According to healthline - Since thousands of years ago, kombucha tea has become one of the mainstays because it is rich in antioxidants. Not only rich in antioxidants, there are a myriad of other health benefits of kombucha tea that should not be missed.
Moreover, you can also make it yourself at home with fairly easy ingredients. To maximize the benefits of kombucha tea, you need to know the right way to process this tea and its side effects when consumed excessively.
What is kombucha tea?
Kombucha tea is a fermented beverage made from tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. To make this drink, bacteria and yeast must first grow together to form a culture.
The culture is added to sugar and tea and left to ferment. The end result of this fermentation process is a liquid that contains vinegar, B vitamins and many other types of acids, including amino acids.
Based on research found in the journal Nutrients, kombucha tea is made through a fermentation process that produces a distinctive flavor.
Kombucha tea tastes like a fizzy drink with a slightly sour taste coming from acetic acid. Bacteria and fungi during the fermentation process convert the sugar content into ethanol and acetic acid.
Health benefits of kombucha tea
For those who have never tried it, there is nothing wrong with tasting kombucha tea because of its abundant health benefits.
Some of the benefits of kombucha tea include:
1. Rich in probiotics
In the process of making kombucha tea, there is a stage of adding bacteria, fungi, and sugar to the tea before it is fermented for one week. In this process, the bacteria and mold will form a layer on the surface of the tea.
This fermentation process produces acetic acid, alcohol and gas, making the tea carbonated. These bacteria serve a probiotic function.
The probiotic content in kombucha tea makes this drink beneficial for digestive health, preventing inflammation, and even reducing weight.
Given that probiotics are beneficial for digestion, some people think that kombucha tea also has benefits for stomach acid. But in reality, despite the benefits of probiotics that are good for digestion, it does not mean that kombucha tea can solve stomach acid problems.
This is because kombucha tea, which is carbonated due to fermentation, is acidic. People who have stomach acid problems should avoid fizzy and overly acidic foods and drinks.
That is why, the benefits of kombucha for stomach acid have not been proven. In fact, if drunk on an empty stomach, this tea may increase the risk of GERD flare-ups.
2. Rich in antioxidants
Not only probiotics, the most important benefit of kombucha tea is that it is rich in antioxidants due to the polyphenols in it. This is what makes kombucha tea have similar benefits to green tea.
Consuming green tea regularly will help the process of burning calories, reducing belly fat, improving cholesterol levels, as well as controlling blood sugar levels in the body.
Given its high antioxidant content, kombucha tea also helps ward off free radicals that cause cell damage. In fact, scientists believe that kombucha tea has much higher antioxidant benefits than supplements.
A study shows that kombucha tea made from green tea has antioxidant benefits for the liver. The animal study revealed that kombucha tea can reduce toxins in the body by 70%.
3. Kills bacteria
One of the substances produced in the kombucha fermentation process is acetic acid. Acetic acid in kombucha tea is known to have the benefit of killing harmful microorganisms.
Thus, the content of kombucha can kill bacteria and fungi that are harmful to the body.
4. Reduces the risk of heart disease
In a scientific trial, it was found that consumption of kombucha tea for 30 days was beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. Not only that, kombucha also protects LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation which can cause heart disease.
High levels of cholesterol in the blood are known to potentially increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack.
5. Helps control type 2 diabetes
The next benefit of kombucha is controlling blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Kombucha is known to make the carbohydrate digestion process slower. This makes the sugar level in the blood after eating will not spike.
In addition, kidney and liver function can also improve due to drinking kombucha. Although the research is still limited, there is no harm in trying to drink kombucha, of course, in appropriate amounts.
6. Helps prevent cancer
Kombucha is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. That's why, kombucha is said to be useful to help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells.
This is because the polyphenols in it are known to help stop gene mutation and the growth of cancer cells in the body, but research on this is still ongoing. You should not rely on kombucha especially if you are undergoing cancer treatment. You should stick to the treatment advice given by your doctor.
7. Helps reduce inflammation
Kombucha tea also has the benefit of helping with inflammation. Chronic inflammation can be caused by a variety of things, such as diabetes, allergies, or respiratory problems.
The polyphenol content in kombucha tea helps to treat inflammation caused by chronic diseases.
8. Can be a natural exfoliating ingredient
Kombucha contains lactic acid bacteria. This is a type of AHA that can help exfoliate the face and help with hyperpigmentation.
Some people use kombucha tea as a mask to get beauty benefits. Although it is a type of AHA, lactic acid is a gentle exfoliant that causes minimal irritation.
9. Fighting signs of aging
The high content of antioxidants can also be useful for reducing signs of aging on the face. The high concentration of antioxidants in it works to eliminate fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation in the long run and defend against free radical damage.
How to make kombucha tea
The key to making kombucha tea is choosing the right scoby. Scoby is a colony of bacteria and fungi that will help the fermentation process of the tea.
Nowadays, you can get a scoby from a trusted online store or take from the culture of someone who has already made kombucha.
For the first batch you may need a scoby obtained from someone else. However, afterward, your kombucha may be able to produce its own scoby.
Kombucha tea can be made at home. However, make sure you have paid attention to the cleanliness of the equipment used for the manufacturing process.
The ingredients you need to use to make homemade kombucha tea are:
Green or black tea leaves (best not to use tea bags)
Glass or jar with a wide top
Clean cloth or tissue
Here is how to make kombucha tea at home:
Boil the tea leaves together with sugar. The amount that can be used is 1 liter of water versus 3 tablespoons of tea leaves and 100 grams of sugar or according to taste.
After boiling, turn off the heat and cool to room temperature.
Strain the tea leaves into a glass cup or jar to avoid too much pulp.
Insert the scoby, but make sure your hands have been smeared with vinegar so that the scoby is active and can ferment. The active scoby will float on the surface of the water.
When adding the scoby, make sure the temperature of the tea is at 20 degrees Celsius. A warm environment can lead to overproduction of bacteria, making it unsafe to digest.
Cover the surface of the glass or jar with a cloth or tissue to prevent flies from entering.
Store at room temperature and leave for 5-7 days, or even 12 days.
The timing of harvesting this kombucha tea will depend on taste. The longer you keep the kombucha tea, the less sweet it will be.
Some of these things also need to be considered when making kombucha tea:
Keep the pH of the mixture at 4.2 or lower. If the pH level is above 4.2 during fermentation, too much acetic acid may be produced, inhibiting bacterial growth. Products with too much acid can cause adverse health effects.
The best recommended temperature for heating kombucha is 82 degrees Celsius and holding that temperature for at least 30 seconds to pasteurize the kombucha before it can be refrigerated.
The best temperature to store the finished kombucha is in the refrigerator (around 3 degrees Celsius) to keep the acetic acid and bacteria levels low.
Side effects of kombucha tea
It should also be remembered that excessive consumption of anything is certainly not good. In this case, kombucha is also not recommended for consumption by pregnant women or nursing mothers.
Start by drinking kombucha in small portions. This is important to see how your body reacts to the tea.
The Centers for Disease Control, CDC, recommends that 100 ml of kombucha can be safely consumed one to three times a day.
Over-consuming kombucha tea can also cause stomach upset, nausea, allergic reactions, and headaches. Especially if the process of making kombucha tea is inappropriate such as fermentation that lasts too long.
When the fermentation process lasts too long, there can be an accumulation of organic acids that are harmful if consumed directly. If unexpected reactions or side effects appear after consuming kombucha tea, you should stop it temporarily.Keep in mind that the above list of benefits of kombucha tea has not really been scientifically verified. If you are not sure, try consulting your doctor about the safe steps to drink it.
But if you are sure, make sure to process kombucha properly to avoid contamination.
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