Kombucha may seem like it is the talk of the town, however it has actually been around for thousands of years. Kombucha is a fermented tea made by combining tea (green and/or black), sugar and a symbiotic culture of acetic acid(vinegar), bacteria and yeast( aka SCOBY).
Fermented foods have benefits ranging from improved nutrient absorption and immunity to positive effects on mood and weight. However, evidence is very limited and more studies are needed to support these claims. That being said, Kombucha is an amazing low calorie beverage option, especially when you are craving something bubbly.
Picking the right Booch:
- Make sure it is refrigerated: Cool temperatures keep the yeast and bacteria living while stopping the fermentation process.
- Check the sugar content: To make Kombucha, you always require sugar as an ingredient, as it is involved in the fermentation process. Check the nutrition label and aim for <5g sugar per 100mL. Avoid Kombucha that has artificial sweeteners such as stevia or erythritol – as these may compromise the fermentation process, hence the overall health benefits.
- Was the kombucha made from actual SCOBY? Ensure that the ingredient list does not have “Kombucha extract” mentioned.
- Does the brand have any research behind the probiotics used in their Booch: There is a lack of research for the benefits of Kombucha in humans. However, there are particular strains of probiotics that have been well researched and shown to have various benefits on health like Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30 6086.
- Is the alcohol content labeled? – Many Kombuchas will contain trace amounts of alcohol due to the fermentation process, so look out for that.
- Are the health claims too good to be true? Any Kombucha that you see promising to rid you of disease amongst other things is a warning sign!
By Certified Nutritionist Soumya Kumar