Kombucha is a lightly carbonated, slightly sour drink that has gained popularity with health-conscious consumers who were looking for an alternative to standard processed soft drinks that are often filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners. But why is this beverage so in vogue? Let’s take a closer look at this beverage and its possible benefits.
Kombucha and History
Before diving into the actual drink and its properties, a bit of its history won’t hurt. Although this drink suddenly became a global trend, Kombucha was not invented yesterday and has been around for more than 2000 years. It is actually an ancient beverage that was traditionally consumed in China for its detoxifying and energizing characteristics. With consumerism, Kombucha found its way to Russia and then to Europe during the world war II when it was first brought in Germany. And in North Africa and France, it was in the 1950’s that it became more popular.
What Type of Drink Is It?
Kombucha is a fermented beverage that consists of black tea, yeast, and sugar. The mixture is left aside for a minimum of one week. During this fermentation process – in addition to a small amount of alcohol – bacteria and acids are also formed on top of the beverage, which is known as SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). SCOBY can be used to ferment more Kombucha.
How Is It Made?
To prepare kombucha, tea and sugar are soaked in hot boiled water and left to cool before incorporating the SCOBY. It is covered and left to ferment for a week. The mixture is then poured into an airtight container with some additional sugar and put aside for a few more days. Note that the longer it is fermented, the fizzier it will be. It is at this point that spices and fruits can be added.
Main Health Benefits of Kombucha
- Full of Probiotics
All fermented foods, including yogurts, kefir, and kimchi, contain healthy bacteria known as Probiotics. Since Kombucha is also a product of fermentation, the Probiotics in it can help to balance the gut health and improve digestion. This bacteria also alleviate the severity of eczema and allergies.
- High in Antioxidants
Regular tea contains a powerful antioxidant, known as polyphenol, which is also found in Kombucha. Antioxidants help destroy harmful molecules that attack cells, contribute to inflammation, and generally interfere with your body’s ability to function optimally. Research shows that drinking Kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity caused by carbon tetrachloride, a dangerous chemical.
- Nutritional Value
When Kombucha is fermented, and the yeast is broken down into sugars, it produces some vitamins, including vitamins B1, B6, B12, and vitamin C. All these nutrients can strengthen your immune system, help in losing weight, and prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.
Different Kombucha Recipes
- Coffee Kombucha
Attention to all coffee lovers conscious of their health: this drink is for you! Instead of tea, you can replace it with coffee while you make the SCOBY. This Kombucha version is definitely worth the try!
- Green Tea Kombucha
Obviously, if you can make this drink with black tea, why not try green tea. This is one of the finest and healthiest Kombucha drinks, as green tea is already packed with health benefits on its own. So you can imagine the result when it is prepared in the Kombucha form.
- Green Kombucha
Do you love green smoothies? Then you’ll fall in love with the green Kombucha. To make this perfect detox drink, add a healthy dose of leafy greens, including spinach and celery.
- Cinnamon Apple Kombucha
Are you willing to spice it up? To create a flavorsome Kombucha drink, simply add a few sprinkles of cinnamon and thin slices of apple. You will be left in awe with this aromatic blend.
Now that you know everything about this famous fermented drink, you can ditch the harmful commercial fizzy beverages to stay hydrated with a healthy, delicious beverage. Go ahead and give Kombucha a try and let us know in the comments how you find it.