It’s the wellness elixir lining the shelves of conventional and nonconventional grocery stores alike. Generally low in sugar and oh-so-gut-healthy.
Can you guess what yumminess we’re referencing?
If you guessed KOMBUCHA, then, ding ding ding – you would be correct. See, if you’re breathing, you’ve probably heard of kombucha, and if you weren’t sure about the hype, read on for all the goods.
So, what exactly is kombucha?
It’s a fermented tea and it’s been around for centuries. Kombucha also has gut healing properties, which is great because we could all use some gut love living in the modern world. It’s full of enzymes, minerals, and vitamins and comprised mainly of black tea and sugar. But before you go stressing over the sugar content (too much wreaks havoc), you’ll be delighted to know that 90% of the sugar is absorbed by something called the SCOBY or MOTHER (yes, we know, super cultish). The SCOBY/Mother is a culture of bacteria and yeast and aids in the fermentation process. Now, we realize that up to this point you’re probably going “Ewwww!” but bear with us: the finished product is just shy of Heaven.
What is the SCOBY, and what’s with the nickname “Mother”?
A great analogy we came across: think of the SCOBY as the coral reef for the yeast and bacteria Universe. It stands for “Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast”. We know, DELICIOUS, right? 😉 The name “Mother” comes from the fact that the SCOBY is considered the parent culture from which the tea is born. If you’re curious (we know you are!) as to what it looks like:
PERTY, huh? Fun fact: in order for the kombucha to grow and flourish, one mechanism of the SCOBY is to seal it from the air.
Just A Few of the Many Kombucha Benefits:
1. It’s FIZZY!
Love soda but hate the side effects? We often “prescribe” kombucha to our soda addicts during and after they embark on our Cleanse30 program. It satisfies that craving while nourishing the body instead of sapping it of nutrients.
2. Gut Health.
Like we said earlier, we could all use some extra gut love in our life. Up to 70% of our immune system is comprised in our digestive system aka the gut …. still think what you eat and drink doesn’t affect overall health? In addition to vitamins, enzymes, and minerals, kombucha contains naturally occurring probiotics (good bacteria) to help win the war on disease and gut imbalance.
3. Free Radical Fighter.
Whenever we talk free radicals and the role of antioxidants we liken it to a game of Pacman. Think of antioxidants as the Pacman eating all the baddies (free radicals). Free radicals contribute to the mutation and transformation of a cell which could then potentially lead to cancer. We are not capable of producing antioxidants on our own, so our diet is where we can obtain them. Annnnd guess what? Kombucha has a TON of antioxidants, so drink up!
4. Increased energy.
While it’s fermenting, iron is released from the black tea and is aided by something called chelation which contributes to more tissue oxygen and thus more energy! In addition, kombucha contains B Vitamins and a small amount of caffeine. The energy you feel with kombucha should feel less frenetic and more steady state; that is, you’ll feel a lift but your mind won’t race at 100 miles per hour.
5. Joint support.
If you’ve been around us for any length of time, you know how passionate we are about proper hydration. One of the many stellar benefits of frequent (quality) water consumption is the lubrication of your joints. This helps reduce and/or eliminate pesky joint pain. Kombucha is also touted as joint friendly as it naturally contains something called glucosamine (yup, similar to the over-the-counter stuff you’ve heard of) which also helps to lubricate the joints. Now, we aren’t suggesting that you just start downing kombucha to get rid of joint pain, but it does contribute to helping ease the discomfort while being full of nutrients, so we consider that a win-win 🙂
What’s In A Bottle?
One of our favorite brands is GT’s Synergy Kombucha line. Their flavors hit the spot and they’re just the right amount of fizzy. Here’s the nutrition facts from one of our favorite Synergy flavors, Trilogy:
Is There Really Alcohol in Kombucha?
Due to the natural fermentation process, there is a small percentage of alcohol – we’re talking 0.50% to 1%. To put that in perspective, you’d have to drink around 6-7 bottles to even get close to the amount of alcohol in one beer. Still, it’s important to note if you abstain completely from alcohol, are pregnant/nursing (talk to a functional medicine and/or naturopathic doc to see what they recommend) or have any other concerns that may warrant abstaining from alcohol in even really small amounts.
What About Home Brewing?
First, it is SO FUN to go through the at-home kombucha process. It’s exciting to watch something that you create (literally) grow over time, and then you can enjoy the fruits of your labor! If you’d be interested in a video where we detail our at-home kombucha adventures, let us know in a comment below. Once there’s enough interest we’ll create a fun step-by-step tutorial!
Sham & Christina
About Inspired Wellness
We are a wellness movement aimed at cultivating greatness in all areas of life. We believe that everything is connected and that having the body of your dreams shouldn’t come at the price of your mental and emotional health. You CAN have it all; you just need some determination, grit and the desire to truly change your life!
Catch us locally in sunny Sacramento CA inspiring lives at our wellness center with fitness, nutrition and lifestyle programs, or online doing the same thing with our new online training site + community coming soon!
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