What the Heck is Kombucha?

by: ALEKSIJA VUJICIC

Would you like a side of bacteria with that tea? No? Are you sure? Welcome to the world of Kombucha.

It’s likely that everywhere you go lately, from grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, to the local bodega on the corner, to the blogs you read (cough *Zenzy*), even to your fridge potentially (thanks mom)- you’re seeing Kombucha EVERYWHERE. Yet, you still have absolutely no idea what it is. You just know that is smells kinda funky and you may have heard someone mention the word “bacteria” once or twice and that was quite enough to get you to never try it because… Ew.

Prepare to change your mind.

So, first of all, what the heck is Kombucha and where did it suddenly appear from?!

Kombucha actually only “suddenly appeared” in the West, as in reality, it originated approximately 2,000 years ago and has been historically known in the Far East as the “Immortal Health Elixir”, how rad is that?

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is made by allowing a mixture of tea, sugar, yeast and bacteria to ferment. We hope you didn’t get caught up on the words “yeast” and “bacteria” because it’s definitely not as freaky as it sounds and it’s REALLY, REALLY GOOD FOR YOU!!! The fermentation of the tea creates organic acids, enzymes, B vitamins, probiotics and yes… unfortunately, that slightly strange smell. It also makes the drink carbonated, meaning that it’s fizzy. This makes it the perfect alternative when you’re craving something sweet and fizzy, like a soda! It basically ends up tasting like a fizzy, sweet juice that is WAY better for you than any other juice you could be drinking.

There’s a reason Kombucha was nicknamed the Immortal Health Elixir and who doesn’t want to be immortal??? Ok, ok we can’t actually promise immortality, but we can promise you that Kombucha might be one of the most bomb things you can easily do to improve your health. Did you notice how we bolded the word probiotics earlier? It’s because they’re the main health benefit of Kombucha, and one of the most important, but underrated, things for your body. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that line your digestive tract (eg. Stomach), but what you probably didn’t know is that the digestive system is the second largest part of your neurological system, and therefore the gut is considered the “second brain”. How cool is that? (PS. If you have the time, read this insane article about your gut instinct and how it’s related to the brain).

The moral of the story here is that Kombucha produces probiotics, probiotics DRASTICALLY improve your gut health, and your gut is considered your second brain… Therefore, when you drink Kombucha, you end up helping your entire body. Read below for the six most important health benefits of Kombucha!!

  1. HELPS PREVENT A WIDE VARIETY OF DISEASES

Kombucha has powerful antioxidants that detoxify the body and get rid of any yucky germs or bacteria in there, thereby helping protect against disease. This helps reduce inflammation, which is actually at the root of most diseases. This is why Kombucha has been found to potentially strongly protect against, and fight, Cancer.

  1. IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH + GIVES YOU ENERGY

We don’t know about you, but sometimes waking up on time for school feels just about as easy as getting the perfect contour. Or the perfect dutch braids. And every girl knows that is VERY HARD. Then, you finally do it, and by 10am you’re falling asleep in Science class. Enter Kombucha. Kombucha contains high levels of B Vitamins (Eg. B12) that are known to increase energy levels and contribute to overall mental wellbeing. In fact, research shows that depression and related symptoms can be related to an unhealthy gut and the way it contributes to inflammation. Honestly, mental wellbeing is already tough enough when you’re a teenage girl, we don’t need to add an unhealthy gut to the mix now too.

  1. STOMACH ACHES BE-GONE!

The probiotics and other microorganisms in Kombucha significantly helps improve your digestion, therefore you are able to better digest foods, go to the bathroom regularly, and absorb nutrients, all of which will help get rid of a large cause of stomach aches! Because it helps improve your digestion, it will also help control your blood sugar. This is important for the reasons we talk about in thisarticle, and will help kick-start your metabolism to get rid of any excess fat your body doesn’t need!

  1. CLEAR SKIN (this is the real deal-maker we know)

You may not know this, but one of the most important factors of clear skin is having a healthy and clean gut. Read here to find out why! The short-story is basically that if gross stuff is going on and living in your stomach, it’s going to manifest itself in equally gross ways on your face. That sounds like the last thing we want but Kombucha is coming to the rescue! By clearing up and detoxifying your gut, it’s also detoxifying your skin of any impurities, as well as hydrating and improving skin tone and clarity. This alone is enough to convince us to drink it every day.

REGULATES BLOOD SUGAR

Do you ever find that during the day you suddenly feel slightly nauseous, or that when you stand quickly you experience a head rush and everything goes dark? This can be attributed to low blood sugar (more on how to tell if you have low blood sugar here), but Kombucha can help get rid of that! The antioxidants in the Kombucha to help your liver and kidney process sugar more regularly, so you don’t experience as many highs and lows. When you regulate your blood sugar, you will help curb your snacking habit, because you’ll feel less hungry throughout the day. This is good to help control your eating and build a schedule!

  1. HAPPY HEALTHY HEARTS

In some fancy terms, Kombucha helps regulate cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels. All you need to know is that this is very good for your heart, and can fend off any heart problems when you’re older!

WARNING: Kombucha is definitely fantastic, but we can’t neglect to mention another important aspect of Kombucha, which is that it technically contains alcohol. Before you freak out (or, some of you, think you can start partying), keep reading. This is chemistry, not partying, and is a result of the fermentation process. Therefore, the alcohol level is very low—usually below 2%. However! If you are trying to buy these from a store, some will have higher alcohol content levels and therefore can only be purchased if you’re 21+. Stray away from these (for obvious reasons) and grab the ones you don’t need an ID to buy—these have an alcohol content safe for everyone!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…  Check here for the yummiest Kombucha brands (in our opinion) that have the most amazing flavours, best taste, and least weird smells & after-taste. GO OUT AND GET YO KOMBUCHA!!!!  Then get back to us in the comments below.

 

 

COVER IMAGE: Pinterest

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