by Kylie Smith
Fizzy, fermented, and fantastically flavorful, kombucha is the drink of the 21st century! While everyone from Kourtney Kardashian to Orlando Bloom have been captured enjoying this hip new drink, there is little knowledge about what it truly is. Kombucha is advertised as a magical health healing drink, promoting excellent gut strength and even claiming to ensure a longer life. To our surprise – and contrasting everything we’ve heard – there is little scientific evidence that proves this information legitimate.
The Origins of Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea from Northeast China, admired for the healing properties it was said to withhold. The drink slowly but surely made its way into the western world where it gained extreme popularity. Forbes notes that after WWII, the drink became less popular due to the limitations of trade between international territories. Now, in 2021, the fermented tea is making its way back into the world. The recipe of the tea, like a game of telephone, changed as it made its way across the sea and into the 21st century, removing some of its health benefits and adding in a little (or a lot) of sugar.
Unfortunately, scientists have yet to find enough information to support the claim that kombucha is still as healthy as the media makes it out to be. A study conducted and published in the Journal of Medicinal Food illustrates that this tea can help prevent diseases while also showing the contradicting and limiting evidence to prove its overall health benefits. Not only that, but kombucha and its overall claim to be healthy is heavily reliant on the brand and how much sugar and sweeteners they add to it.
However, according to an article in Time Magazine and Registered dietitian Maria Zamarripa, this fermented tea includes probiotics that can assist with gut health. Zamarripa makes a clear distinction that despite the fact that the drink can be a helpful tool in improving one’s metabolism and overall gut, it is not the only or even main component needed for a healthy lifestyle. If you’re looking to truly improve your health, a diet full of fiber, fruits, and vegetables is the most effective implementation (but of course, kombucha doesn’t hurt).
Regardless of the lack of scientific evidence to back up the health benefits of kombucha, one thing remains the same, it is dangerously delicious! If you’re new to the fermented tea world, or looking to expand your tier of teas, we’ve got you covered with some recommendations below of what to look for on your next trip to the grocery store!