If you follow popular health trends, you have probably heard of this popular drink called Kombucha. Like many health fads, people rave about the various health benefits of Kombucha but is Kombucha truly the all-powerful healing drink that people make it out to be?
To start, what even is Kombucha? In short, Kombucha is simply a fermented green or black tea that is combined with various ingredients such as sugar, yeast and bacteria. (Yes, you read that correctly, bacteria).
We figured out what it is, but why do people drink it? Many individuals claim that drinking Kombucha can: improved digestion, increase metabolism, build immunity, improve liver function, increase heart health and more.
Based on the research, Kombucha can contain some of these properties but it truly depends on the brand and how it is prepared. When fermented and processed correctly, most Kombucha tea’s will contain B Vitamins that help your body produce energy, Antioxidants that protect your cells, and Probiotics that are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you.
Researchers have found there to be little to no evidence to support the majority of these claims but there are things that you should be aware of that might do more damage than good. Since Kombucha is made through the process of fermentation, Kombucha can contain up to 5% of alcohol. Although 5% is not a lot, the design of this drink is not intended to be used for recreational purpose but is designed to be a beverage to be drank throughout the day without an age limit. In addition, there is not enough research to promote its benefit on digestion and the GI tract despite most brands prominent claims.
Since Kombucha contains live bacteria which is not beneficial for those who are pregnant, breast feeding or those who are immuno-compromised and because the bacteria are alive, it can foster the growth of bacteria such as E. Coli. Lastly, Kombucha is an extremely acidic beverage which can cause acid reflux along with damage the enamel of your teeth.
Although the probiotics and b vitamins are great, Kombucha does measure up to be the all in one saving drink. If you do enjoy the tea, I would be careful and mindful of the type and amount you consume, but do not rely on Kombucha to cure all diseases.
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