Fermentation and Kombucha

July 10, 2011 at 5:23 am Leave a comment

Fermentation is an ancient practice of food preservation and fermented foods can be found in many cultures around the world. These  foods are considered to be part of the everyday meal. In the US the buzz about probiotics in commercial advertisement these days concerns active cultures in yogurts and drinks. Interestingly, these food manufacturers advertise as if they invented these organisms. On the contrary, a healthy baby is born with these active cultures and a healthy adult will have about 7 pounds residing in there intestines. These microfloras help the body’s immune system in preventing chronic and serious disease. They also help to extract nutrients from the food that is ingested. Poor diet, stress, antibiotics, and a toxic system are some of culprits for depleting these essential organisms. This often results in poor digestive health and other health maladies including chronic illness.

What is fermentation exactly? In a nutshell it can be described as the transformative process of bacteria on food or liquid. This transformation activity is the microorganisms’ breaking down the foods into a predigested state. Additional nutrients are generated in this process and the bioavailability of these nutrients is greatly increased. Fermented foods are high in B vitamins, enzymes and minerals. These live cultures are imperative for good digestion and radiant health.

Kombucha is a fermented tea and comes from an ancient tradition which is thought to have its origins in China. The Symbiotic Culture of Yeast and Bacteria or Scoby for short is a round, flat gelatinous looking pancake. It is a living and asexual culture that reproduces babies. Making kombucha is a simple process and easy to learn. The culture is placed in sweetened black or green tea turning the tea into a sea of health giving acids and nutrients. The Kombucha culture feeds on the sugar and caffeine in the tea, and in exchange, produces other valuable substances which change the teas properties. The Scoby can be described as a miniature biochemical factory. Among the substances are glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, antibiotic substances, and other products. Only tiny traces of caffeine, sugar and alcohol can be found.

There are many claimed health benefits from ingesting kombucha. Claims have been made that it aids in cancer recovery. Healing of various disorders of the skin, digestive track, joints, hair regrowth and color restoration have been reported. I have found it to be energizing as well as very helpful with clients’ digestive and joint issues.

Why make your own Kombucha? It’s way fun and interesting to do and only costs pennies compared to shelf brands (about a $1.00 per gallon). Having control over quality and taste avoiding; pasteurization, distillation, additives, flavorings, dilution etc. is important. If you want a live scoby for yourself contact me for a startup brewing kit with detailed brewing instructions, hints and tips. Just click Deborah@lifefuelhealthcoaching.com  with kombucha kit in the subject line  or give me a ring at 412 719 4140.

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Entry filed under: Fermented Foods, Kombucha, Recipes in Demand.

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