Evidence based health benefits of kombucha tea (Includes kombucha tea recipe)


health benefits of kombucha tea

Health benefits of Kombucha tea: My first encounter with kombucha tea was when I visited my sister. As part of my culture at her place, I always run to the fridge to check if there is my favorite cocktail juice. On that day, there was no juice and I instead opted for a soda, probably coke.

It was after my first sip that I realized I had mistaken alcohol for coke because I strongly detest alcoholic drinks. When she came out to say hello, she sorrowfully explained that it was kombucha tea she stored in the coke bottle. It was from then that I picked interest in learning more about kombucha.

In this article, we are going to learn how to make kombucha tea, the health benefits, and the side effects associated with the consumption of kombucha tea.  

The health benefits of kombucha tea are liver health, gut health, anticancer, antibacterial, Hydration, fight heart disease, weight loss, powerful antioxidants, and diabetes management.

What is kombucha tea?

Kombucha tea is sweetened green or black tea that is fermented with a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). In the fermentation process, the yeast in the SCOBY breaks down the sugar in the tea and releases probiotic bacteria. Kombucha then becomes fizzy after carbonation. 

According to WikipediaOpens in a new tab., the origins of kombucha are not known, although Manchuria is the likely place of origin. The drink is reported to have been consumed in east Russia at least as early as 1900 and from there it entered Europe.  

Kombucha consumption increased in developed countries in the early 21st century and sales increased after it was marketed as an alternative to beer and other alcoholic drinks in restaurants and pubs.

What is the nutritional value of kombucha tea?

According to the USDA nutritional statsOpens in a new tab., 8 ounces of kombucha contains;

  • 30 calories,
  • 0–1 gram (g) of fat,
  • 2–10 mg of sodium,
  • 4-6 g of carbohydrates (in the form of sugar)
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • B vitamins like thiamine and niacin

What are the health benefits of Kombucha tea?

The health benefits of kombucha tea include;

1. Hydration

Drinking Kombucha is one way of keeping you hydrated. Sipping a minimum of 8 to 12 ounces of kombucha day can help you to meet your hydration needs.

2. Diabetes management

Type 2 diabetes affects over 300 million people in the world. This is due to insulin resistance and high blood sugar. Most beverages such as sports drinks, juice, matcha tea, and coffee contain added sugar.

However, a 16-ounce bottle of GT’s Kombucha for example contains 4 grams of sugar compared to 28 grams in the same-size of Starbucks Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte. Therefore, taking kombucha will help you cut back on sugar for better blood sugar levels.

3. A good source of antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that support healthy cell function. They fight free radicals and reactive molecules that damage body cells. ResearchOpens in a new tab. shows that antioxidants fight a variety of diseases including cancer, arthritis, stroke, and more, which boosts overall health.

4. May reduce heart disease

According to animal studiesOpens in a new tab., kombucha can greatly improve two markers of heart disease, “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol, in as few as 30 days. Also, green tea in Kombucha protects LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease.

5. Protection against cancer

There is growing evidence though, from test-tube studies, that kombucha could play a big role in reducing the risk of cancer. For example, a studyOpens in a new tab. in 2008 found that kombucha helped prevent the growth of cancer cells. Another research Opens in a new tab.later in 2013 showed that kombucha could decrease the survival of cancer cells.  

6. Good for gut health

The fermentation process of kombucha makes the drink rich in probiotics. ResearchOpens in a new tab. shows that there is a link between healthy bacteria (probiotics) and the digestive system. Probiotics in kombucha help diarrhea, ease irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and strengthen the immune system.

7. Fights bacteria

During the fermentation process of kombucha, a type of acid “acetic acid” is produced. This acid has been found effective at preventing infections and killing bacteria found in burn wounds.

8. Weight loss

Kombucha contains green tea, which is one of the most effective weight loss drinks. A 2008 studyOpens in a new tab. found that obese people who took green tea extract burned more calories and lost more weight than those who did not. If green tea is part of Kombucha, then there is no doubt it can aid weight loss.

We also have an interesting article about the herbs for weight lossOpens in a new tab., get it hereOpens in a new tab..

8. Liver health

Kombucha plays a big role in promoting liver health. A studyOpens in a new tab. in 2011 found out that the antioxidant in kombucha can reduce toxins in the liver. This is because the antioxidants are capable of fighting free radicals and the formation of cancerous cells in the body.

You can also learn from our articles mint iced tea benefitsOpens in a new tab., vanilla tea benefitsOpens in a new tab., and ginger tea benefits Opens in a new tab.

How do we make kombucha tea at home?

Below is a simple recipe for making kombucha tea from home.

 

how to make kombucha tea

Kombucha tea

Kombucha tea is black or green tea and sugar fermented under SCOBY

Equipment

  • Large glass jar
  • Plastic funnel
  • plastic sieve
  • A thermometer
  • Boiling pan
  • Power source

Ingredients
  

  • Ordinary cane sugar
  • Cold filtered dechlorinated water
  • Black/green tea
  • SCOBY from a good source

Instructions
 

  • Boil 1/4 of the total water in a saucepan, put off the heat, add tea bags, sugar, and brew for 6-10 minutes
  • Strain the tea bags from the solution
  • Mix the brew with the remaining quantity of cold dechlorinated water
  • Add the solution to a large glass jar and then the SCOBY plus the starter liquid that the SCOBY has been sitting in.
  • Cover the jar with a cloth or a paper towel to prevent dust and flies from getting in
  • Leave the combination for 6-9 days to ferment at room temperature away from radiators, oven, and direct sunlight

How much kombucha tea should I drink a day?

Nutrition experts say that we can drink kombucha every day, but advise you to seek your doctor’s direction before you go on with the drink.

They further caution pregnant, breastfeeding women and those with compromised immune systems to stay away from the drink. This is because it contains live bacteria that could get into the blood and cause diseases.

In a nutshell, according to the Centre for Disease ControlOpens in a new tab., 4 to 12 Ounces of Kombucha can be safely consumed a day.

What are the side effects of consuming kombucha?

Too much of anything is bad, of course. Drinking too much kombucha could potentially lead to serious side effects.

Making kombucha involves letting bacteria grow in your drink. Although it is good bacteria, if you don’t prepare it properly, contamination may occur leading to the growth of harmful bacteria hence diseases.

Since 1990, one death and several illnesses associated with the consumption of kombucha have been reported. These among others include;

  • Allergic reactions
  • Nausea
  • Lactic acidosis (too much lactic acid in the body)
  • Lead toxicity if you prepare kombucha in clay containers
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Headaches
Bottom line

Kombucha has potential health benefits. However, not all benefits have been proven in human studies. On the other hand, the health benefits of tea and probiotics which are contained in kombucha are evidence-based.

If you decide to prepare Kombucha at home, make sure you use a very clean sterile environment to avoid contamination from undesired microbes that could ruin the taste or make you sick. 

Before using kombucha, talk to the doctor first, to make sure you are fit to use probiotics.

Before you sign out, the following teas also have numerous health benefits perhaps more than kombucha tea.

Mint iced teaOpens in a new tab.

Ginger cardamom teaOpens in a new tab.

 


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