Is Kombucha Healthy?

I have to admit that it’s only been very recently that I’ve begun trying out a lot of the fad, trendy drinks that are out and hot on the market today. I slowly but surely took a liking to green juice, and protein shakes are now as much a part of my morning routine as showering is.

However, there is one drink fad that still doesn’t quite sit right in my stomach. I’m talking about kombucha, the drink that’s fun to say and, depending on who you talk to, fun to drink as well. Unfortunately I disagree with this. The sour, fermented taste is a little too strong for me to really enjoy much. I felt bad about this though, because it’s been made clear through years of articles and studies and commercials, not to mention the testimony of friends and family, that kombucha is incredibly healthy for you and your body. Or is it?

I recently came across an article by Mother Jones that takes a second, deeper look at this trendy drink, and examines its claims of health benefits a little more closely. Here’s what I learned from the article.

Kombucha is a drink that’s made from a culture of combined yeast and bacteria. Yum! In all seriousness, this is relatively similar to the way yogurt is made, and we all know and love yogurt, don’t we? The natural fermentation process gives way to something called SCOBY, which is the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast in solid form, surrounded by a truly unique tonic that is at once fizzy and reminiscent of vinegar. This is a completely all natural drink then, which is reassuring in one sense. The claims that are made about kombucha range from improved function of the liver, gallbladder, and digestive tract, to its ability to detoxify the body (what that means exactly is still open to interpretation). The thing about these claims is that they are backed by virtually no scientific evidence. So, take with it what you will.

However, kombucha is brimming with probiotics, which we all know are great for improving the health of our digestive systems. If you don’t like the taste and consistency of yogurt, or you just can’t have dairy, kombucha can definitely be a great alternative for you if you know that you need to make sure you are getting enough probiotics into your diet every day. 

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