10 Benefits of Kombucha

By tallene
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Kombucha is a sweet carbonated drink made from yeast, sugar, and fermented green or black tea. The process of fermenting tea for kombucha uses a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, known as SCOBY. During the fermentation process, the SCOBY yeast breaks down the sugars and releases beneficial probiotic bacteria. After fermentation, kombucha becomes naturally carbonated, resulting in a fizzy drink.

Kombucha Benefit #1: Mental Health

There are strong links between depression and inflammation. Therefore, it is believed that the anti-inflammatory nature of kombucha may alleviate some symptoms of depression for an increased mental state. Gut health can also have a strong influence on brain health. This connection is known as the Gut-Brain Axis as the communication between the two affects health and wellbeing.

Through this system, a vicious cycle of problems starting from the gut can trigger neurological symptoms in the brain which can result in further gut aggravation. Altering the gut microbiome can treat mental conditions. Kombucha has the solution to this problem by providing probiotics that can help regulate gut health, thereby alleviating mental health.


Kombucha Benefit #2: Heart Health

One great benefit associated with kombucha is heart health. When measuring the risk for heart disease, medical professionals look at cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Having high HDL cholesterol and low triglycerides results in a lower risk for heart disease.

Although cholesterol and triglyceride levels are influenced by lifestyle habits, diet, exercise, weight, and inflammation, drinking kombucha regularly has been shown to protect the heart and regulate these disease markers. Studies have found that drinking kombucha helps regulate cholesterol levels by increasing HDL and decreasing LDL, the cholesterol linked with heart diseases. Additionally, kombucha lowers blood triglyceride levels.

Kombucha Benefit #3: Antibacterial

Considering how kombucha is made, calling it antibacterial may seem counterintuitive. The bacteria found in kombucha are probiotic, not harmful pathogenic bacteria. These live cultures, provided by the SCOBY, have shown to destroy the bad bacteria responsible for infectious diseases.

In studies, kombucha proved antibacterial against staph, Campylobacter jejuni, E. coli, H. pylori, and two strains of Salmonella, as well as other commonly indicated bacteria in foodborne illnesses. Another antibacterial component in kombucha is acetic acid, created during fermentation. Acetic acid has a wide antimicrobial spectrum, allowing it to antiseptically kill many potentially harmful bacteria.


Kombucha Benefit #4: Liver Health

Since the role of the liver is to filter and convert harmful compounds, a healthy liver is vital for digestion and overall health. While the liver is good at naturally removing toxins from the body, consuming antioxidants, such as those found in kombucha, protect the liver from oxidative damage.

Kombucha is high in glucaric acid, which aids in detoxing the liver so that the liver can focus on detoxing the rest of your body. Some studies have shown a decrease of toxins in the liver after drinking kombucha, especially when made from green tea. This suggests that kombucha plays a significant role in reducing liver inflammation and improving liver health.

Kombucha Benefit #5: Candida Treatment

Drinking kombucha can help restore balance in a candida filled gut. The key concept of kombucha treatment is understanding that kombucha contains beneficial yeast, rather than pathogenic ones like candida. As good bacteria repopulate the gut, candida yeast is crowded out of the digestive system with live cultures. This promotes healing.

Initially, the drink may cause a temporary flare up of symptoms as there is an increase of microorganisms added into the GI tract. This occurs as the beneficial yeast and probiotics begin to rebalance the gut environment and remove candida yeast out of the system. For the best results, drink kombucha with minimal amounts of sugar.


Kombucha Benefit #6: Gut Health

Due to the tea fermentation process with SCOBY, kombucha is rich in probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and yeast, found in fermented foods, that aid in digestion. Consuming probiotic bacteria can improve overall gut health. Unlike supplementing probiotics through a pill, which can allow stomach acid to kill bacteria before it reaches the intestines, kombucha helps deliver the probiotics directly to the colon.

When your gut is healthy, beneficial bacteria flourishes, supporting your immune system. A healthy gut is a happy gut, leading to healthy regular bowel movements without gas and bloating.

Kombucha Benefit #7: Antioxidants

Polyphenols are the main antioxidants in tea. There is evidence supporting the role of polyphenols in disease prevention through fighting free radicals and oxidative damage. After fermentation, kombucha also contains bioavailable antioxidants vitamins E and C.

Vitamin C significantly helps produce collagen, thereby rejuvenating the health and appearance of the skin. The vitamin C from kombucha can help fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture. On the other hand, a low intake of vitamin C can lead to wrinkles, aging skin, blemishes, and other adverse health effects of the skin.


Kombucha Benefit #8: Diabetes Management

This may seem a little bit far-fetched considering that kombucha is made with a sweetened tea. However, animal studies suggest that kombucha may be helpful in diabetes two management. Kombucha helps with regulating blood sugar and slowing down carb digestion, which in turn reduces blood sugar levels.

Scientists believe that altering gut bacteria can affect the uptake of carbs, thereby controlling blood sugar. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the US, so it is understandable that with so many people affected, looking for alternative treatment is desirable. If you decide to look at kombucha as a way to regulate your blood sugar, consult with your doctor.

Kombucha Benefit #9: Arthritis

Another component of properly brewed kombucha is the presence of glucosamines, making kombucha anti-inflammatory. Glucosamines help keep cartilage, the soft tissue that cushions bones at the joints, and joints healthy. Over time, natural glucosamine levels drop, leading to a gradual breakdown of joints with aging.

Approximately 51% of regular kombucha drinkers report relief from joint pain, especially in the knees. The relief from arthritic pain and inflammation has been compared to NSAIDs. Other joint issues such as gout have also reportedly improved through drinking kombucha.

Kombucha Benefit #10: B Vitamins

The nutritional profile of kombucha goes beyond probiotics and antioxidants to include vitamins B1 (thiamin), B6, and B12. The water-soluble B vitamins work together to regulate important bodily functions in the cardiovascular system, endocrine system, and digestive system. Thiamine is used to digest and extract energy from food by turning nutrients into usable energy.

Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions, mostly concerning protein metabolism. Consuming too much vitamin B6 from food does not seem to have a negative effect in the body, whereas having a deficiency can result in anemia, weakened immune system, depression, and confusion. Vitamin B12 is necessary for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Drinking kombucha provides your body with these three nutrients and more.


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