Colas are out, and healthy drinks are in! More and more people are canning the soda cans and reaching for more health-conscious options, from green tea and smoothies to juicing and vinegar shots. One of the most popular options is a drink that has been around for thousands of years: kombucha. Some people enjoy its powerful burst of sweet and sour flavor, while others tolerate kombucha’s unique taste for its health benefits. But is kombucha really good for you?
Before we answer that, we probably should first examine what it is, and then we’ll look at its health benefits.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink consisting of black tea and sugar. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast commonly known as SCOBY (an acronym that stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The process of fermentation creates a vinegar-like organic acid, B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics, and other acids, along with a light effervescence..
Is Kombucha Good for You?
Kombucha is a natural energy-boosting drink that offers a long list of nutrients that provide a number of health benefits like liver and lung support. Here are the nutrients it contains and how it positively impacts the body:
Riboflavin: supports growth and overall good health
Thiamine: allows body to utilize carbohydrates as energy; helps nerves, muscles, and heart to function well
Niacin: helps lower bad cholesterol, prevents heart disease; boosts brain function
B6: has many benefits but it’s mostly known for keeping the brain, heart, and nervous system healthy
B12: keeps nerves and blood cells healthy
Folate: needed to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA
Polyphenols and antioxidants: fights cancer, aging, and heart disease
Microbiotics: builds good bacteria and fights off bad bacteria leading to good gut health
But kombucha is not good for everyone. For instance, the yeast in kombucha is not good for people with dampening issues that are present in those with candida, irritable bowel syndrome, or Crohn’s disease. It’s also not recommended for people with HIV/AIDS or those who are trying to reduce alcohol consumption, although the amount of alcohol in kombucha is typically less than .5%.
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