The health benefits of kombucha have been known for around 2000 years. And recently it’s been gaining popularity. But there are still many people that don’t know what kombucha is.
Kombucha is fermented sweetened tea. So you’re basically taking tea (black, oolong, and/or green), sweetening it with sugar, and them fermenting it with a SCOBY.
Wait . . . with a what?
SCOBY stand for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. Yeah, yeah, I know. That sounds gross, but it’s that colony that results in the health benefits of kombucha.
There are many health benefits of kombucha, but the primary benefits include:
Improved Gut Health and Digestion
Fermented foods are something we are severely lacking in our modern diets. We need everything impractically sterile. Our spinach needs to be triple-washed and our dairy products need to be ultra-pasteurized. What results from our over-sterilization are dead foods. Foods that take more energy to metabolize than what the foods give us.
Did you get that?
It costs more energy for our body to metabolize these dead foods than the energy the dead foods give to us.
So what does that mean?
It means we’re running at a constant deficit. Our bodies are slowly wasting away. Never being replenished with enough energy from these dead foods. It’s no wonder diseases and disorders are running rampant in our modern society.
You see, we don’t give enough credit to those little bugs. The bacteria and yeasts naturally found on food. But especially found in fermented food.
One of the main things the bugs do is to help digest the food that we eat. With proper gut flora, we save so much energy not digesting food. The bugs help to do it for us! This is energy we could be using for repairing tissue, immunity, or muscle growth.
Another health benefit of kombucha is detoxification. And this benefit works in two different ways.
Kombucha contains something called glucuronic acid. Glucuronic acid is an extremely water-soluble compound that the liver uses in detoxification. The liver attaches glucuronic acid to a toxin making it more water-soluble and much easier for the body to excrete.
You see, most external toxins are not water-soluble. They are lipids. Only in fatty/oily mediums (plastics are an example). Now, our excretory processes are all water-based (urine, feces, sweat, and, to an extent, respiration). It is very difficult for the body to excrete these fat-soluble toxins.
So the body attaches highly water-soluble compounds to these toxins to make them easier for the body to excrete. Glucuronic acid is a primary water-soluble compound that the body uses for detoxification.
A second detoxification benefit of kombucha is the protection of liver cells. As we know, the liver does the main work of detoxification. And it’s hard work! It creates a great amount of cellular stress to detoxify. It turns out that the antioxidants in kombucha may help to protect liver cells as they are exposed to toxins.
Similar to detoxification, the health benefits of kombucha include two different ways of inducing weight loss. The first is the fact that it contains acetic acid.
Acetic acid slows the conversion of starch into sugar in our digestive tract. What that means for us is a slower absorption of sugar into our blood stream. This helps to balance our hormones and keep us satiated.
With rapid sugar absorption, that stimulates a large release of insulin, which can lead to a sugar crash (the tired feeling you get 20-30 minutes after eating sugar). This sugar crash stimulates the release of cortisol, which tells you “I’m hungry”. So you eat.
But keeping the hormones balanced will help you to remain satiated for hours.
The second weight loss benefit of kombucha is the polyphenols. Polyphenols inhibit an enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine, which is a fat-burning hormone. In other words, polyphenols help to spare the norepinephrine that burns fat for you.
Regarding detoxification and liver function, we’ve already seen that kombucha plays a part with the antioxidants it contains. These antioxidants also help to support our immune systems.
The fermentation process of the tea produces a powerful antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1,4-lactone (DSL). This antioxidant is not present in tea. So the fermentation process is what’s needed to release this powerful antioxidant.
It’s suspected that DSL and the vitamin C present are responsible for the immune benefits of kombucha. Also, the probiotics offer immune support as well.
Reduce Joint Pain
Kombucha contains glucosamines. Glucosamine, along with chondroitin sulfate, have gained popularity in the past decade for reducing joint pain. You may as well get the glucosamine from kombucha because, as already shown, you get so many more benefits as well.
Glucosamine increases synovial hyaluronic acid production. In a nutshell, this synovial fluid lubricates your joints by reducing the friction between the cartilage in joints.
So these are just 5 of the many health benefits of kombucha. You can certainly drink it every day if you’d like. It can get expensive if you continue to buy it in the store. Or, if you’re feeling frisky, you can make it yourself at home. It couldn’t be much easier and it costs a fraction of what you get it for at the store.
A fantastic resource to make your own kombucha is Wellness Mama. Enjoy!
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