Fermented foods and beverages, such as kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha, are “functional foods” and are all a rich source of probiotics. This makes Kombucha great for gut health

A recent study looking into fermented foods, the gut and mental health, showed:
“The process of microbial fermentation converts food into more nutritionally and functionally rich products, resulting in functional microorganisms (probiotics), substrates that enhance proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut (prebiotics), and bioactive components (biogenic).”

The review explained these functional ingredients could modify the gut microbiota. They can also influence translocation of endotoxins and subsequent immune activation and promote nutrition.
With this in mind; we explore the fermented beverage, kombucha, it’s possible health benefits and a simple recipe to try at home!

What is kombucha?

Kombucha, which has been around for over 2,000 years, is a fermented drink made from green or black tea, sugar and a fungal culture. We call the fungal culture a SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeasts. The bacteria and yeasts convert the sugar into ethanol and acetic acid. The acetic acid is what gives kombucha its distinctive sour taste.

What are some of the potential health benefits of kombucha?

  • Because kombucha is rich in probiotics, it may aid gut health.
  • While also being a great source of antioxidants, the fermenting process makes kombucha a rich source of amino acids, vitamins B2, B6, & C, acetic acid, lactic acid, and active enzymes.
  • When we make kombucha with green tea, the end result shares similar health benefits to green tea, such as aiding weight loss.
  • Studies show kombucha may suppress the growth of cancer cells. Results from the study found kombucha significantly decreases the survival of prostate cancer cells by downregulating the expression of angiogenesis stimulators.
  • Studies have found kombucha was able to kill microbes and help fight a range of bacteria. This may help kill the bacteria that cause infections before they absorb into the body.

How do you make kombucha?
To make Kombucha, you’ll need:

  • Sugar
  • Cold filtered water
  • Black/green tea (bags or loose leaf)
  • Scoby – purchased online, or from an existing batch of kombucha

To make kombucha, steep tea and sugar in boiled water and leave to cool before adding the scoby. Cover and leave to ferment for up to a week. Pour the mixture into an airtight container with some extra sugar and leave for a few more days – the longer it is left to ferment, the fizzier it will become. At this point, flavourings such as spices or fruit can be added. This recipe was sourced from: bbcgoodfoods.com

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