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Niall Fitness - Personal trainer & Nutritionist

Niall O'Boyle

Personal Trainer, Nutritionist

Kombucha; Intro, History & Health Benefits

By Niall O'Boyle
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Introduction:

Kombucha tea is a fizzy tea which is served chilled. It is believed to help increase energy and as an aid in losing weight. It is known to be a strong detoxifier and is loaded with vitamins and amino acids.

Kombucha is made by fermenting tea and sugar with a live culture. As with other fermented food it is packed full of beneficial bacteria which are great for digestion and gut health. It is also naturally low in sugar.

 

'There has been huge growth in the popularity of kombucha in the last five years and this really is a worldwide trend. Kombucha is already immensely popular in North America where it has stepped out of both traditional and trendy health stores and into the mainstream and shows no sign of stopping. Australia boasts kombucha fans in their thousands and there are some fantastic established brands there as well as reputable sources of cultures for homebrewing.It has always been popular in Scandanavia, Russia and parts of Eastern Europe and now Western Europe is grappling to catch up now that they realise what they have been missing!...there's this drink that is very low in sugar, lightly fizzy and good for you, it is naturally packed full of bacteria and yeasts which are beneficial to our bodies and contain nothing artificial (no laboratory concocted additions here!) It has a well-rounded grown-up taste, not out of place in a wine glass or with dinner. (How many soft drinks can say that?) From cutting down on fizzy drinks or alcohol to giving [people] a much needed boost during a period of illness, kombucha can be all sorts of things to all sorts of people.'

- Melanie Mulin, Love Kombucha.

 

History:

Kombucha has been around for more between 2000 and 5000 years. There are many stories that claim to explain the heritage of kombucha, some of which are confusing and others, downright unlikely. However the most widely believed is that the Chinese, in their quest for holistic health and long tea-steeped history, are the originators of kombucha. Written records date back to (220 BC) where it is referred to as 'the tea of immortality' and often 'the Elixir of life'. Quite a claim! It is said that ancient Emporors were sent off to war with...this bubbly fermented beverage to keep them strong and fit for battle. 

So what happened? Well, war happened and tea and sugar became rationed in some parts of the world and hard to come by in others. As these are the two essential ingredients it is hardly surprising that this home production ceased to be a priority.

 

Health Benefits:

Worryingly, a quick search will tell you that kombucha can cure every disease known to man, including the likes of AIDS and cancer. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! Kombucha doesn't cure anything. However, it does naturally contain many of the beneficial acids that our bodies produce to help keep us balanced and functioning well. Many regular drinkers have noticed specific improvements in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, gout and acne (thanks to the glucoronic acid which is a powerful detoxifier and which also helps in the repair of cartilidge and connective tissues) Improved energy and reduced IBS symptoms are also noted, [in fact] it may help them disappear altogether. 

Kombucha also contains acetic acid (as found in vinegar) which naturally inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and gives it it's unique taste. We live in a world where on the whole, bacteria are frowned upon. We carry around anti-bacterial gels and hand sanitisers and are actively encourged to use them frequently throughout the day. However not all bacteria are created equal and whilst there are some nasties that can make us ill, there are millions of bacteria that live (or used to, before we started killing them) in simbiosis with our bodies, whose job it is to help keep the bad guys under control. By incorporating kombucha into our diet, you are giving the good guys a chance to recolonise the gut. This can help with digestion and elimination.

There is now scientific focus on studying how our gut health (and more specifically the microbiome that lives within it) is connected to most disorders (including depression, anxiety and even OCD, autism and Alzheimer's. Is it any wonder that all of these have been on the rise in the last 30 years, since we started introducing medicines and chemicals whose specific job is to kill bacteria?

Nowadays, we are beginning to understand the importance of our gut on our wider health and wellbeing. The health of our gut is directly related to our overall health, in every sense. We know now that if our gut is out of kilter, we can feel run-down. The millions of living bacteria that are found in a good quality, unpasteurised kombucha are beneficial to our digestion.

 

It is no secret that we are huge advocates for kombucha! We produce our own brand and welcome requests for free samples, which we will deliver/can be collected safely during the pandemic. Please stay tuned on our social media pages and be sure to follow us on Instagam and Facebook. Contact us for more details.

 

**please note this was written before the current pandemic. Please continue to wash your hands and use sanitiser frequently.

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