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Kombucha: What is it and Should You Drink It?

kombucha nutrition

There’s been a lot of talk lately about kombucha and other fermented foods and why we should be eating them.  Many of you have been wondering: is this just another fad or is there some truth to the hype?

I asked my friend and fellow nutritionist, Daina Slekys, to help answer this question for me.  Not only is Daina a nutritional biochemist, but she’s also the founder of a kombucha company called Health-Ade – and a fermented food pro.  Here’s what she had to say.

What is kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been around for thousands of years in countless cultures.  It’s similar to other fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, vinegar, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc. — all of which give your body a great dose of beneficial bacteria and yeast in your intestines, which promotes healthy digestion.  Kombucha also contains B vitamins, vitamin C, and other antioxidants, and is low in sugar and caffeine.

Why eat fermented foods?

These days, the average American diet is full of processed, refined foods.  And those of us who eat meat are consistently exposed to antibiotics (which are used in meat production unless you buy organic).  As a result, the beneficial flora that is meant to be in our “guts” is not.  This allows for more threatening bacteria to migrate in and damage our bellies, and may explain why close to 20% of Americans are suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) according to the NIH.

Why do people choose to drink Kombucha?

Many people like the taste, and just plain feel better when they eat kombucha and other fermented foods.  Kombucha is naturally full of the “good” cultures our guts are starved for, so as long as you buy kombucha that’s prepared carefully and safely, it’s a great way to get some fermentation into your diet!

Want to hear more?

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of kombucha, I urge you to check-out or read the comprehensive and informational book called “Kombucha Tea” by A. Bartholomew.

This post was written by Daina Slekys, MS, MPH. Daina is the founder and nutritionist of Health-Ade kombucha and can be reached at [email protected] with any questions.

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  • Barbette
    October 20, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I really like your site, you do a good job!

  • casey dougherty
    April 4, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I absolutely love the taste. All though, some of these drink do contain alcohol. The health ade kombucha (pink lady apple) does contain a certain percentage of alcohol.

  • Amelia Winslow
    April 6, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Casey – you’re right that all kombucha technically has a tiny tiny bit of alcohol, if it contains fruit juice. But it really is negligible, for most people.

  • KC
    August 6, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Does this product help with weight loss or is it specifically to help have a healthy digestive system?

  • Amelia Winslow
    August 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Hi KC, no it’s not a weight loss product. It’ll just promote healthy digestion, among other benefits (fermented foods can help with a lot!)

  • DT
    August 18, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Will it help with stomach bloating?

  • Amelia Winslow
    August 18, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Kombucha definitely can and does help people with bloating, but I can’t answer for sure, as it depends on what’s causing your symptoms.

  • Mark Ondo
    April 15, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Can this be used to clean out your digestive system?

  • Amelia Winslow
    April 19, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I’m not sure what you mean by “clean out,” Mark – but kombucha does put healthy bacteria and other probiotics back into your gut, which promotes good digestion in general. So if you’re looking to boost your gut health, it can help.

  • Christie
    May 22, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I just recently purchased this product..However I’m not sure how much and when to take it. Do i shake it before I drink It? I am new to Kambucha.

  • Amelia Winslow
    May 26, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Hi Christie,

    Unless you like to be covered in a sticky liquid, don’t shake it 😉 (It would be like shaking a can of soda then opening it)

    There’s no amount to “take” or time to drink it since it’s not a supplement, but rather a food. I always suggesting drinking the amount that tastes good and makes you feel good. For some that might be a bottle in a day, for some less than that is better. Start slow and see how you feel – then enjoy on your own schedule!

  • Terri
    August 30, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Is there a recommended amount to take per day, or do I use the whole bottle in one serving?

  • Amelia Winslow
    September 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Terri, great question. Kombucha is more like a food than a supplement, so the amount you want to drink is really personal preference. I recommend drinking the amount that makes you feel good – just like you would with apples, carrots, yogurt, etc. If you’re new to kombucha, drink a little each day and see how you feel. Then you can take it from there.

  • April
    September 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Can you drink this in the morning on an empty stomach?

  • Amelia Winslow
    September 27, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    When and how much kombucha to drink is a personal choice, just like with any other food or beverage. I always recommend that people consume the amount that feels best for them.

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