Hello dear readers!
I was on a Pinterest binge the other day when something quite peculiar caught my eye. Curiously, I clicked on the link underneath the following picture. What is this weird goo?! It turns out I stumbled upon a recipe for homemade Kombucha!
I have never heard of this foreign science experiment before, so I decided to do some research: First off, its a drink (yes, it’s eatable). Kombucha is created by fermenting tea with pancake-like live cultures of yeast and bacteria called “Kombucha” or SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). During the fermentation, there are a few by products: alcohol, acetic acid, lactic acid, and others. The first bottle brand I tried, I could actually smell a bit of alcohol but its very small amounts (less than .5%). So, what’s the hype? Kombucha, also known to the Chinese as the “immortal health elixir” has reported health effects, such as:
- A great detox for your liver
- helps prevents all arthritis
- aids in digestion and gut health from the high amounts of probiotics
- Boosts the immune system
- various vitamin B’s
I decided to test it out! When I was a kid, I would always have stomach issues and my doctor finally prescribed probiotics. Since then, my stomach has been able to figure itself out and I haven’t felt as sick. Yeast, probiotics, vitamin B are highly promoted for a happy digestive track. This is even better! They are all combined into one drink! My local health food store provides a few different brands, so here is my chart comparing them. I also recently found a few brands in my local Hannaford’s! I’m glad this drink is becoming more mainstream!
This tea’s potential health effects sound amazing, but has not been very scientifically explored. The American Cancer Institute has an article online about the harmful side effects of drinking Kombucha (please note this is an extreme case and not a scare tactic). This tea has caused hospitalization and even one death. My speculation is that these individuals’ trouble came from daily consumption and home brewing rather than the drink itself. Remember, too much of any vitamin is harmful. Too much vitamin C will develop scurvy (as well as too little). If you flood your intestine and wipe all your natural flora, you actually have to have some put back in- you do NOT want to know what that means. Moderation is key across all boards!
After my research and sampling a few brands and flavors I’ve come to several conclusions:
- I don’t like the chai flavors. Chai is supposed to be great for you! But drinking it? It’s a very slimy texture. Do I chew it or just swallow it?
- My favorite brands are Synergy, Organic Raw Kombucha, and Reed’s. Reed’s has the most ginger-influenced flavor (ginger ale/candy/ naturally flavored things are a really great alternative to nausea medicine)
- Calories. Depending on the flavor, your calories per bottle can range from 70-200. Its just something to note
- I’ll drink maybe two bottles a week. Again, moderation for those vitamins!
- I will never make this at home. Its too much of a gamble with not having proper sterilized equipment and proper cooling/ heating techniques.
These are just my opinion from evidence I interpreted from research, if you have more questions, I suggest further exploration and/or recommendations from a physician should be pursued.
Sources: Wikipedia, Food Renegade, and American Cancer Society
Started my half marathon training last week and did a hilly 5 miles this morning. Getting ready for my Spartan race this upcoming Saturday- August 9th in Amesbury Mass! I also finished that book I was telling you all about, Born To Run. It was great! I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in running whether you’re running 1 mile or 20. It’s a really wonderful reminder that running isn’t anything more than you and the trail.