“It is better to go three days without oil and salt than to go one day without tea.”
For those who aren’t familiar with it, kombucha, also lovingly referred to by some as “bottled booch” is a fermented sweet tea that packs a serious health punch. If you haven’t experienced the many wonders of this unique drink, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and now’s the perfect time as we close out National Nutrition Month. With all of the new recipes and blends out there (there’s even kombucha cocktails!) booch could become a palate pleaser in your near future. Let’s call it, as the authors suggest, “kombucha kismet.” According to The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea (Storey Publishing, March 2016) by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory of Kombucha Kamp, tea is consumed more than all other beverages combined, including soft drinks, coffee and alcohol.
If you’re thinking of making your own booch, let me introduce you to a very important part of the process: SCOBY. Not the prettiest of ingredients, this is the living material that drives the fermentation process behind kombucha. It is a symbiotic culture made up of bacteria and yeast. This symbiosis actually acts as a “double karate chop” to pathogenic organisms that might try to invade the sweet tea. If you can overlook the slimy SCOBY, there’s a vast amount of health benefits that might convince you to drink up. Plus, these healing properties are known to regulate the body and, in turn, reduce stress.
Here are a few ways Kombucha can combat stress – get drinking!:
Kombucha is an adaptogen
An adapt-a-what? Adaptogens are plant or plant-based derivatives (in this case, fermented tea) that balances the body. They are usually a great source of antioxidants which eliminate free radicals. Other benefits include immunity and stamina boosting, and liver protection.
Kombucha supports healthy digestion
It’s time to trust your gut with this one. Kombucha regulates the digestive system by increasing the acidity, which is crucial for digestive ease and absorbing nutrients in food. Stress in the gut appears as IBS or ulcers, so beat these nasty tummy blues by increasing gut acidity with your daily dose of booch.
Kombucha contains B Vitamins and Vitamin C
Kombucha contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B6 and B12, which help fight depression and improve concentration. Also important is vitamin C, which suppresses the release of cortisol (a stress hormone).
Drinking kombucha can reduce caffeine and sugar intake
Replacing your daily cup of joe with kombucha means less caffeine. And the L-theanine found in tea counteracts harmful effects of caffeine, providing a more focused and calm energy.
Low amounts of alcohol have a beneficial effect on the body
Kombucha contains trace amounts of alcohol. Naturally occurring low levels of alcohol increase feelings of well-being and lessen stress.