Kombucha- is it healthy and how much should you be consuming it?

I got my scoby from my mother three years ago and I have managed to keep it alive till today. I am consuming Kombucha on a regular basis, but more like once or twice a week not on a daily basis. I am sure majority of the people out there already know what is Kombucha, have tried it- some of them love it, some of them don't. It is a matter of taste, truly. In this blog, I will try and cover as much as possible all about Kombucha- it's health benefits, why you should be mindful not over-consuming it and how to make it.



What is Kombucha?

Known for over 2,000 years Kombucha is a fermented and cultured health drink. It's made from a bacterial culture, called SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), that creates probiotics and enzymes, black tea and sugar. Chinese call it Immortal Health Elixir. Following the fermentation process, Kombucha turns into carbonated drink, which contains probiotics, enzymes, vinegar, B-vitamins and acid. The fermentation process also produces lactic acid, which gives Kombucha its distinctly sour taste


What are the health benefits of Kombucha?

  • Promotes digestive health- it has detoxification and cleansing properties as it contains glucaric acid, probiotics, enzymes and amino acids , which all help to increase your energy levels, help with both cleanse within the body and support your body's detoxification processes. As you hopefully have learnt from my other posts, probiotics are involved in everything from immune function, nutrient absorption to mental health.

  • Great source of antioxidants as Kombucha is typically made with black tea (high in flavonoids) to promote immune support and fat loss. Glucaric acid is actually created during the process of fermentation.

  • Good of your body's ph balance and joint health as it contains glucosamines and hyaluronic acid

  • Supports mental health due to its content of B-vitamins (pyridoxine (B6), riboflavin (B2) , folate (B9), thiamine (B1), cobalamin (B12))

  • Fights bad bacteria as the live cultures in Kombucha can destroy bad bacteria that are responsible for infections in your body

  • Supports the management of diabetes, liver and kidneys if you are consuming low-sugar varieties.


How to make Kombucha at home?

It's very easy to make it. On the photo I have a 3l jar, which typically lasts for me over a month.


What you need:

  • A glass jar

  • A piece of cloth or coffee filter

  • Rubber band

  • 1 SCOBY disk- best source if you don't know if any of your friends have it, is to ask from your yoga teacher. It is possible to divide the SCOBY into smaller parts as it is layered and it produces baby SCOBY'S. But make sure it is given to you in a kombucha liquid as SCOBY requires it for fermentation (same as you make kefir over and over again, using a little bit from the previous batch to start the new kefir process again)

  • 3l of filtered or distilled water

  • 1/3 or 1/2 a cup of of organic raw cane sugar or raw honey

  • 1 1/2 tsp of black tea (people do make it from green tea as well, but it's a matter of preference. I like it more with black tea than with green tea).

  • 1 cup of pre-made kombucha


Directions:

  1. Bring water to boil and add sugar. Dissolve the sugar in the water

  2. Then add the black tea in a tea diffuser (make sure you use something you can close so the tea leaves don't leak into the liquid. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes. Remove the tea diffuser

  3. Let the liquid cool down to room temperature. Pour it into the jar

  4. Add the pre-made kombucha to the liquid

  5. Drop in thee SCOBY

  6. Cover it with a cloth or coffee filter and use a rubber band to close it. It's important that the air can pass through, therefore, don't use any thick cloth.

  7. Allow the final liquid to sit for 7-10 days in a warmer dark place. Depending whether you want more or less acid, you can start to consume it after 3-4 days or wait longer as then Kombucha becomes more acidy and develops also more taste.


How much should you be drinking Kombucha to see the health benefits?


Kombucha is fantastic for health if you consume it in moderation. Drinking it regularly is a great way of supporting your immune system on top of other things you do to keep your health strong. You don't need a lot to reap the benefits of Kombucha. If you haven't tried it before, I would start with couple of tablespoons every other day. I would not drink it more than half a glass a day and leave couple of days in between. It's best if you incorporate it as one of your sources of probiotics and opt for variety you get from different foods and drinks.


Side Effects

There are some kombucha precautions that you may want to consider.


Be sure to use sterile equipment when making Kombucha at home and opt for high quality ingredients.


Some people do experience allergic reactions, bloating, nausea when drinking Kombucha. Because Kombucha can be highly acidic, people with stomach ulcers, heartburn or generally sensitive to acidic foods should be cautious when consuming it.


People who are histamine intolerant should be mindful when drinking Kombucha, as it is fermented and fermented foods in general are increasing the histamine release in the body.


If you are suffering from candida overgrowth or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, it is better to avoid drinking Kombucha as the Kombucha does contain several strains of yeast. While some yeast are good for the body, others are not. And you don't know what yeast a particular Kombucha you are planning to drink contains.


Note: If you are buying Kombucha from a store, do check the sugar content in the nutrition facts. Remember 4g is 1tsp of sugar.


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