The last couple of years have really hammered home the importance of looking after our immune systems. Doing so protects our bodies from harmful substances, germs and cell changes that can potentially make us ill. Among the ways we can boost our immune systems include exercising regularly, keeping hydrated, getting plenty of sleep and having a healthy diet. Perhaps the least straightforward of these relates to our diet, as there are so many different types of healthy food and drink we can consume.
Arguably a great place to start, however, is by drinking kombucha, a sparkling sweet and sour beverage brewed from fermented tea. The drink is believed to have originated from China around 220 BC. The drink’’s popularity eventually surged throughout Europe owing to trade route expansions in the 20th century, and is now consumed worldwide.
But while kombucha’s deliciousness is plain to see (or should we say taste), its health benefits aren’t. Does kombucha really help with immunity, and if so, how?
Does kombucha help our immune systems?
The short answer is that, yes, kombucha really can help our immune systems. This comes down to the fact it’s packed with various naturally-occurring vitamins, organic acids and beneficial bacteria. In addition, the drink is often infused with ingredients like turmeric and ginger that have a range of health benefits in their own right.
Let’s look at the specific ways these components can help bolster our immune system.
Its probiotics provide our guts with healthy bacteria
One of kombucha’s health benefits stems from it being a potential source of probiotics. Considering the drink is made through fermentation, a number of gut-friendly microbes are produced, and consuming these can help balance bacteria levels in the gut and bolster digestion.
Its antioxidants help protect us from oxidative damage
Kombucha is similar to green tea in that it contains a number of antioxidants. These help to safeguard us from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Though free radicals are normal by-products caused by bodily processes, minimising their impact can help our immune system.
It can kill bad bacteria
One of the principal substances made during the fermentation process of kombucha is acetic acid (something that you’ll also find in vinegar). This has been proven to kill various potentially harmful microorganisms that can cause illness, without impacting the ‘good’ bacteria in the body.
It can reduce heart disease and cancer risk
Research has shown that kombucha can help prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease, as well as certain cancers. This is due to its high prevalence of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
Kombucha as a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks and alcohol
Another reason why kombucha is such a great beverage is that it makes a fantastic alternative to unhealthy drinks like fizzy soft drinks and alcohol.
Typically sugar free or low sugar, it offers all the flavour of a standard fizzy drink without the potentially damaging impacts of sugar, like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay. And, as an awesome alcohol alternative, you’re also able to swerve some of the negative effects of drinking too much booze. In fact, there are numerous kombucha-based mocktail recipes out there for those looking to cut their alcohol intake.
No. 1 Living’s kombucha range
Here at No. 1 Living, we stock a range of vegan, unpasteurised and sugar-free kombucha drinks brewed from fermented tea using naturally sourced ingredients. Bursting with probiotic live cultures and antioxidants, our drinks make for a happy, healthy gut.
Pick from our fruity flavours, like raspberry and passion fruit, or our award-winning ginger kombucha with turmeric. Sainsbury’s also stock our organic kombucha range, with flavours including ginger, raspberry and passion fruit. Take a look at our collection, we know you can’t resist!