When asked what I think the healthiest drink is besides water, I automatically think of tea. How can you make tea even more health packing than it already is? You ferment it with cultures the result is called Kombucha. You’ve heard about it. You’ve seen it at Whole Foods or any other local organic shop. But what is it really?
If you saw what they called the “mother, you might freak out and not want to drink kombucha again. That’s why it is good to actually know what it is and where is comes from.
The large “mushroom” is also known as a SCOBY. SCOBY is actually an acronym for “Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast”. Don’t worry, it’s all good bacteria. The yeast component of kombucha is what gives it the sizzly carbonated feel when you drink it. Some brands are stronger than others. The strains of bacteria in the SCOBY ferment the alcohols that are produced by the yeast. Don’t worry, you aren’t really breaking edge by drinking kombucha.
The reason kombucha and any other drink would stick out to me would be the health claims. I am not all that attracted to a cola drink if it is up against a bottle of tea or a “green machine” drink. This all started when my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and I was trying for find things that were more beneficial to his health other than his usual coffee. Don’t get me wrong, coffee does have a few benefits, but I come to find tea has more. I can save that debate for another article altogether. In my research, I come to find that kombucha’s main benefit is its detoxifying properties. This makes sense since this is the one beverage I crave after I have had a day of eating not so well. I want something that will cleanse and refresh me. The enzymes and bacteria in kombucha is said to cleanse and unload the junk that is in your liver. Studies have also showed that it can help prevent some kinds of cancer. So who would not want to drink this stuff everyday? Another thing that is important to me is the probiotics factor. Probiotics are said to improve your digestive system, fight over active yeast formation (candida), and general health. Also, probiotics are said to help with anxiety and depression. Instead of taking tiny caples everyday, I would enjoy a tasty beverage like this. Rich in antioxidants and so much more.
I covered all the health benefits, but what about the flavor? I don’t think anyone would drink something that tastes like dirt even if it was good for you. Don’t worry, kombucha tastes far from terrible. I will say, with some people the taste needs to grow on them since it does have a vinegar-ish flavor at first. Some folks go for more of a traditional flavored kombucha while others venture out into the fruit varieties. I personally take a liking towards strawberry and sometimes the original flavor when I am feeling like I need something less sweet. Recently, I have even come across a brand that put chia seeds in thiers. It had almost a smoothie texture. There are some brands that are stronger while some are more on the bland side. You will have to experiment and poke around different stores to find which ones you love or hate. Here are some examples!
Synergy Drinks – Grape Chia
Wonder Drink- Niagara Grape
Kombucha 2000- Blueberry
The other option of course is to make your own! I have many friends who have ventured in that direction and I hope to follow suit someday soon. The trick is to either find someone who has their own SCOBY you can borrow or to order one. The tricky thing is, for freshness, she had to order the SCOBY after receiving the main kit. Poke around and find which kit is suited for your needs!