The Power of Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage with great health benefits for your heart, brain and especially your gut. Due to the fermenting process in making kombucha, it contains a large amount of living healthy bacteria known as probiotics. These bacteria line your digestive tract and support your immune system as they absorb nutrients and fight infection and illness. Originating in the Far East over 2000 years ago, it is known as the "Immortal Health Elixir". Since 80% of our immune system is located in our gut and the digestive system is the second largest part of our neurological system, it is no surprise that the gut is considered the "second brain" Just a "gut feeling"? Regularly drinking Kombucha is a great addition to maintaining peak immune health in addition to eating a whole foods based diet.
From FOOD REVOLUTION:
While we lack certainty, an impressive body of studies do suggest that kombucha tea could have antimicrobial, energizing, and detoxification effects. And it may even help prevent disease, including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
- Kombucha could potentially help prevent a broad range of diseases. A 2014 review of animal studies published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that kombucha tea contains properties that could help prevent many diseases, particularly “broad-spectrum metabolic and infective disorders.” They concluded that it may be able to help with detoxification, antioxidation, and healthy immune function.
- Kombucha could slow or kill harmful microorganisms. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Food Chemistry reported that kombucha made from both black and green tea had antimicrobial potential. Researchers also found that the green fermented tea had the most antimicrobial potential. Other studies have shown that kombucha could kill bacteria that commonly cause food poisoning.
- Kombucha may have cancer-fighting power. A 2013 study published in Biomedicine & Preventive Nutrition showed that kombucha had remarkable potential to inhibit angiogenesis. (Angiogenesis is the process by which cancers lock in a steady supply of blood and become dangerous.)
- Kombucha may help protect the liver. A 2009 study on some very unfortunate rats publishedin the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology revealed that kombucha tea was effective in improving liver function and lowering the side effects of toxins.
- Kombucha may reduce heart disease risk. In other studies also done on rats, kombucha improved two markers of heart disease in as few as 30 days. A 2015 study published in Pharmaceutical Biology found that kombucha lowered “bad” LDL. It also led to higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
- Kombucha may help manage diabetes. A 2012 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine on diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbohydrates, reducing blood sugar levels. Kombucha also improved liver and kidney function.
- Kombucha is a rich source of probiotics. Kombucha is a fermented food and carries a large number of probiotic bacteria that may be beneficial to your digestive health. A 2014 study published in Food Microbiology identified a prominent Lactobacillus population and numerous beneficial yeast species that were abundant in kombucha.
You can purchase Kombucha at just about any grocery store. You can also make it yourself very easily in about a two-three week period.
From: Cultures For Health
From: Cultures For Health
You will need a large 2 quart glass jar, never use metal or plastic.
Bring 8 cups of filtered water to a boil.
Steep 3-4 tea bags of unflavored black(preferable), green or white tea for appr 10 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup sugar, for the scoby to consume as food.
Let cool to body temperature, add your scoby and 1 cup kombucha from scoby farm.
Cover jar with a coffee filter or paper towel and secure with a rubber band to keep flies, etc out while brewing.
Place tea in a warm, dark place.
Your scoby will now go to work turning that sweet tea into Kombucha. The process can take 5-30 days depending on the temperature and other factors. After a few days you should notice a new "baby" scoby forming. A few more days later you may notice a faint vinegar smell, signaling that your brew is fermenting. After a couple of weeks you can sample with straw or wooden spoon, but remember to be patient, good things are happening in there.
When you are satisfied with the flavor, you can now transfer the "booch" to sanitized smaller individual bottles with caps to enhance the fizz. With clean hands, carefully remove your scoby and 1 -1/2 cup kombucha to original scoby container. Cover with cloth and your ready for your next batch. This where you can have the option of flavoring your booch. Just add 20% of your favorite flavored organic juice. Set your sealed, filled bottles out at room temp for a few days to promote carbonation and flavor. You can leave them for a few days or week, then refrigerate them and enjoy!
Kombucha can also be used as a base for salad dressings and sauces.
For more information on Gut Health see my series here: Gut Health: Part 1
Have a great week.