It’s Good For Your Gut & Brain
If you’ve never tried kombucha before, it’s a lightly fizzy drink that’s made through the fermentation process. It’s produced by fermenting tea – usually black or green tea – using a colony of bacteria and yeast known as a ‘scoby’. The fermentation of the bacteria creates a drink that’s rich in healthy probiotics, antioxidants and nutrients such as B vitamins. “A quality kombucha can be a great source of probiotics, which have been shown to support digestive health and the immune system,” says Belinda Blake, registered nutritional therapy practitioner with the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. “Tea is also a natural source of the amino acid theanine, which has been shown to help increase levels of a calming neurotransmitter called GABA.”
It Should Ideally Be Kept Chilled
For a kombucha to be labelled as a health drink, it typically needs to be chilled, explains Belinda. “Live kombucha will often be stored chilled. If it’s not stored in the fridge in the supermarket this can mean it’s pasteurised and won’t contain the valuable probiotics.” However, brands such as Remedy Kombucha, which is not pasteurised, use a long-age fermentation process to brew out all the sugar, which means that it's live while also being safe to store both chilled and not, so you'll find this out of the fridge.
Dark Packaging Is Best
Look for kombucha that’s packaged in a dark bottle or can. “Light damages probiotics, so aim for kombucha packaged in dark bottles or packaging for the most health benefits,” adds Hope Pointing, registered associate nutritionist and private chef. This means that kombucha in a tin still ticks the boxes as the live cultures are protected from light.
It Will Contain Some Sugar
Kombucha is naturally lower in calories than traditional fizzy drinks although it’s not entirely calorie free. “Authentic kombucha should contain a small amount of sugar, as this acts as food for the microorganisms, keeping them alive in the bottle,” says Belinda. “Levels of around 2.5-3.5g of carbohydrate per 100ml seem to be average. In comparison, a glass of orange juice contains around 10g of carbohydrate per 100ml.” If you're looking for a sugar-free kombucha, Remedy is a brand to try - its high-tech brewing process naturally brews out all sugar without affecting the delicate live cultures.