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Kombucha - what is it and why should we be drinking it?

Kombucha is a fizzy drink made from fermented sweetened tea. It is easy to make at home and, unlike other fermented drinks, can be left for up to a month so is fairly low maintenance. As the bacteria and yeasts convert the sugar into ethanol and acetic acid the resulting drink does not contain much sugar, making it an excellent alternative to other sugary or artificially sweetened drinks.

Fermented foods have grown in popularity recently due to the latest research on how our gut microbiome impacts our health. Fermented foods all contain live microorganisms (predominantly bacteria), which studies have shown help to balance and diversify our gut microbiome. Research has shown that a diverse microbiome can improve so many aspects of health including: digestion, weight loss, mood, inflammation, immunity and mental health.

Kombucha can be made using either green or black tea (or a mix of both!). Green tea contains high levels of antioxidants which protect against cellular damage. Our cells produce waste chemicals called free radicals which, if our bodies cannot remove properly, can result in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to cancer, immune deficiency, inflammation, heart disease and strokes.

This fab drink is a great alternative to unhealthy fizzy drinks, boosts and diversifies your gut microbiome and delivers some punchy antioxidants. Kombucha can now be bought in most larger supermarkets and comes in a variety of flavours – make sure it is unpasteurised (else all the bacteria have been killed) and unsweetened. Some good brands include Equinox Kombucha and L.A Brewery.


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