Top 10 health benefits of kombucha, and its recipe

Kombucha is a sweet, fermented drink that is known to have various benefits. Here are the top benefits of kombucha for skin and overall health you must know about.

Updated on Sep 01, 2022 05:23 PM IST  |  141.3K
Health benefits of kombucha | Kombucha recipes, side effects of kombucha
Health benefits of kombucha | Kombucha recipes, side effects of kombucha

Kombucha originated in Northeast China around 220 B.C., and its name was derived from Dr. Kombu, a well-known Korean physician. But, what is kombucha? Well, it is a fermented fizzy sour-and-sweet drink that is prized for its healing properties. There are many potential health benefits of kombucha tea that we have explained in detail in this article. 

Top 10 health benefits of kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented drink that is sweet and fizzy. It is made from yeast, tea, bacteria, and sugar. The mix is set aside for some time to complete the fermentation process, and during that time, healthy bacteria and acids form in the kombucha drink. Once fermentation is complete, it becomes carbonated, which is why kombucha drink is fizzy. Moreover, the acids and bacteria in kombucha form a film on top of the liquid which is known as a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, the short form of which is SCOBY. You can use this SCOBY to ferment kombucha whenever you want. 

Bacteria in kombucha contain lactic-acid bacteria that work as a probiotic, which is why it's being promoted as a healthy drink. 

Here are some potential benefits of kombucha drink you must know about:

1. It may be beneficial for gut health

Kombucha, just like other fermented foods, is rich in probiotics that promote gut health. 

Foods containing probiotic bacteria improve gut health and maintain a healthy community of microorganisms in the body. 

According to a study, eating a diet rich in probiotics regularly can help people with conditions like diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

However, it must be noted that these benefits of eating probiotics are related to probiotic supplements, not beverages and foods rich in probiotics. 

But, as probiotics are good for overall health, it can be safe to say that kombucha can be good for your digestive health. 

Moreover, our gut health and body's immune system are directly connected. 70% of our body's immune system is in the gut. So, consume kombucha to improve your gut health. 

2. It is rich in antioxidants

One of the most amazing benefits of kombucha is that it is packed with antioxidants. 

Antioxidants are natural molecules that effectively fight free radicals and lower the risk of many acute and chronic diseases. In fact, according to medical experts, taking a diet rich in antioxidants is much better than consuming antioxidant supplements. Kombucha tea has antioxidant effects that provide lots of benefits to overall health. A study conducted on mice revealed that drinking kombucha tea regularly reduces liver toxicity to a large extent. So, drinking kombucha regularly can help you get antioxidants and protect you from various health problems. 

3. It may aid in weight loss

One of the best health benefits of kombucha is that it may help in boosting metabolism. 

It is not a miracle weight-loss drink that can make you shed pounds overnight, but if you are trying to lose weight, you can incorporate this drink into your weight loss diet. 

Many types of kombucha drinks have green tea, and it is a known fact that green tea burns fat. Green tea contains a compound named epigallocatechin-3-gallate that improves metabolism in adults and promotes fat loss. 

4. It may reduce the risk of heart problems

Heart disease is increasing day by day, and has now started affecting young adults too. There are two important markers of heart problems, "good" cholesterol, also known as HDL, and the "bad" cholesterol, known as LDL. 

According to a few studies conducted on mice, kombucha can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the body, thereby preventing heart problems. 

More importantly, green tea is known to protect the bad cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is one of the leading causes of heart disease. 

So, this is another reason why you should add kombucha tea to your diet. 

5. It may be beneficial for mental health

According to various sources, depression and probiotics may have a link, and as kombucha is a probiotic-rich food, it may help in boosting mental health. 

Depression and inflammation go hand-in-hand, so eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and beverages can help people take good care of their mental health. 

Kombucha tea has anti-inflammatory properties which can keep your brain healthy. 

Furthermore, a few studies suggest that probiotic supplements help tackle depression, so adding kombucha to your diet may boost mental health. 

6. It may help relieve constipation

It is a well-known fact that probiotics support gut health, which is why people love drinking kombucha tea and improving their digestion. One of the best benefits of kombucha tea is that it balances good bacteria in the gut and helps in relieving gastrointestinal issues. 

A study published in 2014 identified lactobacillus in kombucha drinks. It is one of the most common types of probiotic that prevents digestive infections and inflammation. So, kombucha tea might improve the symptoms of bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and inflammatory bowel disease. 

7. It may help in reducing inflammation 

Chronic inflammation can cause joint pain, allergies, gut problems, respiratory problems, heart disease, and so on. Kombucha doesn't treat a disease, but its anti-inflammatory properties can help you prevent various health ailments. 

The teas that are used to make kombucha include polyphenols that prevent inflammation in the body. 

Some studies show that eating foods that are good for your gut can help in lowering inflammation in the intestines, and that is why you should add kombucha to your diet as a part of a healthy eating routine. 

8. It may be good for your liver

As already mentioned above, kombucha has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals and fight molecules that can damage cells. 

According to research, having kombucha tea can help protect against liver damage in animals. There is no evidence that kombucha protects the liver in humans too, but as it has antioxidants, it can be consumed to promote liver health

9. Kombucha may boost immunity

There is a direct connection between gut health and the body's immune system. 

Our intestines create antibodies that protect the body against various ailments, and a huge portion of our body's immunity is found in the gut. So, it is essential to keep your gut healthy to keep your overall body healthy and happy. 

Kombucha has fermented bacteria that promote gut health and strengthens the immune system of the body. 

10. It may lower the risk of infections

One of the most amazing health benefits of kombucha is that it may help in reducing infection risk. 

Kombucha is made by the fermentation process, and during the process, acetic acid is formed which has antimicrobial properties. 

These antimicrobial properties have the capability of killing microbes and fighting bacteria. So, drinking kombucha tea may help in warding off bacteria and preventing infections. 

These were the top 10 kombucha benefits for health, but there are risks associated too with this drink. Let's have a look at the risks and side effects of kombucha. 

Kombucha risks & kombucha side effects

Although there are many benefits of kombucha, especially because it is a fermented drink, it is important to be careful while the fermentation process is taking place. This is because when fermented for too long, it loses its nutritional value. 

Also, if it is not made in a clean and hygienic environment, it can become contaminated and can do more harm than good. 

To summarise it up, contamination or over fermentation can pose a serious threat to your health, so if you don't know how to prepare it, you can purchase kombucha from a nearby store. 

Also, most kombucha drinks are loaded with sugar, and consuming sugary drinks too much can impact your health in too many negative ways. It can cause high blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and weight gain. If you buy kombucha from outside, make sure to read the label and choose a brand that contains under 4 grams of added sugar per serving. 

Does kombucha contain alcohol?

Many people are wary of consuming kombucha because of its alcohol content, but one must know that kombucha contains just 0.5 percent of alcohol by volume, so you won't get tipsy after drinking kombucha. Having said that, it's not recommended for pregnant women, children, or anyone with liver disease, renal disease, and pulmonary disease. 

Benefits of kombucha for skin

There are many benefits of drinking kombucha for the skin, such as:

1. It helps in balancing the skin's microbiome

Kombucha is a probiotic which makes it an excellent drink for balancing the skin's microbiome. It also helps in protecting the skin against environmental stressors such as dirt, pollution, and so on. 

2. It is anti-inflammatory

The anti-inflammatory properties of kombucha help in reducing skin conditions like acne, rosacea, and eczema. This is one of the most amazing benefits of kombucha for the skin. 

3. It has antioxidants

Kombucha is chock-full of antioxidants that make it wonderful for the skin. It can help in getting rid of fine lines, wrinkles, and acne. Kombucha can even help you deal with hyperpigmentation and signs of aging

4. It exfoliates the skin gently

Kombucha has lactic acid bacteria that help in removing dead skin cells and exfoliating the skin gently and effectively. It is a mild exfoliant, so you don't need to worry about redness or irritation. 

How to make kombucha tea?

There are many kombucha recipes making rounds on the Internet, and here we have brought to you a simple and easy recipe that will help you in making kombucha without any hassle. 

For this recipe, you will need:

For starter tea:

3 quarters distilled water

8 tea bags

1 cup of white granulated sugar

For kombucha brewing:

1 scoby

2 cups of kombucha mother tea

You'll also need some supplies to make kombucha, such as:

Make sure to clean all the equipment properly before use, and keep the area spick and span. 

The first step is to prepare the sweet tea. For that, gather all the ingredients so that you can try this kombucha recipe conveniently. Now, take a large pot and put water in it. Bring it to a boil, and steep the tea. Then, add the remaining cold water to the brewing jar, and once done, remove the pot from the heat. Put sugar in it and stir it until it gets completely dissolved. 

Allow the tea to steep until the water has cooled completely. Remove the tea after 15 minutes. 

If you are using loose-leaf tea then you can leave it in the water while it steeps, and then strain it when done. 

Once the tea is done, you need to move further on fermenting kombucha. 

Once the tea has cooled completely, take it, the SCOBY, and the mother tea that housed it. 

Now, take a jar and mix the sweet tea with two cups of mother tea. Take the SCOBY and slip it down the jar gently, if possible try to put the darker side facing down (do not worry at all if one side is not darker). 

Now, move on to the further step - take a paper towel and cover the jar properly with it, and secure it using a string or a large rubber band. Keep the fermenting kombucha in a warm place, away from direct sunlight for about a week, 14 days, or up to a month. 

It is also important to take note of the temperature when kombucha is brewing. The ideal temperature range is between 70 F and 80 F for brewing kombucha. 

During the kombucha brewing process, the SCOBY too will move and grow. After some days, you'll notice a cream-colored foamy layer on the top. You'll also see some bubbles around the SCOBY, along with brown strings floating inside the kombucha. If you smell it, you'll notice it smells like strong sweet vinegar. 

Wait for a week before testing the taste of kombucha to see how it's being fermented. Be careful while tasting it and don't ruin the new SCOBY. If it has acquired a sweet and tart taste and is a bit fizzy it means it is ready to use. If it isn't sweet yet, then wait for a few more days and taste it again. 

When you get the taste as per your liking and preference, then wash your hands properly and remove the SCOBY. Now, take a clean cheesecloth and filter the kombucha through it. This step is optional because some people like kombucha's floaty bits. 

Take a proper-sized funnel and pour the filtered kombucha into a sterilized bottle. You can keep aside two cups of kombucha, place it along with SCOBY back into the brewing jar, and start a new batch right away by adding fresh sweet tea. 

With this recipe, you can get enough kombucha to fill lots of bottles. 

Now, for the secondary fermentation process, it is important to store the kombucha at room temperature, away from direct sunlight for five to ten days. With time, it will get sweeter and fizzier. At this time, you can add flavors such as berries, ginger, or lemon for kombucha infusions. Once you get the taste to your liking, put it into the refrigerator. You can strain out any fruit if you want and keep the bottle in the refrigerator. Once refrigerated, the fermentation process will slow down and a strong flavor will develop. You can drink this within three months, as after that it might become too sour. 

Try this kombucha recipe and stay healthy and fit. 

Many people believe that consuming kombucha helps treat various problems, however, there is not so much scientific evidence that suggests that it's a miracle drink. But that doesn't mean you cannot include it as a part of your healthy diet. There is ample evidence that probiotics are good for health, which means that consuming kombucha in a limited amount can be good for you. But, make sure not to take contaminated kombucha because it can cause various health problems. Add it to your diet and reap the health benefits of kombucha. 

ALSO READ: What is Kimchi and how can you make it?

FAQs

Is kombucha good for you?
Yes, it has probiotics and antioxidants that make it good for our health.

Does kombucha have caffeine?
Kombucha contains tea leaves, so yes it has caffeine.

What is kombucha good for?
Kombucha is good for overall health and may support brain health, liver health, and heart health.

What is the best time to drink kombucha?
One can drink kombucha any time, but if you are sensitive to caffeine, it's best not to take it in the evening.

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