What is kombucha tea?
If you are looking for a new healthy go-to beverage, you will love kombucha tea. Kombucha is not any ordinary tea. It is a traditional fermented beverage made using black or green tea.
Over the years, there has been a growing demand for organic food and beverages. Kombucha tea is an example of just one such beverage. Organically prepared kombucha is packed with nutrients that will help your body flourish while protecting you from various diseases. Kombucha’s rising popularity relates to its high nutritional value.
Kombucha is a nutritious tea made using black or green tea and healthy amounts of inactivated bacteria and yeast that facilitate fermentation. You may add your preferred sweetener to add flavor and speed up the fermentation process.
How to prepare kombucha tea
Kombucha preparation is not limited to black or green tea as a base. However, it is thought that green tea accelerates the fermentation process of kombucha more than black tea. You may also spice your kombucha using other tea variations such as hibiscus, lemon, peppermint, mint, jasmine, and others.
If you wish to prepare kombucha using black tea, you will need the following ingredients:
- Tea leaves (5 grams)
- A liter of water
- Culture of osmophilic yeast and acetic acid bacteria
- A preferred sweetener (50 grams of honey, white sugar, or brown sugar)
Boil some water, then add the tea leaves and sugar. Let it boil for another 5 minutes, sieve the mixture, and allow it to cool to room temperature. Place the cooled mixture in a sterile container, then add the culture to start the fermentation process.
The term “culture” refers to a population of bacteria that is laboratory-grown under controlled conditions. Kombucha culture contains both bacteria and yeast (fungi).
The fermentation waiting period is 3 to 10 days, depending on your preferred level of acidity. The longer it ferments, the more kombucha’s organic acids will influence the taste of your kombucha tea.
After fermentation, a thin layer of protein will form at the top of your kombucha. This layer is known as a “pellicle.” The pellicle on finished kombucha tea should be filtered out. The filtration of the pellicle is the last step of kombucha preparation.
Kombucha tea does not have a standard taste. The flavor varies depending on several factors, such as:
- The type of sweetener used
- The type and amount of culture used
- The type of base used (black or green tea)
- Duration of fermentation
The factors mentioned above may also contribute to kombucha’s nutritional value. To get maximum nutritional value, prepare your kombucha tea using purely organic products without adding artificial flavoring agents.
Nutritional components of kombucha tea
Kombucha nutritional compounds are classifiable into two groups:
- Kombucha nutrients
- Functional beverage nutrients (black or green tea)
These are the byproducts of the fermentation process. Byproducts include “phytonutrients,” a scientific term used to collectively describe active plant-based biological compounds.
There are a number of phytonutrients present in kombucha. They contribute to most of its medicinal properties. One of the main categories of phytonutrients is called polyphenols. These are plant-based micronutrients that protect your body against inflammation.
Other nutrients obtained from kombucha’s fermentation include macronutrients such as carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates such as fiber, and proteins.
Kombucha tea is also packed with minerals such as sodium, zinc, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, and manganese. Some of the vitamins present in kombucha are vitamins C, B, and B2.
Other biologically active compounds found in kombucha include organic acids such as glucuronic acid and other naturally occurring antibacterial substances.
Black or green tea nutrients
These are nutrients that naturally occur in unprocessed green on black tea. For instance, alkaloids, saponins, and polyphenols. These are also called phytonutrients. Caffeine is an example of a tea alkaloid.
Health benefits of kombucha tea
Besides providing you with essential nutrition, kombucha’s phytonutrients have medicinal properties that significantly reduce the risk of developing various conditions. Kombucha:
Promotes digestion. It has antibacterial agents which create unfavorable growth conditions for bacteria in the stomach by increasing stomach acidity. These antibacterial agents are vital in limiting bacteria growth that causes ulcers and diarrhea. Green tea has more antimicrobial activity than black tea, thus providing more antibacterial benefits.
Kombucha tea also contains probiotics, which are gut bacteria that improve your immune system, digestion, and aid in mood stability.
Aids in cancer therapy and preventing mutations. The phytonutrients in kombucha have antioxidative properties that protect your body against various cancer types such as stomach cancer. Kombucha tea is also suitable for people undergoing cancer chemotherapy who are lacking in organic acids and suffer from blood pH imbalances.
Boosts your kidney and liver functions. Your liver and kidney work together to purify your body system by removing toxic substances. The liver removes toxic substances from your blood, whereas the kidney releases waste products into urine and feces for excretion. This purification process is known as detoxification. Kombucha has glucuronic acid, which helps in detoxification.
Promotes bone health. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, copper, and iron are vital to general body development. Having strong bones is part of this development. Kombucha tea can help in bone regeneration, replacing lost bone mass due to aging, alcohol intake, and other factors. People with arthritis may also benefit from the minerals in kombucha tea.
Helps to control blood sugar. According to a study conducted on diabetic rats, kombucha’s antioxidants can help in the reduction of increased blood glucose levels.
Kombucha promotes good heart health. Kombucha’s polyphenols have antioxidants that reduce the risk of developing heart-related diseases.
Promotes reproductive health. Kombucha lowers the risk of developing menstrual-related disorders. Kombucha’s phytonutrients help to relieve headaches and other symptoms linked to menopause.
Aids in weight management. Its low cholesterol levels make it a perfect addition to a weight loss diet.
Promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails. Kombucha’s minerals like sodium, zinc, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, and manganese enhance rapid hair, skin, and nail regeneration.
Kombucha tea is refreshing and nutritious. If you’re looking for a good source of probiotics, try kombucha tea. If you’re concerned about sweeteners, adding permitted non-nutritive sweeteners or organic ones like honey will work just fine.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
CyTA- Journal of Food: “"A review on health benefits of kombucha nutritional compounds and metabolites."
Frontiers in Microbiology: "The Importance of Bacterial Culture to Food Microbiology in the Age of Genomics."
Journal of Chemistry: "Health, Wellness, and Safety Aspects of the Consumption of Kombucha."
Nutrients: "Kombucha Beverage from Green, Black and Rooibos Teas: A Comparative Study Looking at Microbiology, Chemistry and Antioxidant Activity."
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