Kombucha

My friend, Andie, introduced me to Kombucha drinks (made by Synergy drinks) a couple of years ago.  She told me that it’s a new drink that she’s been trying and it’s loaded with probiotics.  We went to the store to get some.  And it wasn’t bad!  It was fizzy and had a cool tangy taste to it.  I forgot which flavor I choice because there was a wall of various flavors to choose from.  Although I’ve seen those drinks popping up everywhere nowadays, I haven’t had one since the first one.

This week, my friend, Christina, asked about about the possible health benefits of fermented foods and Kombucha trend that is happening now.  It definitely feeds into the idea of “cleansing” and “detoxing.” This form of nutrition falls under alternative medicine, which is such a great area of interest for me.  So, I wanted to share my thoughts with you.

On a basic level, there is a great benefit of incorporating fermented foods in your diet.  It mainly deals with adding probiotics to your intestinal lining to aid digestion. Probiotics are bacteria that can be added to foods like yogurt, kimchi, or Kombucha, which survive the stomach acid and continue on through your GI tract. If they are successful, the bacteria will arrive in your intestines, multiply, and add to the existing flora of bacteria in your gut.

Although these probiotics can be beneficial, there are many types/strains out there and it can only benefit you if (1) you are missing those bacteria already and (2) if those bacteria actually help.  Meaning that it’s good for those who perhaps have taken major antibiotics or their gut has been stripped of most of its bacterial lining, for example.  Those cases are usually found in the hospital setting with severe cases that patients can encounter. Additionally, some probiotics don’t do a darn thing.

So, taken with a grain of salt, I think taking probiotics such as in the form of fermented foods can be good, but it tends to be more specific than just eating any foods with probiotics.  It has to be the right strand of bacteria to really benefit the body.

If you are thinking about trying them, I would say check them out and see how they make you feel.  There are a couple of warnings that are out there such as not drinking too much since they are acidic in content and can upset the stomach or aggravate any existing ulcers.  Also, those bottles of Kombucha can cost up to $5 per bottle.  There are other inexpensive ways to get probiotics into your diet.  Try some kimchi (pickled cabbage/vegetables) or plain yogurt.  They cost less, are delicious, and can provide many possible health benefits as claimed by Kombucha drinks.

Happy eating and drinking 🙂

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