You probably walk by that aisle at the grocery store stocked with kombucha and think: Who the heck even drinks this stuff? As it turns out, this fermented tea is more than just a health drink of the moment. Kombucha has actually been around for thousands of years — and some of the health claims surrounding it are actually true. Here are 15 reasons you should be drinking kombucha. (The health benefit on page 12 was a surprise to us!)
1. Kombucha can help you lose weight
Eat This, Not That! admits that drinking kombucha regularly doesn’t magically make weight melt off your body. However, “kombucha only contains 30 calories per cup—and once the taste is acquired, it can replace calorically-dense fruit juices or carbonated beverages.” They add that testing on animals has revealed drinking kombucha regularly may also encourage you to eat a less caloric diet.
2. Kombucha contains B vitamins
Kombucha is jam-packed with B vitamins, including B6, B12, riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin. Healthline reminds us B12 is a key component in helping the body fight against anemia and supports bone help in the fight against osteoporosis. Additionally, niacin — also known as vitamin B3 — helps the body fight against deadly diseases.
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3. Kombucha is good for digestion
Medical News Today points to a 2014 study confirming the fermentation of kombucha tea makes it rich with probiotics, which can improve the overall health of your gut and may help fight against diarrhea and IBS. “More research is needed into how kombucha improves gut health, but the link between probiotics and gut health suggests it may support the digestive system,” the article says.
4. Kombucha can help boost your immune system
Dr. Axe tells us that “80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut.” Since kombucha is full of gut-friendly probiotics, it is literally feeding the source that keeps you from getting sick. The vitamins that get absorbed through your digestive tract are then spread out through your body in an effort to keep you from getting sick.
5. Kombucha can help manage your cholesterol
“Kombucha has been shown in some scientific models to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides while increasing good cholesterol (HDL),” Genomind.com tells us. If you have to alter your eating habits to get bad cholesterol down, sipping on some kombucha every day can probably help with that process.
6. Kombucha can help protect you from heart disease
That’s right. Studies on rats have shown that this funky fermented tea may help battle against the world’s leading cause of death, Healthline tells us. “Even more importantly, tea (especially green tea) protects LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease,” they add. Good thing green tea kombucha is sold at most grocery stores.
7. It can help you control your blood sugar levels
“A study in diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbs, which reduced blood sugar levels,” Healthline continues. “Kombucha made from green tea is likely to be even more beneficial, as green tea itself has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels.” They do admit, however, that more studies need to be done on humans to know the exact effects.
8. It may help protect against cancer
“Test-tube studies show that kombucha may suppress the growth of cancer cells,” Healthline says. “How the anti-cancer properties of tea polyphenols work is not well understood. However, it’s thought that the polyphenols block gene mutation and growth of cancer cells while also promoting cancer cell death.” Again, studies are still being done to understand the exact effects.
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9. Kombucha can give you a little caffeine kick
This is a type of tea, most of which have some level of caffeine in it. But as Kombucha Kamp tells us, drinking a kombucha won’t have the same effect on you as drinking an espresso. “Kombucha is generally considered to have about ⅓ the amount of caffeine as the tea it is made with,” they say. “So, for example, black tea, which might have 30-80mg of caffeine per cup may yield a glass of Kombucha with 10-25mg of caffeine.”
10. Kombucha can be good for your liver
As we already mentioned, kombucha is packed with all sorts of healthy ingredients. That includes an abundance of antioxidants, which can help boost the health of your liver. “Some studies,” Medical News Daily says, “have found that the antioxidant-rich kombucha reduces toxins in the liver. This suggests that kombucha may play an important role in promoting liver health and reducing liver inflammation.” With many other things on this list, most of these studies have been done on rats.
11. Kombucha can lower your risk of infection
Remember how we said earlier that kombucha can boost your gut health? In addition to helping you fight off being sick, it can also fight against infections. “A type of acid called acetic acid, also found in vinegar, is produced when kombucha is fermented,” Medical News Days tells us. This acid — also known as white vinegar — can kill off bacteria before it spreads.
12. Kombucha may boost your mental health
Medical News Daily says that further studies still have to be done, but the connection between depression and inflammation makes anti-inflammatory an even more appealing drink. “There may be a link between probiotics and depression, suggesting that drinking probiotic-rich kombucha could help promote positive mental health,” they say.
13. You can get the benefits from drinking kombucha 3 times a day
The CDC tells us drinking a 14-ounce serving of kombucha one to three times a day is all you need to get the benefits. Maxine Smith, a dietician, tells Cleveland Clinic “drinking too much kombucha could potentially lead to reactions like headache, nausea, GI distress or going into ketoacidosis (a medical emergency where there’s too much acid in your blood).”
14. Kombucha comes in a variety of flavors
Let’s face it, not everyone likes the same flavor of tea. So why would kombucha be any different? Since kombucha has grown in popularity over the last few years, companies are making the tea in all sorts of different flavors to appeal to a wider audience. To get the most out of your kombucha, go with a low-sugar variety.
15. You’re best off buying your kombucha at the store
While you can make your own kombucha in your kitchen, it’s safer to buy it pre-made from the grocery store. “Contaminated or over-fermented kombucha can cause serious health problems and even death. Homemade kombucha may also contain up to 3% alcohol,” Healthline warns. Store-bought kombucha, on the other hand, contains less than 0.5% alcohol.
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