When I first told the Women’s Health team I wanted to drink kombucha every day, half said “yum” and the other half said “yuck”. It’s just one of those things – you either love it or you hate it. But its health benefits precede it. So with my fridge stocked, the challenge began. This was going to be good…
Hold up, what is kombucha?
For those poor souls who haven’t yet heard about kombucha and its magical powers, here’s the low-down. The exact origin of this mystical drink is not known, although it’s been narrowed down to Asia (naturally). It’s been around for about 2 000 years – but the hipsters made it famous.
Kombucha is basically fermented black or green tea. Add sugar to kick-start fermentation, then a scoby or “tea fungus” to complete the process. It’s best to get one of these white mushroomy masses from a supplier (hipster dealers) as culturing one by yourself can be dangerous.
A scoby is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that feeds on the sugar content in the tea. This whole process takes about two weeks and you’ll end up with a fizzy, tangy beverage. As a by-product of fermentation, kombucha does contain traces of alcohol – like, 0.5%, so nothing to write home about. It’s also slightly caffeinated. The process might sound funky, but trust me, the drink is good.
But why would you drink it?
I know, I know, a mushroom fizzy drink doesn’t exactly sound appetising, but give it a try. Here are just some health benefits…
First off, kombucha is rich in probiotics, which help to create a balance in your gut. They can help with digestion, bloating and a whole range of ghastly gut-related issues. Even weight loss!
Kombucha also contains antioxidants, which fight free radicals in the body. Basically, they prevent or delay cell damage. And among these antioxidants are vitamins B1, B6 and B12 to improve your immune system. Cheerio winter cold!
But beware: There is that “too much of a good thing” problem. Too much kombucha can lead to your gut being a little more active than you’d like. So try to stick to one bottle a day. That’s what I did and here is my experience…
My experience with the ‘tea of life’
Like I said, my fridge was packed with all the kombucha I’d need for this “experiment”. Ready for that detox and healthy gut, I packed my first bottle for work the next day. I gym first thing in the mornings, then it’s off to the office for brekkie and my usual coffee. But for these 10 days, kombucha came first.
What? Cally replaced coffee with kombucha!? Yes, miracles do happen, and let me tell you, if you want to give up coffee, this is an excellent way to start. The rumours are true. The natural energy lift the man-bun movement claims to experience is real. What a great way to start the day: Sipping kombucha while checking the morning mail.
Then the next miracle happened. My period. No, that’s not the miracle – the lack of period pain was, though. I was impressed, to say the least. In fact, looking back, my stomach was very well behaved the whole time – even after some late-night binging on nachos (my go-to snack). So the sceptic (me) is convinced of another health benefit. Perhaps this really is the tea of life.
The 10 days flew by and on the 11th it was with tears in my eyes that I opened my trusty lunchbox to find it kombucha-less. I’m back on coffee with breakfast and back to my usual self. In all honesty, I can’t admit to finding my skin more glowy or sudden moments of enlightened being. But, truthfully, I do plan to include a whole lot more kombucha in my life. And my body will thank me for it.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
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