Food Trends-What is Kombucha?

Recently, Kombucha seems to be popping up everywhere.  This fermented organic tea can be found in grocery stores, festivals and even on some restaurant’s beverage menus.  It’s popularity is growing in large part to the rise in consumers wanting healthier options when it comes to food and beverages.  We should all be concerned with good health and its never to late to get on board the healthy train. But what exactly IS Kombucha and is it good for you? There are mixed opinions about its’ benefits.

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I did some research and discovered that the process of making Kombucha is an unusual one.  Brewers rely on what’s called a starter — a bit of already fermented tea that is passed between Kombucha makers and then referred to as “the mother.” The mother is then added to sweetened tea and allowed to sit in a glass jar, without refrigeration, for 7 to 14 days.  Usually by this time a “glop,” known as a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, grows over the surface. It may not exactly sound appetizing, but there are some that say it is good for you.

In a recent Huffington Post article, some professionals debated about whether this is just a trend or if it is actually beneficial to your health.  “The rise in Kombucha’s popularity is part of a larger trend in ‘probiotic’ foods containing “good” bacteria.” Some suggest that these probiotics can help boost your immune system and improve digestion, but the debate continues.

“It’s become incredibly trendy lately in the 20-to-30-something, foodie, intelligentsia set,” said Dr. Daphne Miller, a family practitioner and professor of nutrition and integrative medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “Kombucha is like their Coca-Cola.”

“Kombucha is said to have originated in ancient China, but various forms of fermented tea exist in many countries”, said Dr. Miller, who traveled the world researching healthy traditional diets while writing her book, “The Jungle Effect.” Some medical professionals, however, think the drink is dangerous.

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You will make your own decisions about it, but I was really interested in finding out what this drink was all about, and now, that I know I am more curious than ever.

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