When it comes to finding simple ways to enrich your health, it doesn’t get much better, or easier than enjoying kombucha.
Kombucha is a form of fermented tea has been used as a gut health tonic for over 2,000 years. And today, it’s refreshing taste and health benefits have sparked a movement of Kombucha-conscious fans who buy it regularly from fresh food markets or even DIY prepare it themselves at home.
Because Kombucha is a naturally fermented tonic or drink, it is very rich in probiotics. This means when you consume kombucha, you feed and replenish the good bacteria in your gut which has many important health benefits, from boosting your immunity, to healthy digestion and glowing skin.
So, if you're ready to support your daily health in a refreshing and natural way, here we share with you five good reasons to drink kombucha, and if your adventurous, how to make your own.
What Is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea-like drink made by placing a mixture of live cultures and yeast into sweetened black or green tea.
The live cultures or bacteria digest the sweetened tea and produce healthy byproducts such as acetic acid, which are fantastic for gut health and the digestive system.
Next, sugar is added; NO this doesn't mean refined white sugar. It means either, pure unrefined cane sugar, raw organic honey or even ripe whole fruit as a natural sweetener.
Additional flavours in the form of certain herbs or spices are also commonly added for extra zest.
The final step is the fermentation process.
The fermentation period usually ranges from one week to one month, resulting in a delightful, fizzy tonic or drink that you can enjoy to support your health and wellbeing.
Health Benefits Of Kombucha
It's hard to find reasons why you shouldn't drink kombucha because there are so many healthy reasons why it should be in your weekly diet.
Remember, the practice of preparing and enjoying kombucha as a health tonic is over 2,000 years old, so whilst it may seem trendy with such a wide variety of colourful brands on market shelves these days, it is definitely not new.
Here are 5 healthy reasons to include kombucha in your diet and as part of your self care routine.
1. Gut Health Support
The fermentation process unlocks a wealth of nutritional benefits that kombucha is known for - most notably probiotics (the live cultures that provide healthy bacteria for your gut), as well as high quality amino acids and enzymes.
Probiotics: Your gut is comprised of both good and bad bacteria, so robust gut health depends on ensuring that the colonies of good outweigh the bad.
Drinking kombucha is a great way to boost the good bacteria in your gut which helps to support healthy digestion and strong immunity so that you're more resistant to sickness and disease.
Learn more in Probiotics: Health Benefits & 7 Powerful Food Sources.
Amino Acids: These are the building blocks of protein which support all round body strength and function. 9 of the 20 amino acids found in the body are considered "essential" amino acids that can't actually be made by the body itself, meaning they need to be derived from food or supplementation. Drinking kombucha is one very healthy way to receive a boost of essential amino acids.
Enzymes: These are crucial for maintaining healthy digestion. They help to breakdown food and convert it into molecules that can be used by the body, such as turning carbs into sugar, to support different bodily functions.
As a gut health aid, kombucha is a very useful food-based tonic for you to consume.
2. Enhance Your Mood
The gut-brain connection is one that has a big impact on your mood.
This means if your stomach is out of sorts your mental and emotional state may suffer.
This is why many health experts refer to the GUT as our "second brain". It's because the gut controls so many vital functions of the body it is regarded as 'next in line' only to the brain in terms of importance.
So, if you want to improve your mood and your focus, kombucha can be a helpful tool because of the way it stabilises your gut health.
Other key active ingredients found in kombucha worth noting here are Vitamins B and C.
B vitamins are instrumental in providing you with extra energy, balancing your moods, reducing depression and improving your ability to focus.
Vitamin C reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which can help make it easier to manage your moods. Interestingly, some of the best foods for feeding your emotions are yellow and orange whole foods, which are also the richest in Vitamin C.
3. Help Repel Stomach Bugs
One of the key ingredients found in kombucha is the same as that in apple cider vinegar, acetic acid.
For more on apple cider vinegar and its health benefits, read our blog Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits And Healing Powers.
Acetic acid is a byproduct of fermentation and holds antibacterial properties that are very effective for warding off 'bad bacteria' and yeasts that can cause stomach bugs, viruses and discomforts.
Kombucha's antimicrobial properties helps tackle unwanted bacteria, leaving the 'good' strains of bacteria alone so they can continue to populate your gut flora in peace and do their job of protecting you from threats.
This all means that particularly in times of seasonal colds, flu and viruses, one of the best ways to give yourself a daily or weekly immunity boost is by drinking kombucha.
4. Cleanse & Detoxify Your Body
Anything you can do to help cleanse and detoxify your body regularly is a good thing for avoiding sickness and maintaining overall wellbeing.
Kombucha contains organic acids like glucuronic acid that traps or binds toxins so that they can be eliminated from the body through digestion.
When you support your body to cleanse it self and remove toxins, you greatly reduce the stresses on your immune system, which means you'll be more resistant to disease and you'll have more energy.
This is why incorporating simple tonics like Kombucha into your every day diet is an important and simple way to support this process.
Of course, there are times where you may choose to do a more designated or intense cleanse for a few days without food.
This is where some form of fasting or a fibre/clay cleanse like our Cleanse Me Natural Colon Cleanse can help which you'll find in your store at tolmanselfcare.com
How To Make Your Own Kombucha Tea
If you have the time and interest to make your own wholesome Kombucha tonic at home, here's what you'll need:
- A large glass jar or bowl
- A piece of woven cloth or coffee filter and an elastic band
- 1 active SCOBY disk (SCOBY stands for: Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, which is the "mother" that you use for every batch of kombucha you make. You can purchase SCOBY packs at your local health food store)
- 8 cups of filtered water
- ½ cup of your choice of natural sweetener (cane sugar or raw organic honey)
- 4 tea bags of organic black or green tea
- 1 cup of pre-made or pre-purchased kombucha from your local store
- Glass Mason Jars or Bottles
- Bring the water to boil on a stovetop. Once the water has boiled, remove from heat and add ½ cup of cane sugar or honey, lightly stir until dissolved. Drop in the 4 tea bags and allow to steep or soak in the water until cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, the liquid may take up to a couple of hours to cool. To speed the process up, place the pot in a large bowl filled with ice.
- Remove the tea bags and discard, then stir in 1 cup of pre-made or pre-purchased kombucha. This starter liquid quickly makes the mixture acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from appearing in the first few days of fermentation process.
- Transfer the mixture into large glass bottles that can hold at least 1 litre of liquid and add one SCOBY per jar
- Cover the mixture with your cloth or paper towels and secure taut with a rubber band
- Store the jars out of direct sunlight at room temperature for 7-10 days in a place where they won't be disrupted or moved. Check on the jars periodically
- It is not unusual to notice the scoby float to the top or bottom of the jar, or for an additional layer of scoby to form on the surface. You may also see sediment collect at the bottom which is a normal sign of healthy fermentation
- After 7 days, each day pour a little liquid into a cup to taste. When it reaches a balance between tartness and sweetness it is ready to bottle
- Before bottling your kombucha, with clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the mixture and place it onto a clean plate
- Pour the fermented kombucha through a small funnel and strainer into smaller glass mason jars or bottles. Add any optional pieces of fruit or herbs into the bottle, leaving about half an inch of space at the top before placing the lid on the jar
- Now place your bottles of kombucha out of direct sunlight at room temperature and allow 1-3 days to carbonate before you refrigerate
- Place the bottles into the refrigerator and consume within one month.
The Main Take Away
For every day gut health and immunity support, one of the best natural foods or products to include in your diet is Kombucha.
Kombucha is readily available in major supermarkets and local health food stores and can be enjoyed as a pre-meal tonic or as a refreshing drink as part of your healthy lifestyle.
And of course, if you have the time and desire to experiment, you can DIY make your own amazing Kombucha at home!
Besides the health benefits, Kombucha is also refreshing, tastes great and every time you take a sip, you'll know you're doing that little something extra for your overall health and wellbeing.
Tolman Self Care.