I was chatting with a friend the other day, and she had asked me if I was a fan on Kombucha. Honestly, I think its absolutely fantastic! Kombucha tea is made from the fermentation of a mixture of sweetened tea and SCOBY, which is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It is known to be effective in reducing the risks of certain health problems and promoting overall health so lets take a closer look!
Kombucha And Energy:
Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people has been credited to the formation of iron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process. It also contains some caffeine and b-vitamins, which can energize the body.
Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps to boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink stay energized for extended periods of time.
Kombucha And Weight Loss:
Since Kombucha is high in acetic acid, there is reason to believe that Kombucha can improve ones metabolism and limit fat accumulation. Though more studies need to be done, it makes sense that Kombucha tea supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acid and polyphenols which have in other studies been proven to increase weight loss. You can take a look at that study right here
Kombucha And Diabetes:
As we are all familiar with, metabolic problems and kidney dysfunction are frequent side effects of diabetes. Good news, the antioxidants created by kombucha fermentation may help support liver and kidney function as it’s a fantastic detox for the body. Shown to suppress glucose levels and increase HDL cholesterol levels in animal trials, researchers have indicated kombucha may be a good health support option for those with diabetes.
A comparative study involving black tea and kombucha has revealed that kombucha has better inhibiting properties as compared to the black tea and aids in preventing elevated blood glucose levels.
Per the study:
Kombucha tea has a healing action on the pancreas of the diabetic individuals and helps in guarding their liver and kidney functions by reducing the concentration of urea and other unfavorable activities occurring in the plasma membrane.
Definitely an interesting study that I will be following up on but in the meantime, I will be sticking to my Humalog as a type 1, LOL.
On the other side of the coin though, take a peek at the side effects listed below, especially as some relate to the effects on blood sugars.
Kombucha And Your Immune System:
Kombucha is rich in numerous antioxidants which strengthens the immune defense and boosts the energy levels of the body. The anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of kombucha help in fighting various bacterial and viral infections. A study conducted on kombucha tea has validated the fact that oral administration of this drink may help in recovering from the compromised immune system thereby, helps in improving the protection mechanism of the body.
Side Effects Of Kombucha:
Per WebMD Kombucha tea, especially batches made at home where it’s hard to maintain a germ-free environment, can become contaminated with fungus (Aspergillus) and bacteria (including anthrax). In Iran, 20 people got anthrax infections from taking kombucha tea. This tea is likely unsafe in people with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS, who are more likely to get infections, as well as when it is prepared in a lead-glazed ceramic pot. Lead poisoning has also been reported following ingestion of kombucha tea. Several other notable side effects are listed below:
- Diabetes: Kombucha tea might affect blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have type 2 diabetes and drink kombucha tea. We all know this can be a slippery slope, but I’ve never had an issue when drinking it as a type 1.
- Diarrhea: Kombucha tea contains caffeine. The caffeine in kombucha tea, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Kombucha tea contains caffeine. The caffeine in kombucha tea, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea and might worsen symptoms of IBS.
- Surgery: Since kombucha tea seems to affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop using kombucha tea at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Weak immune system: Don’t use kombucha tea if you have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or other causes. Kombucha tea can support the growth of bacteria and fungus that can cause serious infections.
Make Your Own Kombucha:
For kombucha making purposes, the one thing that you will need is that lovely SCOBY that I mentioned above that houses the cultures used for brewing. The best place to get a SCOBY? See if you can contact another brewer, they multiply during brewing, so most regular brewers have plenty to spare. If you don’t know of a brewer, ask around, but if you can’t get one from an acquaintance, you should certainly be able to find one online for purchase.
A couple of other things that you will need?
- filtered water
- Apple cider vinegar
- Granulated sugar
- Fresh fruit or juice (optional)
As for the brewing process, check out the video listed above, its absolutely fantastic and lays out all the steps nicely. For me, I’m a visual learner and this make the entire process quite easy, enjoy!
Lastly, Kombucha has gained popularity in the US recently and is now available in many stores if you don’t plan on making your own. There are several really good brands and if you choose to buy it, just look for an organic variety without a large amount of sugar.
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Thanks for Reading!