Kombucha Brew

Being a dietitian, I’m expected to know everything new and popular about food and nutrition. Realistically, that is just not possible. Everyday there’s a new discovery about this food that heals this disease and it is just absurd to claim I have read each and every new article out there.  However, I do my best, as I am sure all dietitians out there strive to as well.

One of my recent discoveries is Kombucha or as they call it the “Tea of Immortality”. Kombucha is a colony of bacteria and yeast that has been around since 415 AD. It originated in the Far East after a Korean physician named “Kombu” treated the Japanese Emperor, Inkyo, with this tea or “Cha”. Hence, the name Kombucha.

The Kombucha culture looks like a beige rubbery mini pancake. This “pancake” is also called a scoby. What caught my attention is the process of fermenting sweetened tea with this culture if you were to make it at home.

Kombucha Scoby

I have not seen Kombucha scobies for sale here in Kuwait so your best bet is to buy it abroad. You add the scoby to sweetened black, green, white, or oolong tea. The key word is sweetened since the yeast feeds on the sugar and in exchange, produces other valuable substances: glucuric acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, antibiotic substances, and other products. To get all this nutritious goodness, you have to wait for the tea to ferment for around 8-12 days.

The main benefit of the Kombucha tea is detoxification.  It detoxifies the body and energizes the mind. Kombucha is very high in glucaric acid and recent studies have shown that it helps prevent cancer.  It has also been found to aid in preventing/treating all forms of arthritis. In addition, Kombucha tea is rich in antioxidants and is a probiotic.

I was quite overwhelmed when I read all of these health benefits. How can TEA do all of THAT? Well, Kombucha tea promotes health and doesn’t exactly cure. It gives your body the tools it needs to heal itself such as helping your liver rid itself of harmful toxins and promoting balance in your digestive system.

The drink has an acquired taste. It is sparkling, slightly sour and refreshing. To gain the most health benefits, you should drink three glasses per day: one glass on an empty stomach in the morning, the second glass after lunch, and the last glass an hour before going to bed. Celebrities such as Kirsten Dunst, Halle Berry, Madonna and Meg Ryan have all been spotted sipping on Kombucha.  Many claim that Kombucha is the healthier alternative to Red Bull because of its energy boosting properties too!

– Dana Ghareeb, M.S., R.D.

References: www.kombuchahome.com, www.gaiaresearch.co.za/kombucha.html, www.kombu.de/val-gwf.htm

Images from top: Re-Nest, Craft

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