Simply put, Kombucha (also knows as tea mushroom, tea fungus) is fizzy tea. With origins in east Asia, the drink is a form of fermented tea. Over the past couple of years, it has grown in popularity due to its purported health benefits. Unfortunately, the tangy drink is scientifically under-tested and very few of the supposed benefits floating around are actually true.
So here are 10 benefits based on potential evidence:
Could help you lose weight
Some Kombuchas are made of green tea, which means that they have a high concentration of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a compound found in green tea. According to a review in the May 2017 Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry – Cathechins can probably boost metabolic rates.
However, this must be taken with a grain of salt as there is only a small body of work supporting this research.
A source of probiotics
Since Kombucha is made via the process of fermentation, bacteria are produced. Among it a strain of lactic acid bacteria that may have a probiotic function. Probiotic bacteria have been proven to have benefits for gut health, including digestion and inflammation.
It’s good for your liver
Antioxidants fight cell-damaging molecules known as free radicals. In teas, they are present in the form of polyphenols. Research has shown that they are often better absorbed from food and drink. Since Kombucha appears to have antioxidant effects on the liver, it is extremely beneficial to liver health.
In other words, this super drink helps detoxify your body.
Kombucha is made with acetic acid. Similar to vinegar. This means it can kill bad bacteria and has antimicrobial properties. As of right now, the health benefits are unclear, but this is an important prospect for Kombucha.
Reduces heart disease
According to studies done on rats, Kombucha has been shown to reduce cholesterol in as little as 30 days. An added benefit for green tea Kombucha is green tea naturally reduces the risk of heart disease.
Helps manage type 2 diabetes
In another study with rats, Kombucha was shown to reduce blood sugar levels by slowing the digestion of carbs. It also detoxified the liver and kidneys. All of which are beneficial to individuals with type 2 diabetes which is characterized by low blood sugar and insulin resistance. Another study also reported that the tea might inhibit a protein that is responsible for higher post-meal glucose levels.
Once again green tea is an added benefit as it reduces the risk of diabetes.
Helps in cancer prevention
There is a growing body of research based on the antioxidant properties of Kombucha. Antioxidant properties – if strong enough, may help inhibit the growth of new blood vessels and hence prevent certain types of cancer such as prostate cancer.
It has also been found that polyphenols in tea prevent the growth of cancer cells. Hence why tea drinkers have a lower cancer risk.
The drink’s probiotic qualities may possibly relieve some gastrointestinal issues. The probiotics may help stabilize the pre-existing gut bacteria and provide relief from infections and maybe even Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Hence reducing bloating and constipation.
Antioxidant polyphenols reduce inflammation in the body and especially in the gut. Gastrointestinal issues are caused by inflammation due to an imbalance of gut bacteria.
While more research on Kombucha is still required, so far all signs point to it having a possibly stabilizing effect on the gut.
Helps strengthen the immune system
In other news, healthy gut, strong human. The digestive and immune systems are very closely linked. So an imbalanced digestive tract may lead to issues with immunity. Kombucha, thankfully can help sort that out with its abundance of probiotic bacteria.
Anyways, enjoy this sweet fizzy concoction.