Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits. Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and cane sugar that is used as a functional food. Kombucha contains b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic, and lactic), which have the following health benefits:
Cleansing and Detoxification
The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast and is commonly known as a“SCOBY” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). You can make kombucha yourself at home or buy it for $3-5 a bottle at most health food stores and some coffee shops. An article published in the journal Food Microbiology has established that the following probiotics make up this health elixir.
Good Bacteria and Yeast (Probiotics):
Gluconacetobacter (>85% in most sample)
Lactobacillus (up to 30% in some samples)
Ultimately, this cocktail of good bacteria interact together in a unique way to produce some unbelievable health benefits for those who drink it.
Why Every Person Should Drink Kombucha
In the newest research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers from the University of Latvia say the following about the health benefits of kombucha: It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity. We agree! In fact, according to research there are 5 main health benefits of kombucha.
#1 Detoxification – The detoxifying capacity of kombucha is immense. A perfect example has been observed in its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity. In one study, the liver cells being evaluated were protected from oxidative injury and actually maintained their normal physiology, in spite of being exposed to the toxin! According to researchers, this was “probably due to its antioxidant activity and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role.”
#2 Digestion – Naturally the antioxidant prowess of this ancient tea counteracts free radicals that create mayhem in the digestive system. However, the greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probioticsand enzymes. Extensive work has even been conducted to test kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. No surprise to us, it was proven to be as effective as drugs like Prilosec, which are commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD, and ulcers.
#3 Energy – Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people has been credited to the formation of iron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process. It also contains some caffeine and b-vitamins, which can energize the body. Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps to boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink stay energized for extended periods of time.
#4 Immune Health – The overall effect that kombucha has to modulate the immune system is best seen in its ability to control free radicals through unbelievable antioxidant measures. Clinically proven to decrease oxidative stress and related immuno-suppression, a powerful antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL) has been discovered during the kombucha fermentation process that is not found in black tea alone. Also, we know the probiotics found in kombucha support the immune system. Scientists suspect that DSL and the Vitamin C present in kombucha are its’ main secrets in protecting against cell damage, inflammatory diseases, tumors and overall depression of the immune system.
#5 Joint Care – Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage in a number of ways. Kombucha is loaded with glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. This supports the preservation of collagen and prevents arthritic pain. In the same way it supports joint collagen it can also support collagen of the entire body and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
#6 Cancer Prevention – Kombucha has also been proven beneficial for cancer prevention and recovery. A study published in Cancer Letters found that by consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha reduced the risk of cancer in humans. President Reagan reportedly drank kombucha daily as part of his regimen to battle stomach cancer.
#7 Weight Loss – Data from a study in 2005 showed evidence that kombucha can improve metabolism and limit fat accumulation. Though we’ll need to see more studies before we can confirm these results, it makes sense that kombucha supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acid and polyphenols which have in other studies been proven to increase weight loss.
As you can see kombucha boasts many health benefits! So drink up for your health. Have you ever made or consumed kombucha? Do you consume it for the health benefits or for the taste?References: