Kombucha Series 1: WTF is Kombucha

Kombucha 101

Kombucha…

We discovered Kombucha while I was pregnant. I started researching what it was and I discovered that it is an amazing fermented tea filled with probiotics, that has the ability to reverse a ton of diseases. I was so excited about it. I started learning how to make it. All the possibilities with flavors. A whole new world was about to open up. And then…

BAM, warning DO NOT DRINK WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING. Wtf?!

I was so bummed. I did some more digging and what I found was that Kombucha is an incredible detox for toxins within the body. So if your body is not used to that purification process before you got pregnant or breastfeeding, those toxins would be passed through the placenta or breastmilk.

Kombucha also contains trace amounts of alcohol, giving it another reason why you want to wait unless your body is already accustomed to it. Everyone may have a different opinion, I would suggest you do some digging yourself to be well rounded.
So needless to say, I am at a point where I’m Kombucha-ing it up yo! For the last two years I’ve sat back and watched my husband indulge in the weird deliciousness that is Kombucha. Now we get to enjoy it together, which is so much more fun then drinking it by yourself. By now you might be agreeing with me, or you might be wondering what is Kombucha? 

WTF is Kombucha exactly you ask?

The short answer is, fermented tea.

The long answer is….

Kombucha is a fermented black or green tea. It is fermented by a SCOBY, which is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. What this colony does, is creates an anaerobic environment, meaning lack of oxygen present, within the tea so that nothing but good bacteria and yeast can thrive and bad bacteria won’t survive. The SCOBY almost creates a seal that does not allow oxygen to enter.

Kombucha tea is one of the first instances discovered having not only a nitrogen-fixing strain of bacteria referred to as RG1t but also having a cellulose-producing strain referred to as RG3t. (1)

What these bacterias do is, they go into your body and put up protective covers over your cells. Keeping them safe from harmful toxins like free radicals. 

Let’s talk gut health for a second…

Your gut is about 70% of your entire immune system and about 80% plasma cells. (2) That is a huge percentage of your overall health sitting right in your gut. And let’s think about this for a second, your gut is the only part of your internal body that comes into direct contact with the outside environment. Everything you eat and breathe in goes through your gut.

Our daily lives strip away the good bacteria within our gut, allowing the bad bacteria to take over. What the bad bacteria does to your gut is it creates these holes within your intestines creating what’s called Leaky Gut. Leaky Guy allows all those nasty toxins in your body, which should be released daily by using the bathroom. Get where I’m going with that, ah I’m just going to say it, by pooping ok. Well those holes that the bad bacteria create, release those toxins into your blood stream, causing nasty diseases and other common alignments.

What we don’t realize is that toxins are in the air at all times, in the form of free radicals. Free radicals are “molecule species capable of independent existence that contains an unpaired electron in an atomic orbital.” (3) What they do is, they go into your system and try to find a pair by removing a healthy electron. Which in turn makes that electron unpaired and turns it into a free radical. This continues and before you know it, there are more free radicals in your system than there should be. 

Bacteria strains like RG1t and RG3t that are present in Kombucha, go into your system and protect those cells that can be destroyed by free radicals. 

Let’s talk bacteria for a second…

Bacterias that are present in Kombucha is why we are here discussing this incredible natural source to health. They are the sole reason why Kombucha can help rebuild your gut that will in turn rebuild your entire immune system. 

 

There are two most dominate bacterias present in Kombucha, Acetobacter and Gluconacetobacter. These two bacterias produce acetic acid which is responsible for providing that vinegar taste in Kombucha. (4

Then we have lactic acid. Lactic acid is usually found in fermented milk products such as yogurt, cheese and kefir. But make up about 30% of the bacteria present in Kombucha.

And 90% of the bacteria present is actually a yeast called Zygosaccharomyces.

What these good bacterias do in your body is, they break down the bad bacteria and go straight to repairing the damage the bad bacteria has done. Without those good bacterias, our bodies don’t stand a chance at surviving. The good news is that good bacteria and yeasts are everywhere. They are in the soil, on fruits and vegetables, in the air, on your skin as you sit and read this post.

Why should I drink Kombucha?


Kombucha is filled with antioxidants, which help reduce free radicals in the body. Free radicals are atoms with odd numbers of electrons. When free radicals enter the body, they start to attack important cells within the body. Antioxidants are molecules that are able to safely interact with free radicals and eventually terminate them before they cause damage.
Kombucha helps with digestion. Again antioxidants play a huge role here. Like I mentioned above, antioxidants help repair damage cells. Gastrointestinal issues can derive from what is called leaky gut. Antioxidants help repair the damage that causes leaky gut.

Benefits of Kombucha.

Kombucha helps increase energy.

It helps fight cancer.

Can repair stomach ulcers.

Kombucha can support mental health. 

It can provide support to the liver. 

All these things are linked to your gut health. Once you repair your gut, many if not all aliments can be diminished.

And….

Not to mention it is just straight up delicious in the weirdest way.

How in the world do you drink it?

There is a weird mental block some of us have with drinking or eating fermented foods, I find that it freaks most people out. As I dive into the interesting world that is fermentation, I am just fascinated and can’t stop sharing. What I find is that people don’t trust their fermentation.

So, I am here to say, trust yourself and your nose. Kombucha is going to taste a little weird at first. It has a vinegar taste that needs some time to get use to. There are two ways you can drink it. One just like it is after your fermentation is done. Or you can do a second ferment. The second ferment is where you add your flavoring and create carbonation. This is most likely how you have had Kombucha, all sweet, delicious and bubbly. If your little belly cannot handle carbonation, don’t worry just add your flavoring after the first ferment and stick it in your fridge. Drink whenever you’d like.

What kind of tea do you use?


There is some debate out there about which teas you can use. Black is the safest tea to use. By safest, I mean, provides highly consistent results. Green tea is another great one but what I kept finding was that you must use a SCOBY that has been through at least 4 ferments. I came across one woman who used rooibos tea, she had great results.

The bottom line here is experiment. Every time you use your SCOBY, it grows a baby layer on top. That layer can be taken off and used to start another batch. So brew up some different teas and see what you get. Fermenting is really about finding what works and what doesn’t. So do it up yo.


Kombucha, along with other fermented foods can really make a difference in your life. With any natural avenue patience is key and remember sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. If Kombucha isn’t your thing,

Try… Sauerkraut, fermented veggies, kefir, sourdough bread…

Don’t just whimp out there are so many options for you.

Are you jonesin’ to read how you grow your own SCOBY or actually brew a batch of Kombucha? Or how to flavor your Kombucha? Or how to store your SCOBY when you want to take a break? I’ve got a whole series on Kombucha. I’ve got you covered my friend.


Happy Kombucha-ing!

 

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