Embracing the Kombucha Tea Trend

This fizzy, fermented drink is gaining in popularity.

Kombucha tea is good for your health.

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Kombucha tea is everywhere and its popularity is growing. While it is a relatively new beverage to Americans, it wasn’t sold in the US until 1995, kombucha has ancient roots in China that date back to 200 BCE, reported TheWashington Post.

But what makes this fizzy, fermented drink so popular? Used historically as a natural healing drink, kombucha tea has a host of health benefits ranging from supporting gut health to boosting immunity. That really is something to celebrate.

What is kombucha?

Before you indulge, you should know more about this fermented beverage that is made from tea and sugar. Kombucha is made using brewed tea, either black or green, reported Forbes. To prepare the tea a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is added to the tea and sugar. The mixture ferments for three to 60 days which produces the tart and bubbly beverage. Since making traditional kombucha is a complicated process, many people prefer to buy it ready-made.

Ethanol is one of the byproducts of the fermentation so all Kombucha contains at least a small amount of alcohol that is much less than the amount found in wine. But some Kombuchas are actually designed to be alcoholic beverages so make sure you read the labels and know what you are buying.

Also check the sugar content, since Kombucha can be sour tasting, many manufacturers add juice, more sugar, or artificial sweeteners, cautions The Washington Post. But kombucha contains less sugar than soda or iced tea so it is still a healthier choice.

A SCOBY used for making kombucha.

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Health Benefits of Kombucha

Many people drink kombucha because of its probiotic content. Like all fermented foods that include kefir, kimchi, and yogurt, kombucha contains what is known as good bacteria. This plays a role in both your digestive health as well as helping to boost your immunity.

“There’s general agreement that people should be eating more fermented foods because probiotics may help maintain the body’s microbiome, the collection of healthy bacteria that lives in our bodies and are important to health,” Amy Keating, a Consumer Reports nutritionist told The Washington Post.

Since kombucha contains the same benefits of the tea it is made from, the fizzy beverage is a good source of antioxidants (flavanols , catechins, and polyphenols). Antioxidants protect against cell damage that could lead to chronic health conditions like heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and some cancers.

Because kombucha is fermented, it produces biologically active acids, including acetic and glucuronic acids which could have antibacterial benefits that could help prevent or treat gastrointestinal infections like ulcers, according to Healthline.

With all these health benefits, its no wonder that people have been drinking kombucha tea for centuries. Now, these benefits are readily available in your local  supermarket.

Enjoying a healthy cup of kombucha tea.

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