Probiotic: Kombucha - What is it & what are the benefits?
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink typically made with tea, sugar and a colony of bacteria and yeast. It is made by adding the bacteria and yeast to sugar and water, which allows the drink to ferment. Fermentation is a natural process to produce yogurt, wines, beer and many other products. It is a metabolic process that converts a carbohydrate (sugar or starch) into an alcohol or acid. After the fermentation process, kombucha is made. It contains vinegar, enzymes and probiotics. Several known benefits are increased digestion, detoxification and immune support. 

Probiotics Benefits 
Probiotics are beneficial to your digestive system due to the live bacteria and yeasts. Typically, you would assume that bacteria is bad for your healthy. However, probiotics are known as "good bacteria" because they help keep your gut healthy. Probiotics balance out the "good" and "bad" bacteria in your gut lining. Probiotics are naturally found in your body and in foods/supplements. Overall, kombucha supports digestion because of it's high levels of probiotics and enzymes. It may also prevent or heal digestive issues. For example, it can heal leaky gut or stomach ulcers.

Antioxidants
Kombucha contains antioxidants, which fight free radicals, molecules that cause cell damage. When kombucha is made with green tea, it is shown to have antioxidant effects on the liver. It also may help prevent the growth of cancerous cells due to the concentration of tea polyphenols.

Types of Probiotics
There are many kinds but the two most common are lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus is mainly found in yogurt and some other fermented foods. This strain of bacteria may aid those who can't digest lactose, a sugar in milk. Bifidobacterium is also in some dairy products. It may help alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive conditions.

Although kombucha has so many potential benefits, it is not a supplement or cure for a disease or condition. If one is pregnant or has a medical condition, they should check with a medical doctor before consuming. Otherwise, kombucha is a great addition to any diet! Due to it's acidic content, it is best not to drink it on an empty stomach if you are sensitive. It is best to drink it during or after a meal. I always enjoy pairing my kombucha with my lunch and dinner bowls! 

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