Kombucha tea is a fermented beverage consumed in many Asian countries for thousands of years. Made with tea, this drink has the health benefits of tea, but with a particularity that makes it even healthier: its probiotic content. Discover what kombucha tea is, how it is made and what benefits it brings you.
What is Kombucha Tea?
Kombucha tea, also called simply kombucha, is a fermented beverage based on black tea or green tea with sugar. It is an infusion of sugary tea to which a symbiosis of bacteria and yeasts have been added to achieve fermentation. First, the tea leaves, preferably black tea, are boiled in water, and after a few minutes they are removed and the sugar is added.
Then, it is allowed to cool to room temperature and then a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY), known as “kombucha mushroom”, formed by acetic acid bacteria, yeasts and a thick layer of cellulose is added (one). During the fermentation process, which lasts between a weeks to 10 days and is carried out at room temperature, we will see how the kombucha mushroom increases in size while fermenting the drink. After this period, we can remove the fungus, filter the drink and the kombucha tea is ready to drink. The taste of kombucha tea is a mixture between sweet and sour, becoming vinegar if left a long time fermenting, and due to the fungus’s action, kombucha contains gas.
Note: if you want to keep the fungus for use on other occasions, you should leave it immersed in some of the tea you have already prepared.
7 Benefits of Kombucha Tea:
1. Reduces the Risk of Cancer:
Some scientific studies focusing on the analysis of the healthy benefits of kombucha tea have found a strong relationship between daily consumption of kombucha and increased resistance to cancer. According to experts, it seems that these anti-cancer properties are due to the content of polyphenols from the tea used to make this beverage, as well as to the metabolites that originate during fermentation. Tea-derived polyphenols have the ability to inhibit genetic mutations, prevent the proliferation of cancer cells, cause cell apoptosis (cell death) and curb metastasis. Likewise, it has been shown that drinking kombucha tea helps cover the deficit of L-lactic acid that cancer patients usually suffer, since this acid is produced during the fermentation of the drink.
“In conclusion, regular consumers of kombucha tea have much less risk of developing cancer”.
2. It has Antimicrobial Properties:
Thanks to its low pH value, in addition to the high content of acetic acid and other organic acids and catechins, kombucha tea has antimicrobial properties. There are many studies that have investigated the effects of kombucha tea on certain types of pathogenic microorganisms and the results are very promising. Drinking kombucha tea on a regular basis helps inhibit the growth and development of bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori or Escherichia coli, organisms that cause digestive problems such as stomach ulcers or diarrhea; Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus epidermis and many more. But that is not all…The acetic acid present in kombucha tea also gives it antifungal properties, which means that its consumption can fight fungal infections. In fact, it has been shown that this fermented beverage is really effective against several species of Candida yeasts, such as Candida albicans, responsible for vaginal infections in many women. Finally, note that it has been observed that the antimicrobial and antifungal effects of kombucha made with green tea are greater than those made with black tea.
3. It is Rich in Antioxidants:
The main function of antioxidants is to fight free radicals, reactive substances that can damage other molecules such as DNA or proteins and even cause chain reactions, converting damaged molecules into free radicals. Free radicals are a risk factor in the acceleration of aging and the development of various diseases, for example, heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease… Kombucha tea is made with green tea leaves or black tea, which are very rich in antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols or catechins, belonging to the family of flavonoid antioxidants. In addition, after the fermentation of tea with the kombucha fungus, the content of phenolic compounds of this increases considerably. Some studies in rats have shown that the consumption of kombucha tea decreases liver toxicity by up to 70%.
4. It is a Probiotic Food:
The probiotics are those which contain living organisms which being administered in adequate amounts provide or generate beneficial effects on the health of the host. Generally, probiotics are usually bacteria, although there are also fungi and yeasts that can act as probiotics, and their benefits in human health have been proven by numerous studies. When we consume probiotic foods, we contribute to keeping our intestinal flora balanced and varied, mainly responsible for protecting the organism from pathogens. Similarly, probiotics help fight various digestive disorders, can treat colorectal cancer, improve immune function, promote weight loss, prevent urinary infections and can even reduce cholesterol levels.
5. Eliminates Toxins:
Enzymes, bacterial acids and other metabolites originated during the fermentation process of kombucha tea favor the elimination of toxins and other toxic substances from the body. According to several scientific studies, the enzymes and acids of kombucha tea act similarly to the chemicals that our body produces to eliminate toxins, in addition to reducing the liver’s detoxification load, the main organ responsible for cleansing the body. This ability to detoxify and cleanse the body is due to the content of glucuronic acid present in kombucha tea, the most important acid involved in the elimination of toxins. On the other hand, the consumption of kombucha tea also helps to expel heavy metals or other contaminating substances present in the body through the kidneys.
6. May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease:
Some animal studies have revealed that kombucha tea can reduce the risk of heart disease thanks to two mechanisms:
- LDL cholesterol reduction.
- Increase in LDL cholesterol.
Also, the high antioxidant content protects cholesterol particles from oxidation, another risk factor for heart disease. If Kombucha tea is also made from green tea, the chances of developing heart disease are reduced by up to 31%
7. It is Suitable for Diabetic People:
Diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels and high insulin resistance. There is evidence from research in rats that have found that drinking kombucha tea can help improve diabetes by lowering blood glucose. However, and although the results are very encouraging, more studies and analysis are needed to confirm the antidiabetic effects of kombucha tea.
Kombucha tea is a very healthy drink and recommended for daily consumption. Packed with antioxidants and probiotic bacteria, kombucha tea offers you countless scientifically proven benefits and others still undiscovered.