#HealthBytes: Health benefits of kombucha tea that are science-backed
Kombucha is a fermented tea that is made from tea, sugar and a type of bacteria and yeast, and is consumed by health proponents worldwide. What makes the tea healthy is the fact that in addition to all the benefits of regular tea, it is also rich in probiotics. Read on to find out a few science-backed health benefits of this wonder tea.
Rich in probiotics, kombucha tea aids in healthy gut microbiome
Kombucha tea is made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast, sugar to black or green tea and fermenting it for more than a week. The fermentation process produces several species of Lactic acid bacteria, which has a probiotic function. These bacteria can improve various aspects of health including digestion and inflammation. Drinking kombucha tea hence aids in a healthy gut microbiome.
Contains antioxidants that can fight free radicals
Antioxidants are substances that fight harmful free radicals which can cause life-threatening diseases like cancer. Kombucha made from green tea is believed to have antioxidant effects on the liver. To support this, a laboratory study showed that consuming kombucha tea regularly reduces liver toxicity by at least 70%. While further human studies are required, kombucha tea seems promising for people with liver disease.
Protects against bacterial and yeast infections
The acetic acid that is produced during the fermentation process is capable of killing many harmful microorganisms. Research suggests that kombucha has strong anti-bacterial properties and is beneficial against infection-causing bacteria and Candida yeasts. Thus, drinking kombucha tea is a great way to suppress the growth and kill unwanted microbes in the body, while also increasing the number of healthy probiotic bacteria.
Word of caution - Keep the tea free from contamination
Kombucha tea is healthy and can be bought from stores or made at home. If contaminated or over-fermented though, it can cause serious health problems. Preparing the tea in properly sterilized jars can be a risk during fermenting at home and the safer option is to buy kombucha at a store. However, check the label to avoid brands that are high in added sugar.