sure that the source you procure it from is a reliable one.
Kombucha vs. Beer
Commercial kombucha teas contain less than 0.5% alcohol and are so labeled as non-alcoholic beverages.
However, homemade kombucha can have a concentration of 3% or even higher of alcohol. It is still lower than the concentration that most beers have.
The alcohol in kombucha will probably not get you drunk but the beverage is still a great, healthier alternative to beer if you are just looking for some refreshment on a hot sunny day.