Did you know that Grace Skelly and Davy Bones were kombucha brew masters? When they moved to Italy and weren't able to find high quality kombucha for sale, they decided it was time to start making their own. They borrowed their friend's book, The BIG BOOK of Kombucha and got started. They tried many different flavors in the beginning and eventually decided on pomegranate flavored kombucha was their signature flavor!
Now you might be wondering what is kombucha? It's a beverage that's been around for over 2,000 years. Kombucha is naturally fizzy, slightly tangy drink made from fermented sweetened tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Yes! It's ALIVE!
This ancient elixir has many health benefits due to the acids, vitamins and enzymes it contains. If you would like to nerd out, this is a great resource in finding some of the scientific research that has been done on kombucha - Kombucha Brewers International. If you don't want to read scientific research studies, I've included some anecdotal and scientific health benefits - just scroll to the bottom of the blog post.
For this blog post, let's focus on the probiotics since health starts at the gut. Your gut plays a major role in nutrient absorption, the body's mood regulator and immune system. Probiotics are known to improve gut health and kombucha is loaded with probiotics!
Did you know there is an entire community of trillions of microorganisms living in your gut? There is so much more than just digesting your food going on in there. Sometimes the balance of good and bad bacteria gets a little off and that's when we run into issues. Numerous studies in the past two decades have been able to give us a bigger picture, demonstrating links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer. Our modern day life sometimes leads to increasingly high stress levels, we get too little sleep, always on the go and end up eating processed and high-sugar foods, and the overuse of taking antibiotics can all damage our gut microbiome. When our gut microbiome (remember it's alive) gets thrown off balance and the bad bacteria over populate, our health declines. This decline can impact the brain, heart, immune system, skin, weight, hormone levels, ability to absorb nutrients.
What are some signs of an unhealthy gut? Glad you asked!
Upset stomach - if you are experiencing gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, these can be signs that something is off balance and your body is having a hard time processing food and/or eliminating waste.
Weight changes - gaining or losing weight when you aren't trying to change these can be indicating your body is having difficulty absorbing nutrients and/or regulating blood sugar.
Sleep disturbances or chronic fatigue - the majority of our body's serotonin is produced in the gut. Serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood and sleep.
Skin irritations - food allergies or poor nutrition can cause inflammation in the gut. This causes a leaking of certain proteins to get out and into the body, carried by our blood and manifests as skin irritations.
Food intolerances - this is not the same as a food allergy. Food intolerances can be caused by poor quality of the gut bacteria. The trigger food is difficult for the body to digest, leading to gas, bloating, abdominal cramping, nausea, and gas.
So if you have anything going on, your body is trying to tell you that it needs help! So what can you do? Along with getting enough quality sleep, lowering your stress levels, staying hydrated and properly eating (chewing food completely and not eating in a rush), taking a probiotic can help. Instead of taking a pill, this is where kombucha comes in. You can consume active live cultures of probiotics in kombucha!
It's very easy to make your own, but if you don't want to do that, then make sure you are buying a good quality kombucha that is raw and not pasteurized. Pasteurization deliberately heats the brew, which kills off the bacteria - radically altering the kombucha. Raw kombucha (purchased commercially, not made at home) is not heated beyond a certain temperature threshold and is then bottled and refrigerated. So if you see kombucha for sale that's pasteurized or not refrigerated, pass on it. The health benefits are gone. There are still some commercially available kombuchas that keep the integrity of the brew. If we aren't drinking our own booch, the only other one we drink is GT's Kombucha.
This information is from: https://www.kombuchakamp.com/health-benefits-of-kombucha
Health Benefits of Kombucha – Anecdotal
However, Kombucha Tea is JUST A FOOD – a naturally carbonated, healthy tonic enjoyed by those who brew and consume it regularly, often throughout the day in small doses. People are usually very loyal to their daily Kombucha consumption, and consider the drink healthy for a number of reasons.
Here are the ones we hear most from our clients and on social media. Remember, these are just opinions from people who drink Kombucha all the time, not scientists. These are the benefits people say the can FEEL rather than scientifically prove. You may experience some, all, or none of these effects from consuming Kombucha.
Top Anecdotal Reasons People Drink Kombucha
A great substitute for sugary sodas, juices, or multiple trips to the coffee pot
Acts as a snack or pre-meal hunger control
Better digestion, more regular pee and poo
Eliminates acid reflux reactions
Maintains Hair Color
Less arthritis pain and more flexibility
Get sick less often, better immunity
Relieve headaches, migraines, and hangovers
Smooth energy from low levels of caffeine in the tea
Reduced stress – theanine
Just plain feeling better and happier!
However, Kombucha is NOT a panacea – it doesn’t cure ANYTHING! It may help the body bring itself back into balance naturally. That is how it is able to do so much – because it’s really just your body working with nutrition, like any other food. Even though some think of it as a medicinal tonic, it’s really just a delicious and healthy beverage choice and one of many fermented food options. We love it because it’s easy to drink at any time of day and takes to flavoring and many other uses so well. Plus, making Kombucha is just fun!
Kombucha Benefits – Scientific
Now that we have the anecdotal out of the way, is it really true that there are no anecdotal Kombucha benefits that science can confirm? A brief review of the research done in the 21st century shows many promising potential benefits from consuming Kombucha that line up well with the anecdotal reports. As mentioned above, none of these are FDA approved statements or based on double-blind human trials, we are simply referencing a variety of scientific studies carried out around the world:
Helps bring the gut into balance. Antioxidants, acids, enzymes, living bacteria and yeast all contribute to Kombucha’s supportive effects to help with ulcers, candida, and a variety of digestive issues. (link) (link)
Compounds in the drink may help maintain a happy liver = happy mood. Researchers call out antioxidant activity, reduction of oxidative stress, and even lead removal as potential causes. (link) (link) (link) (link)