It’s that time of year again. It’s stinking hot outside and all you want is a nice, cold………….. kombucha! The perfect Australian summer thirst quencher. You think I’m joking? Never, at least not about kombucha.
Kombucha consumption is on the rise. Something that we have noticed in our store. And why wouldn’t it be. Kombucha usually comes in great packaging (some even look like beer!), it’s fizzy (just like soft drink) and it tastes fantastic. Enough, I’m sure, to sell a lot of bottles of this new sensation. But the thing is, Kombucha is also FULL of good stuff.
I personally came across the wonders of kombucha a few years ago. I suffered two nasty bouts of gastro in the space of 3 weeks and after that, felt constantly unwell, unsettled and not quite “right”. I very very rarely get sick and trust my body to finds its balance when I look after it with wholefoods and rest. But nothing was working for me this time. So, I started doing my research on natural ways to support the recovery of my digestive system and came across kombucha. Now, I have to admit a fermented tea drink made from what, to me, looked like a weird slimy swamp thing that could be its own character in a 1950’s horror movie didn’t sound very appetising but I was ready to give anything a go.
So, I headed down to Go Natural Foods and was given a bottle of Buchi kombucha, went home, drank some and within a few days started to feel better and never looked back. At the time, if worshipping a food product was considered reasonable adult behaviour then I admit to being evangelical about this quite refreshing beverage.
Kombucha has been consumed in China for hundreds of years as a super wellness elixir and came to Europe in the 1900s. It is a sweetened tea that has been fermented using a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast – otherwise known as the weird slimy swamp thing). The SCOBY is used as a starter culture for the fermentation process where the yeast converts the sugar in the tea to alcohol and the bacteria converts the alcohol to organic acids.
What good stuff is Kombucha full of?
Kombucha contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, probiotics and high concentrations of organic acids, as well as, other antioxidants such as catechins. It is also very low in sugar and contains minimal alcohol (less than 0.5% for products sold in Queensland).
Not only is Kombucha a tasty alternative to the sneaky mid-week beer or wine or any other fizzy stuff you might like to drink but it:
- Supports gut health – the high concentrations of probiotics, enzymes, amino acids, organic acids can assist in improving digestion, encouraging gut bacteria diversity, enhancing immunity
- Can protect against disease – the powerful antioxidants can assist in detoxification and reducing inflammation
- May improve mental health – B vitamins play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions. Also, studies are starting to show there may be a direct correlation between the health of your gut and how this affects your mental health.
- Antibacterial – the types of bacteria found in kombucha can assist in inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria such as e. coli, staph and salmonella
- Helps maintain a healthy liver – the enzymes and acids can ease the detoxification burden placed on the liver
- Can also help ease sugar cravings
Not all Kombucha is created equal
Like most things in life, particularly food, quality ingredients makes for quality product. The same holds true for Kombucha.
Ensure the kombucha you purchase is made from a SCOBY. Floaty bits in your drink are parts of the live culture that have been used to cultivate the tea. If you find “kombucha extract” in the ingredients list, then you are probably not drinking a raw, live, nutrient rich product.
Raw, live kombucha also requires refrigeration to prevent further fermentation. If refrigeration is not required then the kombucha has been pasteurised removing all the “good bits” from the drink.
If you are making your own kombucha at home, it is important to use a quality SCOBY and your utensils and working environment are properly sterilised.
Go Natural Foods stocks an extensive range of Australian brands of kombucha. Ready for you to take to the party on the weekend, drink with tonight’s dinner or just use during the day as a tonic. For those feeling a little more adventurous, we also stock both ceramic and glass kombucha jars for at home fermentation.
This blog is based on the personal experiences of the writer. It is not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a health care professional.
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