In this Episode Dr. Gerstmar discusses:
-Kombucha – what is it
-2 critical things to know about kombucha
-Whether it’s a good probiotic or fermented food to take for your gut
For more on good probiotics, click HERE
It’s Dr. Gerstmar from Aspire Natural Health
And in this quick video I want to talk to you about…a question we get asked fairly often and that’s…is kombucha a good probiotic?
This is a great question, let’s see about answering it.
First off we need to discuss what kombucha is, and that’s a fermented tea.
In it’s most basic form you take black tea, add sugar to it and then add what’s called a SCOBY – that’s S-C-O-B-Y, scoby, not Scooby as I’ve heard some people pronounce it. We’re not talking about Scooby Dooby Do, for those of you who, like me, grew up with the cartoon.
But a SCOBY or symbiotic colony of bacteria & yeast. So we’re adding a mix of both bacteria and yeast to this sugared tea, and letting them ferment the sugar and some of the tea chemicals.
If you search the Internet for information on kombucha you will find it almost idolized and given magical powers. Here’s a critical point I want you to remember whenever you’re evaluating health claims.
Please WRITE THIS DOWN.
If it seems too good to be true, it almost always is.
I’m here to say, having drank a lot of kombucha, and seen a lot of people who drink it, it is not magical. It is not going to grow a missing arm back, heal autoimmune disease, or let you fly. That doesn’t mean it isn’t helpful, but it’s not magical. Okay?
Now if you never have, making kombucha yourself is a very easy process you can do at home, it typically takes about a week, and the longer you leave it the more sugar has been used up and the more sour and bubbly the kombucha will be.
This brings us to our second key point of today’s video. Kombucha has become trendy, and many stores, even your garden-variety supermarket are going to be carrying kombucha on their shelves. There are even kombucha bars popping up in many places now. There was one in Bozeman Montana when I was there last month for the Ancestral Health Symposium.
Many of these commercially available kombucha’s will have a short ferment time, leaving a lot of the sugar intact, and that’s why they taste so great. Or if they have a longer ferment, they’ll have added fruit juices or other sweeteners added to make them really tasty. Many people love kombucha. But here’s the thing. WRITE THIS DOWN.
A heavily sugared kombucha is basically just a slightly healthier soda. It is NOT a health food. If you enjoy it and want one once in a while, go for it, but if you’re sucking down a few bottles of high sugar kombucha per day thinking it’s good for you, it isn’t!
Okay, now we have an idea what kombucha is, we need to talk about whether it’s a good probiotic.
If you’d like to know more on probiotics and fermented foods, check out last week’s vlog on that topic.
One way to get probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, into our system is with fermented foods. Now in America most of us have grown up without getting the taste for traditional fermented foods in our diet, and some of us have a really hard time adjusting to eating fermented foods.
Kombucha is probably the easiest fermented food to add back into the diet, and many kids will drink it to.
So many people ask us if they have the probiotic / fermented food part of their diet covered because they’re drinking kombucha every day
And the answer is…
In over a decade of working with people with gut problems and autoimmune issues, I’ve never seen kombucha work effectively at improving someone’s gut microbiome.
In fact for some people, I’ve seen kombucha worsen their issues. And there are two common reasons why kombucha can be an issue for some people.
The first is potentially that high sugar content. Consuming too much sugar can worsen dysbiosis or messed up yeast or bacterial issues. And I’ve definitely seen that be an issue for people.
The second is that some people are going to be sensitive to the yeasts that are in kombucha, and I’ve seen that be an issue for some people.
Does this mean you need to avoid kombucha?
As long as you watch the sugar content of the kombucha you are drinking and it doesn’t seem to be giving you any issues, than kombucha can be fine to have in your diet. There are likely to be some benefits from kombucha, and if you enjoy drinking it than by all means.
But, please don’t use it as your sole source of probiotics, I’ve never seen it be effective in that regard, and if you feel worse for drinking kombucha, than I’d recommend you avoid it, work on your gut, and maybe try it again later.
So there you have it…
Can you use kombucha as a probiotic?
No. It’s not a substitute for fermented foods or probiotic supplements
If you or anyone you know is dealing with IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease, I’d like I’d like to offer you the Guide we’ve put together on how we treat IBD here at Aspire Natural Health, all you need to do it fill out the short form below and we’ll happily send that to you for FREE. So click down below.
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Until next time folks…Take care!
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