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What Is In Kombucha Tea

Are All Scobys The Same

The Science of Kombucha

Not all kombucha SCOBYs contain the exact same strains of bacteria and yeast, but they generally all act in a similar way to create kombucha tea. One thing all kombucha SCOBYs have in common is that they are a self-perpetuating culture. This means the SCOBY multiplies itself through the process of creating kombucha.

Is Kombucha Healthy For Everyone

If you have a condition called acidosis which means that your body has too much acid, you dont want to drink kombucha tea because it will make the condition worse, especially in 52% of women according to this report.

If you have an ulcer or gastritis, then its not a good idea to drink kombucha because there can be too much acid.

Its also not advised to drink kombucha if you have a condition called SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Alcohol Content Because its a fermented drink it does contain trace amounts of alcohol . Its normallyabout 0.5% but it can be higher, so it is best to read the labels .

Hidden Sugar There might be about 2g of sugar in the Kombucha so read the labels. The sugar content can be a lot higher, up to about 10g of sugar, depending on what ingredients were used.

It varies from supplier to supplier. Some manufacturers brew all the sugar out. This type of Kombucha has a long aged fermentation process and is ideal if you are following a low-sugar eating plan.

But if youre making it yourself, you can allow it to ferment longer so you will have less sugar.

When you are making Kombucha yourself, remember it involves letting bacteria grow in a liquid youre going to drink.

Many of the bacteria are considered probiotics, but if its not prepared properly, it can grow harmful bacteria or mold.

Strange But True Kombucha Has Antimicrobial Properties Too

Everyone talks up kombuchas probiotic benefits, but this fermented brew has antibacterial and antifungal properties as well, thanks to a combo of acetic acid and polyphenol antioxidants.

In fact, research suggests that kombucha made from black or green tea has strong antimicrobial properties against harmful bacteria and Candida yeasts. The overgrowth of Candida in the GI tract can lead to symptoms like oral thrush, UTIs, cramps, and bloating.

But and this is important these antimicrobial effects dont mess with the beneficial bacteria and yeast involved in kombucha fermentation. Win-win!

Its not quiteclear what these antimicrobial properties mean for your health just yet much more research is needed to flesh that out but it could be one more way kombucha helps support overall digestive and immune health.

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Is There Alcohol In Kombucha

Kombucha does contain a little bit of alcohol as a by-product of the fermentation process. It is usually no more than 1%, so unless you drink several glasses back to back, you should be just fine. However, people with alcohol sensitivities or who avoid alcohol for other reasons should be aware of its presence.

Im breaking the kombucha-making process into very small steps here. It looks long and complicated, but this is actually a very straightforward and streamlined process. Once you get into the rhythm of it, bottling a finished batch of kombucha and preparing the next only takes about 20 minutes every seven to 10 days.

How Do You Make Kombucha

How To Make Kombucha Tea at Home

Kombucha is usually made using:

  • Black or green tea
  • Scoby purchased online, or from an existing batch of kombucha

To make kombucha, the tea and sugar is steeped in boiled water and left to cool before adding the scoby. This is covered and left to ferment for up to a week. The mixture is then poured into an airtight container with some extra sugar and left for a few more days the longer it is left, the fizzier it will become. At this point, flavourings such as spices or fruit, can be added.

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Why Make Homemade Kombucha

Wondering why and how to make kombucha at home? Got a kombucha problem and dont like how much it costs? I dont blame you. Store bought kombucha costs as much as wine.

1 gallon kombucha = $28 Store bought vs. $0.80 Homemade = 30 times cheaper

Shocked? I was too. This reason alone should be enough to get over any aversion towards kombucha SCOBY, the jellyfish like slimy kombucha mushroom, and learn how to make your own kombucha.

I have been making my own kombucha for 5 years now. Making kombucha at home is super-super simple once you understand how kombucha tea brewing process works. This post goes into detailed instructions including a video, supplies needed and a huge section of FAQs. Keep scrolling below or click on any link in the Table of Contents above for a quick jump to your section of interest.

Is Hard Kombucha Good For You

The gut-friendly potential of the traditional version of the drink is widely reported. This is down to the live cultures that can help to maintain a healthy population of bacteria in your gut.

This may aid digestion as well as supporting your immune health .21

But what happens to the live microorganisms as the alcohol levels rise? There are questions and various opinions about whether the good bacteria can survive in a boozier environment.

There dont seem to be any consistent answers, leaving any suggested gut-friendly benefits of high alcohol kombucha very much up for debate.

However, some of the other wellness perks of kombucha are more likely to withstand the extra fermentation.

For example, the beneficial acids remain in-tact, so the beverage retains some antioxidant capabilities.

And being gluten-free, it can be a less bloating alternative to beer, especially for those with an intolerance to wheat. Finally, it may have a lower sugar and calorie content than more sugary alcoholic drinks.

But all of this varies depends on the specific sugar and alcohol content of a specific brew.

In reality, any wellness boost offered by hard kombucha is likely to be fairly minimal. So, on balance, the boozy brew isnt considered a health drink.

However, for some people, it can offer some benefits over other alcoholic beverages.

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What Is The Best Way To Drink Kombucha And How Much Should You Start With

If you dont fall under the Avoid List, I suggest you start drinking a small amount in moderation and then gradually work up to a full serving to gauge your bodys response.

Its safely recommended you can consume up to four ounces/118 mL one to three times a day.

That means no more than 12 ounces a day. I like to drink one serving a day in the morning before breakfast, and you need to drink it daily to benefit.

How Long Has Kombucha Been Around

What is JUN Tea? How to Make Jun Kombucha

Often it is said, that the Kombucha fungus had already been used 2000 years ago in China. It is also said to have existed for a long time now in Japan and Korea. Particularly in China it was the Grandmother who kept a jar of it on hand at all times and was responsible for the preparation of the tea.

When a daughter in the family got married and moved out to live with her husband .

The Kombucha culture was passed down to the granddaughter to provide health and longevity to her family. Sort of like a family heir loom. Ha can you imagine getting that instead of a diamond ring?!

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What Is Kombucha Tea Made Of

Below is a complete breakdown of what is found in Kombucha tea and a quick associated beneficial function of that ingredient. Kombucha Benefits will be discussed in depth in our course tomorrow.

Remember this is the finished product of the kombucha tea that has been fermented with a kombucha culture for about 10 days, and not just the kombucha culture itself.

We will do another class in the future to discuss what is a kombucha culture make of.

This is a truer representation, as usually it is the kombucha tea that is consumed by the individual and not the SCOBY .

  • LACTIC ACID: Found in Kombucha in its most potent form L-lactic. Lactic acid is essential for the digestive system.
  • ACETIC ACID: Its main function is to inhibit harmful bacteria. Acetic acid is used as a preservative because of this action. It is also what gives Kombucha that kick to its smell and taste.
  • MALIC ACID: Is also used in the bodys detoxification process.
  • OXALIC ACID: Encourages the cellular production of energy and is a natural preservative.
  • GLUCONIC ACID: Is effective against many yeast infections such as Candida and thrush.
  • BUTYRIC ACID: Is produced by the yeasts and when working with gluconic acid, might help combat yeast infections such as Candida.
  • NUCLEIC ACID: Work with the body aiding healthy cell regeneration.
  • AMINO ACID: A group of acids which are the building blocks of protein. Your muscular system is made of proteins.

Can Kombucha Ever Be Bad For You

According to the CDC, it’s safe to consume four ounces of kombucha three times per day. The safety of drinking more than this is unknown.

If you’re new to drinking kombucha, you may want to start slow since the low pH of this beverage might contribute to some GI distress.

In addition, since kombucha is not pasteurized, some people should avoid drinking kombucha altogether, such as those who are higher risk for foodborne illness, including:

  • Women who are pregnant
  • People with a weakened immune system

Pregnant women still considering drinking kombucha should also be aware that it contains both alcohol and caffeine .

Lastly, be cautious about home-brewed kombucha especially if the brewer is new to fermentation. Inadequate sanitation of brewing equipment can lead to contamination with harmful bacteria, and fermenting in improper vessels, such as clay jars, can lead to harmful compounds leaching into the beverage.

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What Are The Negative Effects Of Kombucha

Kombuchas probiotics can come with a downside. Thats because some brands of the drink are unpasteurized and thus, you may end up with a seriously upset stomach, says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet. Or worse: “Without pasteurization, you run the risk of harmful microorganisms taking over and causing serious problems, including food poisoning,” says Ryan Andrews, R.D., a fitness and nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition.

But in order to reap kombuchas probiotic benefits, the drink likely needs to be unpasteurized. “Pasteurization kills off both harmful and helpful bacteria, so any potential beneficial probiotics would be gone as well,” Andrews explains.

Probiotics are a key part of a healthy diet, Neola says. And if you want to get them from kombucha, thats fine. But if youre going to drink the raw version, make sure to buy your kombucha from a reputable company, Gans says.

How To Make Your Own

Kombucha Tea: Should You Drink This Fermented Tea?

It is also possible to grow your own SCOBY.

You can do so by using raw, unflavored kombucha and 1 cup of green or black tea sweetened with 12 tablespoons of sugar.

Simply combine the kombucha and cooled tea in a jar and cover it tightly with a coffee filter or dishrag.

Place the jar in a warm spot around 6880°F and let it ferment for up to 30 days. As the SCOBY begins to form, it will gradually become thicker and less translucent.

Once the SCOBY is about 1/4-inch thick, you can use it to brew a new batch of kombucha using green or black tea and sugar.

Summary

Growing your own SCOBY is a simple process you only need raw kombucha, sweetened tea and time to spare.

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Kombucha Meaning & Origin

Now you know what this beverage is all about, you might wonder where this name originates from. For this weve to look back into the history of this beverage. The production of Kombucha can be traced back all the way to the Qin Dynasty in China, where it was made by doctors to threat the emperor health issues related to digestion.

However, in Chinese Kombucha is pronounced as Hong Cha Jun, literally meaning red tea bacteria. Hong Cha Jun is a completely different term from Kombucha, which isnt strange because the beverage never hit the mainstream in China. In the 19th century an Asian business men introduced the beverage in Russia, and it got some popularity in the 90s in Japan. It was the Korean physician called Kombu, who treated the Emperor Inyko with this fermented tea. Later on the name Kombu was combined with cha meaning tea in Chinese and the term Kombucha was born.

What Is A Kombucha Tea

Kombucha tea is a fermented tea made with water, tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. After kombucha SCOBY sits in a sweetened tea for 7-10 days, the result is barely sweet fermented fizzy drink. Most sugar in store bought kombucha comes from added sugar.Kombucha definitely tastes and smells like a fermented product. Something in between apple cider and tea. It tastes depends on type of tea leaves used and flavorings added. There is a big difference in taste between green tea and black tea fermented tea.

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So Just How Much Kombucha Should You Drink

Too much of anything is bad for you, of course. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that four ounces of kombucha can be safely consumed one to three times a day.

That means you shouldnt consume more than 12 ounces of kombucha a day, says Smith, who points out that the average bottle of commercially prepared kombucha exceeds a daily, single serving at 16 ounces.

We just dont have a lot of research identifying optimal quantities, or even benefits and risks of many probiotic foods, she notes.

The Most Important Ingredient Teabut Not Just Any Tea

How to Flavor Kombucha Tea

Tea is a key ingredient to the growth and health of a SCOBY. The nutrients found in tea leaves in combination with sugar feed the kombucha colony so it continues thrive. If you want your SCOBY to be healthy and your kombucha to taste great, its important to choose the right tea. Here are some tips:

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Kombucha Can Help Halt That Crazy Blood Sugar Roller Coaster

Frequent spikes and dips in blood sugar a result of eating refined carbs like doughnuts or pasta in the absence of fiber or protein can seriously eff with your mood and trigger sugar cravings, especially if you have type 2 diabetes.

Kombucha helps tame the blood sugar beast. One study on rats with diabetes found that kombucha helped slow the digestion of carbs, which lowered blood sugar. It also seemed to improve the function of the liver and kidneys two organs affected when blood sugar is out of whack.

One potential reason: Kombucha contains acetic acid, a byproduct of fermentation, which has been shown to successfully lower blood sugar and insulin levels.

Bonus points for kombucha made with green tea! The main catechin antioxidant in green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate can influence the way glucose is absorbed by the body.

One research review found that green tea drinkers consuming 3 to 4 cups per day have an 18 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Kombucha May Provide The Benefits Of Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.

This is because green tea contains many bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants in the body .

Kombucha made from green tea contains many of the same plant compounds and presumably boasts some of the same benefits .

Studies show that drinking green tea regularly can increase the number of calories you burn, reduce belly fat, improve cholesterol levels, help with blood sugar control and more (

19 ).

While no human studies exist on this topic, it does seem like a promising area of research for people with liver disease.

Summary Kombucha is rich in antioxidants, and studies have shown that it protects rats liver from toxicity.

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What Is Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is a sparkling beverage made by fermenting tea and sugar with a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, also known as a SCOBY. A kombucha contains living cultures, polyphenols and organic acids that are known to help with digestion and support the immune system. A real kombucha is always raw & unpasteurized.

The oldest origins have kombucha arising in China around 221 BCE during the Qin Dynasty. Kombucha was referred to as the Tea of Immortality. The emperor Qin Shi Huang is said to have sought to lengthen his life, and an alchemist purportedly delivered this beverage at his request.

Fast forward a few centuries and take a quick trip around the world, and youll find another historic kombucha, RISE! The only nationally-available Canadian kombucha, brewed and bottled in Montreal.

The Best Kombucha Brands:

Homemade Fermented Raw Kombucha Tea

Kombuchas sweet-tart taste can turn some people off the fermentation gives it a slightly vinegary taste but different flavors can tame the tang. First-timers can ease in with a flavored brew like strawberry, mango, honey, or blood orange. Diehard drinkers can go for bold flavors like beet, rose, and lemon cayenne.

Remember, though: “Not all kombuchas are created equal,” says Neola. “Some are loaded with added sugars.” So make sure to read your label and the serving size amount!

“Make sure youre looking for options that offer 2 grams of sugar or less per 1 cup serving,” London says. “Since kombucha is made through a fermentation process, its necessary to have a little sweetener in there, but some varieties are lower in the sweet stuff than others.”

Ready to try it? Here are some brands we love:

The Bottom Line: “One food or drink in isolation isn’t a cure-all,” London says. “Choose kombucha for flavor, not just its health benefits.”

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