Is Kombucha All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

While it’s been around for thousands of years, Kombucha has made a resurgence. Drinking kombucha started in China 2,000 years ago and then spread to Russia and Japan. It’s made from a SCOBY—Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, tea and sugar. Then it’s fermented by setting it aside for a week and changes from a sweet tea to a fizzy, tangy tasting one. There’s a “mushroom” growing on the surface that’s rubbery. The longer you brew it, the more the culture uses the sugar for food, until eventually, it becomes a vinegar. It’s much like the fermentation process of kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut or beer.

Kombucha can help people with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetics and people with high blood sugar or insulin resistance may benefit from drinking kombucha. An animal study showed that it lowered blood sugar levels by slowing down carbohydrate digestion. Drinking kombucha made from green tea has more benefits, since green tea without the fermentation is proven to reduce blood sugar levels. A review of studies that included 300,000 people, showed that those who drank green tea lowered their risk of diabetes by 18%.

Kombucha may help prevent cancer, heart disease and other diseases.

While the studies are still in infancy stages, test tube studies, they found that kombucha did slow the growth of cancer cells. Studies show that drinking any type of tea also reduces the risk of several types of cancer. Since it’s rich in polyphenols, like all types of tea, and acetic acid, it’s been show to slow or prevent the growth of bad bacteria and yeasts. Animal studies show kombucha tea can also shown to both lower bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol levels to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

There are risks if you’re making kombucha at home.

While there are benefits from drinking the tea, there are also risks. When you make it at home, you have to ensure it’s made properly. If it’s contaminated or even over-fermented, it can create health problems. Contaminated tea occurs when made at home where it’s difficult to create a germ-free environment. Contamination can cause yeast infections, allergic reactions, jaundice, nausea, head and neck pain, vomiting, stomach problems and in severe cases, death.

  • When prepared properly, kombucha tea is not only safe to drink, but even has health benefits. But even when prepared properly in addition to those with compromised immune system, avoid use if pregnant, sensitive to caffeine or have alcoholism—as it contains alcohol.
  • If you make kombucha at home and accidentally let it ferment to alcohol, let it brew even longer for kombucha vinegar. In fact, you can speed the 6 to 10 week process the second time by adding 2 teaspoons of the vinegar to each pint you’re brewing.
  • No matter what the home remedy you’re considering, always discuss it with your health care provider before you do. Do your research, too. Not all information on the internet is true.
  • Eating healthy and regular exercise will boost your immune system. Making healthy lifestyle decisions is the best way to protect your health.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

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