What Is Kombucha Said To Do
The drinks are promoted as improving digestion and diabetes, strengthening the immune system, reducing blood pressure and being detoxifying. Proponents also contend kombucha helps rheumatism, gout, hemorrhoids, nervousness and liver function and fights cancer.
I think theres a health halo around kombucha, said Howard Telford, head of soft drinks researchfor Euromonitor International, a global market research provider. Advertised as probiotic, the drink taps into interest in the microbiome, and how our diets can affect the microbial communities in our gut, and even our emotions. Eating foods rich in probiotics is thought by some to increase ones good bacteria and balance out the bad.
The Probiotic Power Of Kombucha
How probiotics really play a role in your gut microbiome.
Whenever Ive had to take antibiotics, Ive always had a little voice in the back of our head, probably my mother honestly, reminding me to eat some yogurt. This is because the antibiotics were killing all the bacteria in my gastrointestinal tract and to bring back some beneficial bacteria into our gut microbiome and help my immunity, I needed to bring in some new bacteria, more specifically probiotics. Warning: there will be more mentions of the GIT in this article.
I first started learning more about probiotics when I began producing Kombucha about 2 years ago. I love how these microorganisms can extend the life of so many foods while modifying the food product to give so much more flavour. Anecdotally, I believe there might be benefits from probiotics: reduction of bloating, curing hangovers. On the other hand there are many other benefits that companies claim, such as: improving gut health, digestion and immunity.
Kombucha May Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects over 300 million people worldwide. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
A study in diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbs, which reduced blood sugar levels. It also improved liver and kidney function .
Kombucha made from green tea is likely to be even more beneficial, as green tea itself has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels .
In fact, a review study of almost 300,000 individuals found that green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic (
Further human studies are needed to investigate the benefits of kombucha for blood sugar control.
Summary Kombucha improved several markers of diabetes in rats, including blood sugar levels.
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What Are Probiotics And Prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics can be foods, ingredients, supplements, products, and more that contain or support microorganisms, most often beneficial that may impact our microbiome, impacting our overall health .Typically, manufacturers design prebiotic and probiotic products to encourage beneficial bacterial growth that supports our microbiome.
Are Prebiotic And Probiotic Supplements Healthy And Safe To Use
As with all supplements, the quality of the supplement varies significantly between manufacturers. Additionally, prebiotic and probiotic supplements may be unnecessary unless recommended by a healthcare provider .
Suppose you need to take prebiotic or probiotic supplements. In that case, its important to go with a third-party laboratory-verified supplement to ensure youre getting a supplement free from contamination that contains the advertised ingredients. Its especially important for infant and children supplements as theyre more vulnerable to variations in product quality .
Many laboratories verify supplements, including NSF International, US Pharmacopeia, Consumer Lab, and more. Verified products will contain a label on the product informing you of the laboratory.
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Kombucha Vs Probiotics: Why Do We Need Them
A long time ago, the human diet was very different. We didnt eat much sugar or processed foods. We were living in a pre-industrial age where our environmental conditions were very different. In those days, our gut flora was balanced, and it kept our bodies healthy and strong.
These days, we eat processed foods, breathe polluted air, drink bottled water, and take antibiotics to treat diseases. Some of these things are convenient and make modern life a little safer, but theyre not always great for our gut flora.
Although antibiotics can prevent infection, they can also cause absolute chaos in your gut. After just one bout of strep throat treated with antibiotics, good bacteria can be wiped out, while harmful bacteria, and even fungal infections like thrush, can flourish. And it may take months or even years to get things back in balance naturally.
As the gut is considered the bodys second brain, a gut flora imbalance can do so much more than just make us physically unwell. It may have a profound impact on your mental health and wellbeing too so its more important than ever to keep everything balanced and in sync.
Kombucha Can Help Halt That Crazy Blood Sugar Roller Coaster
Frequent spikes and dips in blood sugar a result of eating refined carbs like doughnuts or pasta in the absence of fiber or protein can seriously eff with your mood and trigger sugar cravings, especially if you have type 2 diabetes.
Kombucha helps tame the blood sugar beast. One study on rats with diabetes found that kombucha helped slow the digestion of carbs, which lowered blood sugar. It also seemed to improve the function of the liver and kidneys two organs affected when blood sugar is out of whack.
One potential reason: Kombucha contains acetic acid, a byproduct of fermentation, which has been shown to successfully lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
Bonus points for kombucha made with green tea! The main catechin antioxidant in green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate can influence the way glucose is absorbed by the body.
One research review found that green tea drinkers consuming 3 to 4 cups per day have an 18 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
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What Is Gut Dysbiosis
Gut dysbiosis is an imbalance of microbes and may be associated with weight gain. Specifically, gut dysbiosis is caused by an imbalance of typical populations of bacteria found in the digestive system.
When your good bacteria levels are decreased, the harmful bacterial levels become disproportionally high. This is a common occurrence after taking antibiotics or periods of intense stress.
Kombucha Vs Probiotics: Ease Of Use
On the ease of use front, it does depend what kind of commercial probiotic you get. Some are in pill form, which means you can pop one in the morning and leave it at that. Others are in powder form that you add to water or juice, making them harder to consume and requiring a little more effort.
When you drink kombucha, its just a matter of unscrewing the cap and enjoying a cold beverage.
So, on the ease of use front, most commercial probiotics and kombucha score about even. Related: Is There A Best Time Of Day To Drink Kombucha?
Kombucha Is A Potential Source Of Probiotics
Kombucha is thought to originate in China or Japan.
Its made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar to black or green tea, then allowing it to ferment for a week or more .
During this process, bacteria and yeast form a mushroom-like film on the surface of the liquid. This is why kombucha is also known as mushroom tea.
This blob is a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or a SCOBY, and can be used to ferment new kombucha.
The fermentation process produces acetic acid and several other acidic compounds, trace levels of alcohol and gases that make it carbonated .
A large amount of bacteria also grow in the mixture. Although there is still no evidence for the probiotic benefits of kombucha, it contains several species of lactic-acid bacteria which may have probiotic function. .
Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss.
For this reason, adding beverages like kombucha to your diet might improve your health in many ways.
Summary Kombucha is a type of tea that has been fermented. This makes it a good source of probiotics, which have many health benefits.
Are Prebiotic And Probiotic Foods And Beverages Healthy And Safe
As long as you are not allergic to foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics, they are healthy and safe for you to consume as part of a balanced diet. While probiotic foods are safe for adults, children, especially infants, are vulnerable to potential pathogens found in unpasteurized fermented foods. So, its best to talk with your childs doctor before serving young children unpasteurized fermented foods like homemade kombucha tea.
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Does Kombucha Have Caffeine
Kombucha usually contains a bit of caffeine , but the amount is small when compared to coffee, tea, soda and other popular caffeinated beverages. Typically, about one-third of the teas caffeine remains after its been fermented, which is about 10 to 25 milligrams per serving for black tea, says Colleen Chiariello, chief clinical dietitian in the department of food and nutrition at Syosset Hospital in New York. This is generally not enough caffeine to have an impact on most people, but the response can vary from person to person.
The Gut Microbiome And Probiotic And Prebiotic Qualities Of Lewtress Hi Potency Kombucha
The gut microbiome is collectively a vast number of organisms such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses and protozoans that live in our digestive system. Scientists are increasingly treating the microbiome as an organ in its own right. A well balanced microbiome is essential for bodily health.
Modern day diets which include highly processed foods and excessive sugar, along with the routine use of antibiotics, can cause an imbalance between healthy and unhealthy gut flora. When unhealthy organisms , get the upper hand, our health can suffer in many ways.
Kombucha is a symbiotic, which means that it contains probiotic bacteria and prebiotic plant chemical polyphenols.
Probiotic means bacteria which your gut uses in a beneficial way to promote good digestive health and balance.
Prebiotic foods are high in special types of fibre and work with probiotics to increase the friendly bacteria in the gut microbiome.
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There’s A Pasteurization Conundrum
Kombuchas probiotics can also come with a downside. Thats because some kinds of the drink are unpasteurized and thus, you run the risk of a seriously upset stomach, says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. Or worse: “Without pasteurization, you run the risk of harmful microorganisms taking over and causing serious problems, including food poisoning,” says Ryan Andrews, RD, a fitness and nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition.
But heres the thing in order to reap kombuchas probiotics benefits, the drink likely needs to be unpasteurized. “Pasteurization kills off both harmful and helpful bacteria, so any potential beneficial probiotics would be gone as well,” Andrews explains.
What Is Kombucha
The first thing we should probably clarify is what exactly kombucha is.
Kombucha is a naturally fermented drink made from tea and various herbs, spices, and botanicals.
Like other naturally fermented products, kombucha takes a little time to go from its raw state to the drink you might buy in a store, and the magic is in the fermentation.
Natural yeast occurs everywhere, and when it finds its way into foods and drinks , it transforms them, creating remarkable, healthy bacteria known as probiotics. Theyre the same sort of bacteria you find in foods like yogurt, and theyre immensely beneficial to our gut health.
Of course, because kombucha and similar foods and drinks are fermented, they must be made under the strictest possible health conditions, with a meticulous eye for quality and food safety. So, while good kombucha is one of the healthiest drinks you can choose, you should only buy your kombucha from a reputable source that complies with all health regulations.
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Can I Buy Ready
You can also buy ready-made bottled kombucha tea, which is increasingly available in health food stores across the United States. Those, which are unpasteurized will contain live probiotic bacteriaand beneficial yeasts.
Commercial kombucha tea is often flavored with fruit such as strawberry, passion fruit, mango or guava. One of the most available brands in the USA is GTs Kombucha, producers of Raw Organic Kombucha as well as Synergy Organic and Raw Kombucha.
Recipes Of Tantalising Flavoursome Kombucha Drinks Which Are A Must
1. Lemony Ginger Ale Kombucha
This super citric dulcified fizzy Kombucha is a perfect beat-the-heat beverage. It is an easy-to-prepare zingy summer drink which requires lemons or grapefruits, ginger and some freshly fermented Kombucha. The ingredients are to be put together in a close tight jar and cultured for about a week at least.
2. Coffee Kombucha
3. Fruit Punch Kombucha
We all love the delightful refreshing essence of fruits and its benefits are unknown to everyone. So, why not add some fruits in your favourite cup of Kombucha to not just add some freshness but also to double its health benefits.
4. Cinnamon Apple Kombucha
The aromatic blend of cinnamon and the thin slices of apple add a distinct flavour to the flavoursome Kombucha drink.
5. Berry Kombucha
Sweet and fresh berries add a light fruity flavour to Kombucha, making it a delectable refreshing summer drink. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries etc. can be added to the Kombucha drink to add a distinctly delightful taste.
6. Green Kombucha
This is a must-try for the fitness freaks. Adding a daily dose of leafy greens like celery, seagrasses etc. in their favourite cup of Kombucha tea makes it a perfect detox drink for them. So what are you waiting for? Just go green to get lean!’
7. Green Tea Kombucha
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Kombucha Vs Probiotics: Added Benefits
Most commercial probiotic products are one-trick ponies. Even the good ones are designed to do one thing only: they deliver probiotic bacteria to your gut to boost and balance gut flora.
Natural probiotics like kombucha, kimchi, kefir and sauerkraut offer added benefits too.
Some, like kombucha, might contain large amounts of other healthy phytochemicals, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Others, like sauerkraut and kimchi, also contain fiber, another essential ingredient in gut health.
Natural probiotics like kombucha are also great ingredients in the kitchen, whether its as a component in your favorite smoothie or as a healthy condiment in the case of kimchi and sauerkraut. The natural acidity and tartness of fermented foods can add a fresh dimension to your cooking.
Which Is Better Yogurt Or Probiotics
The amount ofbacteria in the product, the variety of strains, whether they survive passage through your stomach, how live thebacteria are, and many other factors all affect the amount ofbacteria in the product. In most cases, yogurt is not as effective as a supplement for providing the health benefits you need.
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Potential Source Of Probiotics
Fermented foods such as yogurts, sauerkraut and kefir all contain live micro-organisms. As kombucha is the product of fermentation, a number of probiotic microbes are produced. At specific concentrations, these probiotic bacteria can help to balance levels of bacteria in the gut and improve digestion. However, to date, there have not been enough studies to confirm whether kombucha contains adequate amounts of these beneficial bacteria to be deemed an effective probiotic. Furthermore, amounts and strains of probiotic microbes will vary depending on differing factors, including how the kombucha is made and its fermentation time.
Is Kombucha Good For You
Kombucha contains B vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics, but the drinks nutritional content will vary depending on the brand and how its prepared, so youll want to read the nutrition label. Many store-bought varieties contain about 30 calories and 2-8 grams of sugar for every eight-ounce serving, according to the USDAs food products database. While juices and sodas often contain far more sugar than kombucha, every gram of sugar counts.
Despite all the health claims about kombucha, nutrition experts say theres not enough scientific evidence yet to support most of them. We lack a really well-controlled study to say, This is from kombucha, says Dr. Zhaoping Li, professor of medicine and director of UCLAs Center for Human Nutrition. Many of the health claims related to kombucha come as a result of people extrapolating study findings related to the human microbiome or the nutritional benefits of tea, she says. People kind take the concept and run with it.
How Can You Improve Your Gut Microbiome
There are a number of ways to improve your gut microbiome on top of consuming fermented foods and probiotic supplements.
You should ensure that you are eating a diverse and balanced diet containing lots of fruit, beans, and legumes. These are high-fiber foods and support the growth of Bifidobacteria. For the same reason, it is recommended that you eat whole grain foods and beneficial carbohydrates.
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Are Probiotics And Prebiotics The Same
Prebiotics and probiotics are not the same. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms, whereas prebiotics is nondigestible substances present in foods that specifically promote the growth of these helpful microorganisms. Synbiotics contain both prebiotics and probiotics.
Prebiotics boost your gut microbiome by providing food for good microorganisms. Biochemically, prebiotics is nondigestible carbohydrates or plant fiber. They are abundantly present in various fruits and vegetables.
Some of the sources of prebiotics include leafy vegetables, yam, oatmeal, and other whole grains, bananas, artichokes, maple syrup, and honey.
Should Kombucha Be Pasteurized Like Other Raw Products
We spoke with a nutritionist who suggested that if you are drinking pasteurized kombucha, you are missing the benefit of good bacteria. Unlike dairy, kombucha is brewed in small batches and monitored carefully, if you are purchasing from the right companies. If you kill off the majority of good bacteria, there really isnt a point to drink kombucha. However, with raw kombucha, you do run the risk of getting some bad bacteria, but you can hedge yourself if you buy it from a manufacturer that you trust and has a good safety reputation. We like brewers like Health-Ade, which brews all their kombucha in small, manageable batches.