Did you know you can sip your way to better health? If you’ve never tried kombucha tea, it might be time to start. This fermented drink is brimming with a variety of health benefits — it can do everything from help you feel energized to make managing certain diseases easier. Learn more about the health benefits of kombucha and why you may want to add it into your diet.
1. Kombucha is full of probiotics
Like yogurt and sauerkraut, kombucha is fermented. This means that the tea undergoes a natural process where healthy bacteria convert ingredients in the tea into acids and gases. This makes the tea fizzy, and it also adds beneficial bacteria called probiotics. These living bacteria keep your stomach and intestines healthy, and they’re also what help your immune system fight off illnesses.
2. It can kill bad bacteria
If you’ve ever used vinegar to clean around your home, you know it’s a powerful germ-buster. Acetic acid, which is one of the main bacteria-fighting compounds in vinegar, is also abundant in kombucha. This gives the tea antibacterial properties that can get rid of the bad bacteria in your body and even help you fight off infections.
3. Kombucha is packed with antioxidants
If the probiotics and healthy acids in kombucha weren’t enough, this drink also contains plant-based chemicals called polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants — naturally occurring compounds, molecules and vitamins that keep your body’s cells healthy. When your body uses oxygen, it creates byproduct molecules that can damage your cells and DNA. The polyphenols and other antioxidants in kombucha prevent this cell damage and can also protect you against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
4. Kombucha can help you manage type 2 diabetes
When you have Type 2 diabetes, your body has trouble using insulin, a hormone that helps you get energy from the carbohydrates you eat. Your blood sugar levels can then become dangerously high when you eat carb-rich foods. Over time, blood sugar spikes can damage your organs and harden your arteries. One of the health benefits of kombucha is that it may help keep your blood sugar even by slowing the rate at which your body digests carbs. Green tea kombucha in particular is a great choice for this.
5. It may limit your risk of heart disease
Kombucha can be beneficial for your heart and for your cholesterol levels. Having just a half-cup of the tea every day can raise your HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels and lower your LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels. When the ratios between these numbers are balanced, your risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease drops because the cholesterol doesn’t build up as quickly in your arteries.
6. Kombucha might lower your cancer risk
Remember those polyphenols and antioxidants in kombucha tea? Scientists have found that these compounds may also keep your genes from mutating, which is a common cause of cancer. In addition, antioxidants can help your body keep cancer cells from growing and spreading. They can even cause cancer cells to die off.
Are you ready to learn more about adding kombucha to your diet? If you have any questions about the health benefits of kombucha or other lifestyle changes, you can always contact your primary care physician. Learn more today at mercy.com.