You may have noticed Kombucha popping up on the shelves of health food stores. You might have seen it written on menus in restaurants around the country. You could have also heard celebrities and influencers swearing by the benefits of Kombucha, especially the wonders of Kombucha for weight loss.
But what on earth is this intergalactic-sounding drink anyway? Are there actually any health benefits? Is it just hype, or can I really use Kombucha for weight loss? And what about any potential Kombucha dangers..?
Well don’t worry, this article will have you caught up with the newest kid on the beverage block in no time. Let’s start from the very beginning…
What Is Kombucha?
Kombucha, also known as Kombucha Tea is a slightly sparkly, incredibly delicious drink. While its popularity has skyrocketed in the last couple of years, it is thought to have originated in Ancient China.
It’s made by fermenting either black or green tea, with a special yeast and bacteria combination, known as a ‘Scoby’. Even though this isn’t actually a mushroom, the name stuck and this is why you may have also heard Kombucha referred to as ‘Mushroom Tea’. The resulting beverage can then be flavored with fruits, herbs, or other spices.
What you get is a unique tasting beverage, that kind of tastes like what soda might have done if it had been made in the Garden of Eden. The fermentation process also means that raw Kombucha is ever so very slightly (<0.5%) alcoholic and contains small amounts (15mg per serving) of caffeine.
Kombucha recipes vary but raw Kombucha is usually made with a combination of:
- Green or Black Tea
Common additions to this basic Kombucha Recipe include:
- Apple Juice
Kombucha Health Benefits
The health benefits of Kombucha extend beyond just Kombucha for weight loss. There are currently several studies underway to determine exactly what are the extent of the health benefits of Kombucha. Regardless, it has long been considered a tonic and it is drunk by many around the globe to improve general well-being as well as specific treatments. Let’s look a bit further…
Potential Source of Probiotics:
Kombucha is a fermented beverage, which means that it contains Probiotics. A probiotic is a type of microorganism, which helps to improve intestinal health in humans. Probiotics are also what make other fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and tempeh oh so healthy. Some research suggests that consuming Kombucha may help to reduce the risk of diarrhea and other digestive issues. Additionally, many people believe that kombucha can be beneficial for overall gut health and improved digestion because it contains enzymes and acids (both good for breaking down food).
Kombucha Contains Antioxidants:
The Kombucha drink is mainly tea, which means all of those healthy antioxidants found in tea are also found in Kombucha. This means Kombucha is a GREAT source of antioxidants! Studies suggest that it may have several health benefits due to its antioxidant properties. Some potential benefits of Kombucha’s antioxidants include: reducing the risk of heart disease, protecting against age-related decline in cognitive function, and promoting healthy skin and hair.
Kombucha Can Kill Bacteria:
Just like vinegar, Kombucha is made through fermentation. This means that just like vinegar, Kombucha is also antimicrobial – that is it can kill bacteria. Healthwise, this means that if you have a cold, kombucha may help to shorten your symptoms! Additionally, the Kombucha drink is an effective treatment for various types of bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections and sinusitis.
Reduce Heart Disease Risk:
One of the many health benefits of kombucha is that it may help reduce the risk of heart disease. This is due, in part, to its antioxidant properties which have been shown to protect against damage caused by free radicals. While further studies are needed to gauge its extent, preliminary research has shown Kombucha’s ability has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, reducing the long-term risk of heart disease. This is also another reason why people may choose to drink Kombucha for weight loss.
Kombucha May Help Protect Against Cancer:
Kombucha may also help protect against cancer. This is due to the presence of polyphenols, bioactive molecules found in many plants and fruits that have anticancer properties. Some specific polyphenols present in Kombucha include catechins and epicatechin. While more research is needed to determine if the benefits of Kombucha consumption can prevent or reduce the risk of developing cancer, early evidence suggests Kombucha extract could be a promising treatment option in years to come.
Why Use Kombucha to Lose Weight?
The health benefits of Kombucha don’t just stop there though! There are also many reasons why you can drink Kombucha for weight loss too! Let’s check it out…
- Cut Down On Your Sugar: The Kombucha recipe includes sugar, necessary for the fermentation process. However, the amount is much lower than traditional sodas or sports drinks, and swapping soda for a Kombucha drink is a great way to cut down on calories and reduce sugar cravings.
- Boost Your Healthy Gut Bacteria: Kombucha is high in probiotics, healthy gut bacteria that help support a healthy digestive system, liver function, and overall health. This can in turn improve your digestion and facilitate weight loss.
- Replace Alcohol and Coffee: Raw Kombucha is low-calorie, especially when compared to other beverages like alcohol and coffee. Switching your evening glass of wine for a cold glass of Kombucha is. a great way to get all these great benefits, and avoid the extra calories.
- Boost Your Energy and Metabolism: Kombucha contains high levels of glucuronic acid, a compound that helps the body break down food into energy. Additionally, as Kombucha is high in antioxidants, it can help improve your overall health and boost your metabolism.
So there you have it! These are just some of the many reasons why you should consider drinking kombucha for weight loss or general health improvement. It’s delicious and refreshing, without all the added nasties you can get in other beverages like alcohol, soda, and coffee.
HOW TO DRINK KOMBUCHA TO SUPPORT WEIGHT LOSS
SWAP THE BOOZE FOR BOOCH
Entertaining? Out with Friends? Kombucha makes a fantastic and healthy replacement for alcohol while being naturally lower in calories. Because it’s made through fermentation it’s also got a bit of a kick to it, which can make it a great alternative to alcohol or soda. Impress your friends, treat your body and make your 5’oclock unwind healthier with a Kombucha drink.
GET A SWEET HIT, WITHOUT THE EXCESSIVE SUGAR
Seriously craving sugar? With a low sugar content, a delicious Kombucha drink can help satisfy your sweet tooth. The Kombucha recipe does include natural sugars, necessary for the fermentation process. But have no fear! This doesn’t mean it’s comparable to other sugary drinks like soda or pop. Raw Kombucha only contains about 2 – 6grams of sugar per serving.
Those other drinks are also often made with high-fructose corn syrup as opposed to natural cane sugar. High-fructose corn syrup is terrible for your health and even leads to increased weight gain when compared to natural cane sugar. Just another reason why you should switch to the bucha…
STOP THE SNACKS!
Can’t stop grazing? Switching to a Kombucha drink as your afternoon pick-me-up means fewer cravings later on. If you are trying to diet but still find yourself constantly reaching for a semi-satisfying snack it may mean that your body isn’t getting all the nutrition that it needs to stay healthy.
A Kombucha drink will fill your tummy with healthy probiotics and help keep your blood sugar level. It’s also great to help keep your body hydrated, which has been shown to help stop snack attacks in their tracks.
STICK TO YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE
Give your workouts a boost by making Kombucha Tea a part of your exercise routine. Kombucha makes the ultimate sports drink substitute for keeping you hydrated and refreshed. It’s loaded full of healthy enzymes and tea is a natural way of fighting against dehydration – it even works better than water!
The nutrition in Kombucha may even help improve athletic performance and speed up recovery by getting rid of fatigue. This wonderful drink is also filled with B vitamins which will give you increased energy and less muscle cramping. What’s not to love?
BE KIND TO YOUR BODY AND MIND
Drinking Kombucha regularly can not only help you to lose weight but also improve your overall health and wellbeing. There are also many reports of people who have completely stopped drinking soft drinks by switching to Kombucha.
Freeing yourself from the daily addiction of drinking soda and other unhealthy beverages such as juice is a great way to be kind to your brain, as well as your body. Freeing your mind for healthier habits will also have roll-on effects and help foster healthy habit growth and leave you more time for exercise, self-care, and self-improvement…
So what are the risks when it comes to Kombucha consumption? Well, most of the Kombucha dangers come from making raw Kombucha at home. The Kombucha recipe calls for the addition of a yeast-bacteria Scoby hybrid, which must be treated with care to avoid the risk of contamination or spoiling.
While it is rare, drinking contaminated Kombucha can result in serious side adverse effects or even death.
To avoid potential Kombucha dangers we advise always buying your Kombucha drink from a licensed and reputable seller.
So there you have it! While Kombucha may sound like it comes from another planet, it’s a delicious, natural drink with a ton of health benefits to bring to the table, especially when it comes to weight loss.
So next time you find yourself hovering in front of the health store shelf or discerning the menu at your local restaurant- give Kombucha a try… It’s out of this world!
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Rosily Ryan is an experienced health and fitness writer, editor, and health activist in Sydney, Australia. She’s written for several publications like Pure Green Magazine.