Yes, I'm one of those nuts telling you to drink the vinegary Kool-aid everyone is slurping down after yoga (I know, I know…have it with a raw kale and quinoa salad…hold the mircogreens …kill me!) Although no FDA studies substantiate the health benefits of Kombucha, those of us who drink it know how much it aids in the function of our digestive and immune systems.
So what is it exactly? Kombucha is essentially sweet fermented tea. With no more alcohol content than what you’d find in a glass of fruit juice, yeast and good bacteria develop during the fermentation process. Probiotic nutrients unique to this process are what give Kombucha its “super food” status amongst the health nuts. I’ve written about the lack of digestive enzymes in our mass-produced food sources and the importance of supplementing them in our diets.Floating around in microscopic colonies of millions these Kombucha vitamins full of antioxidants help control free radicals determined to interrupt the digestive process. For this reason alone, I like to drink it with meals. I also love that it’s fizzy like soda but isn’t loaded with sugar (we’re talking anywhere from 3 to 7 grams of sugar in Kombucha compared to 40 to 50 grams in one can of a leading soda brand).
The immune system is boosted by the kick-start Kombucha gives your metabolism due to the cultured bacteria. The more good bacteria you have in your stomach the better your chances of fighting off viruses and other infections. Good bacterium is also anti-inflammatory. If you like tequila as much as I do, you’ve probably put your liver through hell. Turns out Kombucha helps cleanse the liver of toxins commonly associated with liver damage.
A fair warning: not all Kombucha out there is created equal. Some use too much sugar and haven’t perfected the science of the fermentation process. Be especially careful with home-brewed or “specially crafted” batches. It’s rare, but people have been known to get sick. Two brands that I absolutely love and highly recommend are GT’s Synergy and Health-Ade (Health-Ade takes a slight lead in the favorite department). Both brands produce incredible flavors with high quality raw organic ingredients that you can taste. Some of my favorite Synergy flavors include: “Cosmic Cranberry,” “Strawberry Serenity” and “Raspberry Rush.” Health-Ade offers a delicious selection including “Plum,” “Pink Lady Apple” and “Pomegranate.” When I have an upset stomach or I’m feeling under the weather I grab Heath-Ade’s “Ginger Lemon” or Synergy’s “Gingerberry.”Too many margaritas means downing coconut water and Health-Ade’s “Cayenne Cleanse” to get me back on track.
Though the medical association would never give it the official stamp of approval, and I would never recommend someone drinking it to cure their cancer, in my opinion, Kombucha is where medical journals meet holistic common sense. If it works for you and you feel a difference then stick with it! You’ll at least be cutting down your sugar intake, digesting your food better, and getting a boost in energy—placebo effect or not!