I'm guessing by now you've heard about Kombucha. But do you know the health benefits of this wonderful probiotic elixer? How about the difference between store bought Kombucha and housemade Kombucha? Read on to get some of your questions answered. (or to be enlightened)
As far as health benefits, here is an excerpt from a previous blog:
I discovered Kombucha is most known for it's positive effects on digestion. Kombucha is made using a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) and tea. It is loaded with good bacteria/probiotics needed for a healthy colon, which in return stimulates our immune system. The digestion benefits can be magnified based on what ingredients are used during the fermentation process. Vitamin C, which Kombucha contains, is known to improve immune function as well as fending off inflammatory diseases and cell damage. Kombucha is also good for mood and increased energy because it is packed with B vitamins. Think of the well known "5 hour energy" drink, they are made up of B vitamins. Our bodies were designed to function within a narrow pH range. Due to the American diet, toxins, pollution, etc most of us have an acidic body and disease grows in an acidic environment. Kombucha balances our pH which also helps with our cravings. This benefit has a cascading effect because cravings for sugar, alcohol, etc are minimized leading to a healthier alkaline body. I was pleasantly surprised to discover Kombucha has glucosamine which enhances hyaluronic acid production and this helps to protect cartilage and reduces arthritic pain. Kombucha is also known to help with weight loss, lower cholesterol, cancer prevention, and is a wonderful aid in the detoxification process as well as many other healthy perks.
Now to compare store bought Kombucha with Kombucha made in the home, I think you'll be surprised. Kombucha bought off of a shelf in the store is a better alternative than pop ... but not that much better. 1) Forced Carbonated. To ship Kombucha the brewer has to release the carbonation that naturally occurred during the fermentation process, then the carbonation is added back in (same process as pop).
2) Pasteurized. Stores require the Kombucha to be pasteurized which kills the live, natural enzymes found in Kombucha. To learn more about the process and purpose of pasteurization read this from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasteurization. Take note of this part of their article:
"Due to the low pH of acidic foods, pathogens are unable to grow". This demonstrates that there is no need to pasteurize Kombucha. Remember from my blog on the pH scale, even though Kombucha has a low pH, it helps to alkalize our body because of the ash it creates. If you're unsure what I'm talking about read this: Test-Your-pH-Knowledge-and-How-it-Affects-Your-Health. I have recently heard from a local brewer that they did find a Kombucha in the store that wasn't pasteurized, but they didn't know what brand. If you happen to know, please inform me: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Juice rather than fresh fruit. Saves time, which saves money, not our health.
Are you interested in brewing your own Kombucha? Let me know, I'll help you get started.
Don't want to turn your kitchen into a science experiment? Let me know, I'll help you get your hands on some homemade kombucha.