Kombucha, Kombucha, Kombucha! Say that three times fast and see if you can stop yourself from smiling or laughing. Although this funky, fermented tea has a funny name, it is a fount of fuel, fizz, and nutrition. Maybe you’ve heard of Kombucha Tea or maybe it is completely new to you, but either way, it is likely already on your grocery store shelves (often in the produce section) or soon will be. But why should you pay a premium to give it a try? Here are 5 reasons why you ought give Kombucha Tea a try today:
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1. Kombucha Tea is one of nature’s original “sodas”
Humans have been consuming fermented food and drinks since the dawn of time. In fact, we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for all of the invisible “good bugs” helping to preserve food, boost nutrition, and aid in digestion. Water was not potable and direct consumption often led to digestive distress. To make it safe to drink, people discovered many ways to ferment liquids into tasty, bubbly concoctions that conferred a host of benefits as they were often brewed with herbs, plants, and flowers that provided flavor as well.
How did humans know that fermentation was happening? Before microscopes were invented to show us the teeming world just out of view, we looked for bubbles! Yeast is a multi-cellular organism (more closely related to humans than bacteria on the phylum tree) that produces carbon dioxide when it consumes sugar. So whenever our ancestors saw that their brew had little bubbles on top and looked like it was “boiling” (the root word for yeast is the same as “to boil”), they knew the magic of fermentation was taking place.
Over time, bubbles became an instantly recognizable signal that nutrition was present! Unfortunately, modern day sodas have imitated this characteristic and while many people crave carbonation, they are simply ending up with a “bait and switch” product that only delivers empty calories and potentially harmful chemicals. Blech!
2. Kombucha Tea provides yeast in a living form
What’s so great about yeast? Isn’t yeast bad for you? Not all yeast! The yeast in Kombucha Tea (and bread and beer and other fermented foods and drinks) provide B vitamins in a living form. This is a nutritional bonanza! Living form is key – remember chemistry? The drawings of each molecule take on a different shape and those shapes “plug in” to our bodies. When that happens, they catalyze all sorts of metabolic reactions that allow our bodies to regenerate and repair themselves at the cellular level. So when we consume a chemicalized version of a living vitamin, that slightly different shape can affect how the body perceives or utilizes that shape and the nutritional value is decreased as a result.
You can take all the vitamin pills and supplements you want, and they may have some beneficial effect, but nothing will surpass the quality of “the real thing”.
3. Kombucha Tea is chock full of organic acids that aid in digestion and elimination
On top of all this great nutrition in a living form, Kombucha Tea also creates several organic acids as part of the fermentation process. Organic acids are natural preservatives and studies show that Kombucha is very effective at killing pathogenic organisms like salmonella, listeria, and e.coli on contact (this makes brewing it a home very safe). Several of these acids also assist with digestion. Digestion is our engine – if our gut is not able to break down and process the inputs (food), then it cannot be effective at extracting all of the potential nutritional value.
Some of these acids, like gluconic and glucuronic, which are naturally made by the body, are vital for the process of elimination. Think of elimination as taking out the garbage. If the garbage piles up and never gets taken out, it begins to rot and putrefy. That’s what happens in your body if it’s not able to eliminate properly. Moreover, we are exposed to toxins in the air, in the food, in the water, in beauty products, in plastics (and the list goes on and on). The body simply does not produce enough of these acids on its own to effectively “empty the garbage”, which can lead to a host of autoimmune, metabolic and digestive issues.
So consuming these healthy acids sends in extra “garbage men” to remove the gunk and help the body do what it does best – repair and regenerate.
4. Kombucha Tea is teeming with probiotic organisms that populate the gut
As mentioned before, we are home to trillions of organisms and when we are exposed to antibiotics or antibiotic soaps, we are literally killing not just the “bad guys” but all of the GOOD guys too. The unintended consequence of this exposure is that over time our natural immune system and defense mechanisms are weakened and other organisms that normally live in the body in smaller quantities can grow out of balance. When that happens, it can wreak havoc on your health.
Couple that with the increase in C-sections and formula feeding, and we have produced a generation (or two or three) that are starting life at a disadvantage, as our first inoculation of healthy organisms come from the birth canal and breast milk. No wonder allergies, autoimmune diseases, metabolic diseases and the like are out of control! We’ve “scienced” ourselves into such a sterile environment that we’ve put ourselves at risk.
Consuming foods rich in living bacteria is one of mankind’s ancient ways to boost immunity and revitalize. Of course, no ONE ferment will have the same diversity as what lives in our gut, but every little bit helps.
5. Kombucha Tea tastes delicious
And of course, the most important reason to try Kombucha Tea is that it tastes delicious! Tangy and sweet. Full of nutrition. Effervescence that delights the senses and creates fun textures in your mouth – who can resist all of that natural goodness!
Now, not all Kombucha Tea that you see at the store tastes the same. Each brand has a host of flavors and they all have different profiles. Some are sweeter, aiming for that soda crossover palate, some are tangier for the diehard Kombucha drinker, whereas others are a blend of both worlds. Just as a shelf can have several different types of Pinot Noir or Hefeweizen and not one of them tastes the same, so too is the delightful diversity of Kombucha Tea flavors.
What that means is that if you try one and think it has a funky flavor, give another brand a try! More often than not, even if the taste doesn’t seem to resonate at first, your body will drive you back to try it again (and again, and again, and again).
As we always say, when your thirst outgrows your budget – that’s when you come looking for Kombucha Kamp!
Our new book, The Big Book of Kombucha, is more than just a how-to or technique book (though it does cover those subjects in great detail). It also contains cocktail recipes, food recipes, the history of the brew, as well as symptom-specific information rooted in research. So whether you just heard about Kombucha Tea today or you have been enjoying it for 20 years, there is something for everyone in this massive missive.
This post was guest authored by Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp. Check out her new book The Big Book of Kombucha at Amazon today!
Kombucha is life. Especially the slightly more strong in alcohol-content versions they sell at whole foods! 😉