Does Kombucha Help Digestion? Unveiling Its Potential Benefits
You've probably seen kombucha on the shelves of your local health food store and wondered, "Does kombucha help digestion?" The truth is, this fermented tea drink may provide some digestive benefits. Kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened black tea with a colony of bacteria and yeast (known as a SCOBY). The fermentation process produces good bacteria and acids that can improve your gut health and digestion.
The tangy, fizzy drink is chock-full of probiotics, organic acids, and B vitamins that may help increase the good bacteria in your gut, reduce inflammation in the stomach and intestines, and improve digestion of foods. If you're dealing with issues like bloating, cramps, or irregularities, kombucha could help get your digestive system back on track.
Before you dive in and start chugging kombucha, let's explore how exactly it can aid digestion and the potential side effects to be aware of.
What Is Kombucha and How Is It Made?
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been around for centuries. It's made by adding a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to sweetened black or green tea and allowing it to ferment for a week or more. The SCOBY feeds on sugar, producing vinegar and a variety of acids, vitamins, and nutrients. The result is a tangy, lightly effervescent drink that many people consume for its potential digestive benefits.
Does Kombucha Help Digestion?
Kombucha contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria and yeasts that can improve your gut health and digestion.
- The probiotics in kombucha may help balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut microbiome, which aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
- Kombucha also contains organic acids like acetic acid and gluconic acid, which may help reduce inflammation in the gut and increase the absorption of nutrients.
- The B vitamins in kombucha, especially B1, B6 and B12, are important for breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as well as maintaining the health of your digestive tract.
While more research is needed, many people report improved digestion, less bloating and constipation, and increased energy levels when drinking kombucha regularly. Of course, kombucha may not be for everyone, so start slowly and listen to your body.
But if you deal with digestive issues or want an all-natural energy boost, kombucha could help get your gut back on track and make you feel like your best self again.
Also Read: The Mystery of Kombucha Culture
10 Potential Digestive Benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea that contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria that can improve your gut health and digestion. Here are some of the potential digestive benefits of drinking kombucha:
Effective Against Bacteria
Kombucha ferments mostly with acetic acid, which is also abundant in vinegar. Like tea's polyphenols, acetic acid kills many harmful microorganisms. Kombucha made from black or green tea appears to be effective against infection-causing bacteria and yeasts. Antimicrobials prevent undesirable bacteria and yeasts from growing in kombucha, but probiotic bacteria and yeasts are unaffected. The health benefits of these antimicrobial properties remain unknown.
The probiotics in kombucha help maintain the natural balance of bacteria in your gut, which is important for proper digestion and gut health. They assist in breaking down foods more efficiently and absorbing nutrients. The organic acids produced during the fermentation process give kombucha a slightly sour taste and also promote digestion.
Reactive substances like free radicals damage cells. Antioxidants fight these chemicals. Experts believe food and drink contain more healthful antioxidants than medications. Green tea-based kombucha may nourish your liver with antioxidants. Kombucha regularly reduces rat liver damage from harmful chemicals by at least 70%. There is no human research on this topic, however liver disease patients may be interested in it.
The probiotics in kombucha can help relieve constipation by improving gut motility and stool frequency. Kombucha also contains water and fiber which can help soften stools and make them easier to pass.
Help Cure Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects over 450 million individuals worldwide. High blood sugar and insulin resistance are its characteristics. In diabetic mice, kombucha slowed carbohydrate digestion, reducing blood sugar. It also improved kidney and liver function. According to a 300,000-person literature review, drinking green tea reduced diabetes risk by 18%. Human study is needed to determine kombucha's blood sugar-regulating benefits.
Soothes Stomach Upset
Kombucha contains compounds like gluconic acid that may have a soothing effect on the stomach. The probiotics can also help restore balance to the gut bacteria, which is often disrupted during stomach upset. For some, kombucha may relieve symptoms like nausea, bloating, and diarrhoea.
Fights Harmful Bacteria
Kombucha contains organic acids, probiotics, and polyphenols that may help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and H. pylori. By controlling unhealthy bacteria overgrowth in the gut, kombucha can support better digestion and gut health.
May Lessen Heart Disease Risk
The leading cause of death globally is heart disease. In rats, kombucha increases "bad" LDL and "good" HDL cholesterol in 30 days. More importantly, tea—especially green tea—prevents low-density lipoprotein particle oxidation, which may contribute to heart disease. Green tea and kombucha may cut heart disease risk by 31%.
May Help Protect Against Cancer
Death from cancer is widespread. This is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth and mutation. Having significant antioxidant and tea polyphenol content, kombucha has been found to halt malignant cell proliferation in test tubes. It's unknown how tea polyphenols fight cancer. However, polyphenols may promote cancer cell death and inhibit gene mutation and proliferation. Thus, tea drinkers have a much decreased risk of cancer
Is Healthy When Made Properly?
Kombucha tea has several health benefits due to its probiotics. You may make it yourself or buy it. Please prepare it appropriately. Tainted or over-fermented kombucha can kill or harm. Homemade kombucha may contain 3% alcohol. Buying kombucha in-store or online is safest. Commercial items must have less than 0.5% alcohol by volume to be pleasant and alcohol-free. Check the components and avoid sugary ones.
So if you're looking for a natural way to boost your digestion and gut health, kombucha may be worth a try. In moderation, this fermented drink can provide hydration, probiotics, and beneficial organic acids to get your digestive system on the right track.
Best Kombucha Flavours for Digestion: Ginger and Lemon
Kombucha comes in a variety of flavours, but two of the best for digestion are ginger and lemon. Both ginger and lemon contain compounds that can help improve your gut health and ease uncomfortable symptoms like gas, bloating, and indigestion.
Ginger kombucha contains fresh ginger root, which is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help settle your stomach. Ginger may reduce inflammation in the gut, stimulate digestion, and ease feelings of nausea. The spicy, zesty flavour of ginger kombucha can also stimulate saliva flow and gastric juices to aid digestion.
Kombucha lemon drink is bright, tart, and refreshing. Lemons are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps support the immune system and gut health. The citric acid in lemons aids digestion and may help relieve constipation. Lemon kombucha also contains probiotics, the good bacteria that keep your gut microbiome in balance.
For an extra digestive boost, look for a lemon ginger kombucha that combines both flavour profiles. Kombucha ginger drink provides warming, stomach-settling properties, while the lemon offers a bright burst of citrus and vitamin C. This flavour fusion is refreshing and rejuvenating.
You can find many major kombucha brands like GT's, Health-Ade, and Brew Dr. that offer lemon ginger kombucha, as well as other flavours containing probiotics and compounds to support gut health and digestion. When choosing a kombucha, check the ingredients and opt for one with live active cultures and minimal sugar. Enjoy a bottle daily to reap the digestive benefits of kombucha.
Tips for Making Your Own Digestion-Friendly Kombucha at Home
Making your own kombucha at home is easy and rewarding. Here are some tips to boost the digestion-friendly benefits of your homemade brew.
Use organic ingredients
When brewing kombucha, choose high-quality, organic ingredients. Look for organic green tea, sugar, and a probiotic kombucha culture. Avoid non-organic ingredients which may contain pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that can harm gut health and digestion.
Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and digestion aid. Add about one inch of grated fresh ginger root to your brew during the second fermentation. The ginger will impart a refreshing zingy kick to your kombucha. For an extra digestive boost, use organic ginger kombucha as the base for your homemade drink.
Flavour with lemon juice
The bright, tart flavour of lemon juice complements the ginger and green tea in kombucha. Add the juice from half a lemon to your brew during the second fermentation. Lemon juice aids digestion, stimulates bile production and helps relieve symptoms like bloating and constipation.
Drink a glass before meals
Drinking a glass of kombucha 30 minutes before meals gives the good bacteria time to populate your gut, enabling them to get to work and break down your food as you eat. A pre-meal kombucha drink may help improve digestion, absorb more nutrients from your food and prevent discomforts like gas or cramps.
Bottle in flip-top bottles
Use flip-top glass bottles with an airtight seal for the second fermentation. Flavourings like ginger, lemon and fruit juices produce carbonation during the ferment. Flip-top bottles allow for pressure release and help avoid explosions. Once fermented, refrigerate the bottles to stop further fermentation before drinking. Enjoy your fizzy, digestion-supporting kombucha.
Also Read: Can Children Drink Kombucha
So there you have it, the truth about whether kombucha can give your digestion a boost. While the research is still emerging, many people do report feeling less bloated and more comfortable after drinking kombucha regularly. The probiotics and organic acids in kombucha may help balance your gut bacteria and improve digestion.
The next time your stomach is acting up or you're feeling a little backed up, consider picking up a bottle of kombucha from the Mountaintribe. Start with a small amount and see how you feel. You may just discover a natural remedy that becomes your new go-to for taming tummy troubles and keeping your gut happy.
Pretty soon you'll be brewing up batches of kombucha and sharing it with all your friends. Their digestion will thank you!
- How does kombucha help digestion?
Kombucha contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria and yeasts that can improve your gut health and digestion. The probiotics in kombucha may help balance your gut microbiome, ease symptoms like bloating or constipation, and support better absorption of nutrients.
- Will kombucha make me gassy or bloated?
Some people report increased gas or bloating when they first start drinking kombucha. This is usually temporary as your gut adjusts. To minimize side effects, start with a small amount, like 4 ounces, and slowly increase over time. Ginger kombucha in particular may help reduce gas and ease digestion.
- How much kombucha should I drink?
For the best digestive benefits, aim for 8 to 12 ounces of kombucha 1-3 times per week. This provides an adequate dose of probiotics to support gut health without overdoing the caffeine or sugar. You can also experiment to find the amount that works for you.
- Is homemade or store-bought kombucha better?
Homemade kombucha may contain more probiotics since it’s usually less processed. However, commercial kombucha is also a good option and may have more consistent quality. For the best results, look for raw, unpasteurized kombucha with live, active cultures. Avoid kombucha with lots of added sugar.
- Can I drink too much kombucha?
While kombucha is generally safe in moderation, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Drinking more than 12-16 ounces a day may lead to side effects like nausea, diarrhoea, and acidosis. Kombucha also contains caffeine, usually around 15-30 mg per 8 ounce serving, so keep your total caffeine intake in mind. Moderation is key to enjoying kombucha benefits without the risks.