Time to start thinking about what’s going on in the tummy region! If you’re looking to detox your diet or lose a couple of pounds, add Kombucha to the mix. This naturally carbonated tea boasts a myriad of health benefits and helps you look and feel better. Just in time for swimsuit season! We are loving the energy boost of woodsy Yerba mate in the mornings and on overcast days. When things are warmer, try this refreshing sweet tea as a digestive aid and diet companion instead.
Kombucha is Low-Glycemic
Tackling those extra couple of pounds can be tricky as you shift from winter eating to a lighter, summer diet. An easy go-to is the juicer or smoothie maker, but beware! Most juices and smoothies contain high amounts of sugar and can be counter-productive. Although sugar is used to make Kombucha, the cultureused to ferment the tea (SCOBY) metabolizes most of it. The fermentation process makes the tea low-glycemic and adds additional probiotics and enzymes as well.
One of the biggest benefits of the tea is that it aids the body’s natural detoxification process. Kombucha is high in glucaric acid, which supports the liver. Liver health is important as it neutralizes and disposes of toxins in the body. The liver also feeds your body the energy it needs to function and fights off viruses and infections. It regulates sex hormones, cholesterol levels, and vitamin and mineral supplies in your body. Keeping toxins out of your body is like getting regular oil changes. Gotta’ do it to run smoothly!
The Good Bacteria
It’s important to understand the importance of keeping good bacteria in your body. Good bacteria are called “apathogens” and they compete with harmful bacteria. The probiotics and enzymes present in Kombucha are similar to yogurt and aids with digestion. Having a healthy digestive tract gives you more energy and makes you feel lighter and less bogged down. Also, alcohol is a natural byproduct of fermentation, and the tea usually contains a trace amount (less than 0.5%). I’d definitely put that into the “good bacteria” category 😉
Where to Get
If you’re new to the tea, beware of the different brands out there. There are some not-so-tasty fermented teas out in the world. When you’re dealing with cultures, it’s important to get the flavors right! Also, avoid Kombucha teas with high sugar content. That just defeats the purpose. Trader Joe’s carries Health-ade Kombucha in a variety of flavors – Pink Lady Apple is super tasty. One of the best teas we’ve had is Better Booch, made in Los Angeles. You can find it at Veggie Grill, or you can order a few bottles from their online store. Super yummy.
Let’s Talk About SCOBY
If you are new to brewing and fermenting, get ready for Kombucha SCOBY. SCOBY is a culture similar to yeast that metabolizes sugar. Don’t let the way it looks fool you! It’s byproducts are lactic acid, acetic acid, ethanol, and CO2 (which makes your drink fizzy). Like all cultures, it needs to be kept out of direct sunlight to grow. Kombucha Brooklyn has a nice article with pictures to show you the normal process and phases of SCOBY.
How to Make
There are several ways to make this sweet and bubbly tea. The main ingredients of Kombucha are black tea (decaf works fine), sugar, and water. You can buy a fermentation kit online via Amazon for under $50. The kit includes the glass brew jar, loose leaf tea, sugar, and SCOBY. If you don’t need your hand held as much, buy SCOBY solo. Our friend Stefani has an easy recipe on her Crafty Christian blog that will save you some money over the store-bought stuff. Definitely worth considering if you start drinking it regularly.
Doctor Up Your Kombucha
Once you’ve got your basic recipe down, you can start playing with flavors. There are lots of cocktail and mocktail Kombucha recipes to try. Be brave and learn how SCOBY can work for your body. Your stomach will thank you and your digestive system will rejoice! Leave a comment if you’ve got a favorite recipe or flavor combo. We’d love to check them out!