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What Is Kombucha and Why Should You Drink It?

Kombucha is a word on everyone’s lips lately, but for those who haven’t delved into the pleasures of this drink, you might be wondering: what actually is it?

Kombucha is a fermented, lightly carbonated tea that’s packed with probiotics and lots of other good-for-you ingredients. Basically, it’s a live food that offers a whole host of health benefits.

It’s been around basically forever, with origins dating back some 2,000 years to ancient China. Kombucha pros (and home brew enthusiasts) use green or black tea and ferment it using a SCOBY, or “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.” Add different flavors and the end result is a delicious, stimulating, super-healthy concoction.

And we’ll have three kombucha brewers at Seed Food + Wine Week: Mother Kombucha, Angry Booch, and Kombucha 221 B.C.

Here are five reasons why drinking kombucha might be the best decision you ever make:

It’s packed with antioxidants.

Let’s talk about free radicals. Essentially, they’re unstable molecules that can do serious damage to the body, causing healthy cells to age and deteriorate, leading to disease. But antioxidants do battle against this damage — and kombucha is full of them.

Probiotics are the best.

While the word bacteria might conjure up some scary scenarios, the truth is that your body needs good bacteria for optimal function. And probiotics infuse your gut with healthy bacteria, which is the foundation of proper digestion. They can help with skin issues, oral health, immune response, and even prevent allergies.

It can boost your brain.

Kombucha is rich in B vitamins, including vitamins B1 (thiamine), B6, and B12, which is linked to mental acuity and overall energy. Some suggest that a B12 deficiency is linked to depression and anxiety, so staying strong on your B12 intake is a wise idea.

It may help protect against cancer.

One study found that kombucha significantly decreased the survival of prostate cancer cells, and the researchers recommended it as useful for prevention/treatment.

It tastes delicious.

This is a pretty obvious selling point, but artisanal kombucha brewers have come up with some amazing flavors that make drinking healthy easier than ever. Think orange turmeric cinnamon, cold brew koffee, guava mint, hibiscus ginger orange, vanilla oak, and lavender mojito. Yum.

(Photo courtesy of Mother Kombucha)

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