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Kombucha, love it or hate it?

Kombucha, do you love it, or loath it? It seems to be one these love or hate things, but what is for sure is that it’s good for you, mainly because of the organisms in it that will add to a healthy gut flora.

The flavour of original Kombucha is interesting, sour fizz with a hint of tea, but you can buy all kinds of flavoured Kombucha. My favourite is the original flavour

, but I also like passion fruit and pomegranate varieties. The little SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) in the bottom may seem a bit funky to some, but this is what provides the probiotic goodness. Due to the fermentation process, it may contain a tiny amount of alcohol. This doesn’t deter me (on the contrary:)), but if you’re very sensitive to alcohol, it may be an issue.

The origin of Kombucha is disputed, some say it was invented by a Korean doctor 400AD to treat a Japanese emperor, others say it originated in Qin dynasty China. Kombucha is found in many different countries around the world, from Asia to the countryside of Eastern Europe. The first definite record of kombucha is from Russia and the Ukraine at the end of the 19th century. It then spread to Poland, Germany and Switzerland and was used as a home remedy for every kind of ailment.

Paleo and primal lifestyle fans have embraced the goodness of Kombucha and other fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir because of the positive impact on our gut flora. Many of our bodies’ functions rely on the variety of microorganisms in our gut.

A healthy gut helps our immune system. If gut flora is compromised by a poor diet, stress, or after taking rounds of antibiotics without proper restoration, we will be more prone to all kinds of infections.

Our gut is called our second brain for good reason. The microbiome in the gut correlates with our neurologic functions and our overall physical health. The vagus nerve facilitates bidirectional signalling between the GI tract and the brain. This is called the “gut-brain axis” and it helps to maintain homeostasis (regulation) in the body and is likely to be involved in regulating both metabolic and mental disorders.

Eating whole foods that have been fermented ensures that the probiotics you are consuming are alive and active, something that can’t always be said for probiotic supplements. If you’re happy to get involved in DIY fermenting, it will be cheaper than supplements. As an added bonus you’ll benefit from the other nutrients in the fermented foods.

If home fermenting doesn’t appeal to you, look for raw, unpasteurized, traditional lacto-fermented condiments in your local health store or supermarket.

During the fermentation process the Kombucha culture feeds on sugar and tea to produce acetic acid and lactic acid, in addition to a detoxifying agent, glucuronic acid. Glucuronic acid is usually produced by the liver to neutralise toxins in the body. Adding glucuronic acid (like that found in kombucha) to our diet, can improve the body’s cleansing processes, support the immune system and can potentially prevent the spread of disease.

To make your own kombucha, you’ll need some SCOBY. I’ve never seen it in a shop but it’s readily available online (try Etsy). Instructions on how to make kombucha are also easy to find online (I like this one:

It’s a pretty hands-off process and the end result is cost effective, healthy and completely customisable (add our own flavours).

If you think your gut health is not optimal, I would recommend trying kombucha. There are quite a few other things that you can do to heal your gut and Im happy to help you with that. Book a free discovery call here to find out more.

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