Why You Should Drink Kombucha
Kombucha was first brewed way back in 221 BC, so it has certainly stood the test of time but why are so many people now being drawn to this ‘magic elixir’? Well there are lots of good reasons, not least of which is that Kombucha is a naturally fermented drink which is full of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and beneficial acids and enzymes, so let’s take a look at what all this means to us.
You may be surprised to know, that we Human Beings are made up of tens of trillions of micro-organisms called Bacteria. These bacteria co-exist with us and most of them are beneficial and even crucial to our health and wellbeing. Bacteria feed off the food that we eat and drink and produce chemicals and hormones that affect our health and even our mood. Fun fact, did you know that there are ten times more bacteria in our body than our own human cells? There are approximately between 500 and 1,000 different strains of bacteria living with us and the more different strains of bacteria that we have, the more balanced our microbiome will be and so it makes sense to eat the foods and drinks that our gut microbiota like to consume.
The key to feeding our bacteria is fibre. Bacteria love it, it is like rocket fuel for them. The daily recommended consumption of fibre is 30 grams but most people in the UK only get about half of that. Sources of fibre are many but include, fresh fruit and vegetables, bananas in particular as they contain inulin which is also a prebiotic, grains such as oats for soluble and insoluble fibre and fermented foods such as Kimchi and Sauerkraut, this is not an exhaustive list but will set you in the right direction
So what is so beneficial about Kombucha?
Well, Kombucha contains many beneficial properties and some of these are listed below with an explanation.
Vitamins and Minerals
Kombucha contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals which are produced by yeast breaking down the sugars during fermentation. These vitamins include “vitamin C, B1, B6 and B12”
Polyphenols are compounds that are found in plant material and which may help to keep you healthy and protect against some diseases. Polyphenols may help to reduce blood sugars and they are thought to reduce inflammation, which is the root cause of many illnesses. Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants which (as a rule of thumb) are what gives colour to plants. In carrots there is beta carotene, in blueberries there is anthocyanin and in kombucha there are Catechins, Theaflavin and Thearubinigin! These polyphenols play specific roles in our body such as immune defence, reduced cell damage, potential cancer prevention and more!
Anti-Oxidants are molecules that fight or keep in check, free radicals in our bodies. If free radicals become too high then this can lead to serious harm very quickly. However, free radicals can be used by the immune system to fight off diseases and so we just need to maintain a healthy balance between them and anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants do just as they sound, they stop oxidation in the body! We have an internal antioxidant system that is kept active by doing things such as exercise, but needs to be boosted by external sources, hence the foods and drinks we consume! Heightened oxidative states within the body can speed up the progression of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and many other lifestyle-related diseases! So drinking kombucha may play a beneficial role in keeping our disease states in check!
Beneficial Acids & Enzymes
In addition to the above, Kombucha is a refreshing drink that is low in sugar and calories. It is suitable for any diet and is completely natural with no additives, preservatives, emulsifiers or e-numbers.
Your wellbeing and energy is designed to make you feel tremendous but many of us succumb to foods which are full of toxins, additives and preservatives which are designed to extend shelf life in supermarkets. Over time, these chemicals wear us down and so it is not simply a matter of swallowing a few probiotics and we feel great. Your digestive system is like a garden, it may be overgrown with grasses and weeds and so we need to get rid of these things first. Cut out processed foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and dairy products. Cut back on simple carbohydrates which are full of sugars but eat complex carbohydrates. Try and eat less meat and have more of a plant-based diet. This has the effect of ‘weeding the garden’ and then we can start planting seeds which are beneficial to you. Kombucha and other fermented foods are the seeds to sow in your new garden. You will generally feel the difference very quickly, sometimes in just a matter of days.