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Summary: Learn more about kombucha tea, why it is so popular, and how you can use it as a health supplement.
Kombucha has become incredibly popular over the past several years, but a lot of people don’t understand what it actually is! Yes, it’s a fizzy and often delicious drink, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. Kombucha most likely originated in 220 B.C.E. in Manchuria, a historical region of China. While just a few years ago Kombucha was only found in specialty grocery stores, it’s now gracing the aisles of most mainstream stores. If you’re curious to learn more, now is the time.
Kombucha is fermented tea. True, that doesn’t sound incredibly appetizing, but it’s actually delicious if you can get past that mental hurdle. To make Kombucha, you need what is called a SCOBY, which stands for a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. The yeast breaks down the sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol (hence the fizziness) and the bacteria converts the alcohol into acetic acid, giving the drink its vinegary taste.
One of the most common reasons people drink Kombucha is for the probiotics the drink contains. If your kombucha is raw and unpasteurized, it’s full of the probiotics from the live bacteria and yeast. Why are probiotics so important? They have been shown to improve your immune system and help your digestive system. You naturally have bacteria in your digestive tract but with our less than stellar modern diet or any conditions you might have, this microflora might not be at its best. Adding probiotics into your diet, whether through kombucha or other means, can promote healthier bacteria to grow and translate into better digestion.
If you’ve tried kombucha and aren’t a fan, you can also get probiotics through other types of foods. Some of these food options are kefir, kimchi, yogurt or sauerkraut. If you do want to give kombucha a try, consider testing out multiple brands and flavors. Just like with any other product or drink, we all have our personal preferences, so don’t write off kombucha after one attempt.
To get you started, here are some popular brands to look for:
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