Why are kombucha and fermented foods good for you?

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Why are kombucha and other fermented foods good for you and your health?

Pause for a moment and think about the kombucha’s base.  Tea.  Tea is a robust source of polyphenols, flavonoids, and saponins [2].  These micronutrients are known as antioxidants, are one of the core reasons eating plant-based foods are good for you.  And why are antioxidants good?  Because they help prevent detrimental chemical reactions (oxidation) in the body that can damage cells.  A wealth of studies show polyphenols lead the way in supporting digestion and combating neurodegenerative disease, while flavonoids (from plant pigments) are the rockstars of heart health and saponins champion an immune system boost.  All three are also indicated in decreased cancer risk [2].  Tea is clearly the perfect building block for kombucha as a health drink, but what makes it stand out from plain ol’ tea?


Kombucha fermenting

Fermentation is the name of the game when it comes to kombucha brewing, and it’s the magic responsible for most of the drink’s health benefits.  In general, fermentation is the process where bacteria and yeast converts to all sorts of good stuff (enzymes, more good bacteria, alcohol, etc.).  Lots of foods you already eat involve fermentation somewhere in the process, like cheese, wine, yogurt, and chocolate (yes, really). What makes kombucha’s creation journey unique in the world of fermentation is that it completely revolves around this step, bringing the building blocks of the process – namely probiotics – to the forefront. Besides the fizzy drinking experience, fermentation builds a teaming industry of good bacteria that go to work on your body to help digestion, the immune system, organ health, and more [2]. The production of raw kombucha makes it possible to consume a live bacteria culture, instead of lab grown bacteria that has been mostly “killed” by cooking and processing. The fact that the bacteria is alive and thriving when it reaches your gut makes it significantly more helpful to your system than any probiotic supplement could ever hope for.  Fermented foods have been widely studied for its benefits to the body, starting, clearly, with your gut.

Gut Bacteria

Kombucha is rich with the good bacteria that are similar to what’s naturally in your gut, and have the potential to improve systemic health dramatically. Study after study has shown that gut health drives the health throughout your entire body.  So when you think about how important it is, it’s no wonder kombucha packs such a punch. The combined length of the small and large intestines is over 25 feet — the width of a tennis court.  And what how well that factory is working affects every organ from your skin to your liver. Poor gut bacteria can result in a host of health issues and has even been shown to reduce cognition and leave your nerves unprotected [3]. The good news is that studies have determined it can take as little as three days to a few weeks to “train” your gut and address health concerns (depending on severity, of course) [3]. When good, varied, bacteria is supported, the body is better equipped to tap into the nutrients provided by a healthy diet.  Aside from the obvious nutrition absorption, even seemingly unrelated functions are improved, such as the immune and cardiovascular systems [2][3][4].  It is safe to say that there is no down-side to improved gut bacteria.  Thanks, kombucha.

In a world full of soda, be a kombucha!

If you’re not drinking kombucha, what ARE you drinking? Sugary drinks like soda (and yes, even fruit juices can wreak havoc on your hea0lth).     ffers a flavorful alternative without the cost to your well-being. This point can be confusing – isn’t sugar added to the brew? Yes, this sugar is required as the food for fermentation, but its breakdown leaves only small amounts compared to sugary soft drinks. So, do yourself a favor, and swap your go-to beverages for a sparkling glass of ‘bucha.  In a world full of soda, be a kombucha!

That Taste, Though

Good kombucha should taste amazing!  But we hear it all the time from potential new drinkers or people that tried some kombucha a friend gave them a decade ago — they’re worried about that potentially funky kombucha taste.  So kombucha is good for you…like, REALLY good for you.  But that doesn’t mean it should taste bad!  To put it simply, if the kombucha doesn’t taste good to you, it’s just not a kombucha you enjoy.  But it’s extremely rare for us here at the brewery to introduce a customer to kombucha and not find a flavor they truly enjoy drinking.  So if at first you don’t succeed, try another flavor or another brand.  Your body and mind will thank you!

Okay, but what if you’re here for the health benefits but the taste just isn’t your cup of tea (pun intended)? Yes, kombucha has a bold, and sometimes polarizing funky flavor.  Lucky for you, there are a host of ways to work this health serum into your life without guzzling a bottle.  Because of the gluconic/acetic acid content and mild sweetness, it is a delicious substitute for vinegar in homemade salad dressings. And boom: just like that, you added probiotics to your salad.  And if it isn’t sweet enough for you, swirl it with fruit or juice of your choice for a sparkling punch.  Even outside of consumption, kombucha is starting to gain serious traction for a host of other benefits, including skin-care, especially when used as a toner after a good facial cleansing.

Read our next article to find out all the ways kombucha can help you increase your health and well-being…


 [1] Dufresne, C., & Farnworth, E. (2000). Tea, Kombucha, and health: a review. Food research international33(6), 409-421. https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?journal=Food+Res.+Intern.&title=Tea,+kombucha,+and+health:+A+review&author=C.+Dufresne&author=E.+Farnworth&volume=33&publication_year=2000&pages=409-421&doi=10.1016/S0963-9969(00)00067-3&[2] Gaggìa, F., Baffoni, L., Galiano, M., Nielsen, D. S., Jakobsen, R. R., Castro-Mejía, J. L., … Di Gioia, D. (2018). Kombucha Beverage from Green, Black and Rooibos Teas: A Comparative Study Looking at Microbiology, Chemistry and Antioxidant Activity. Nutrients11(1), 1. doi:10.3390/nu11010001

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356548/[3] Kim, B., Hong, V. M., Yang, J., Hyun, H., Im, J. J., Hwang, J., … Kim, J. E. (2016). A Review of Fermented Foods with Beneficial Effects on Brain and Cognitive Function. Preventive nutrition and food science21(4), 297–309. doi:10.3746/pnf.2016.21.4.297

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5216880/[4] Kombucha Benefits and Risks. Lana Burgess  – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319630.php

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