One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked is whether kombucha contains sugar and is it safe for diabetics. Now first of all let me state that these are my opinions only and you should check any claims with your doctor before consumption of kombucha if you have diabetes or are concerned about what kombucha may do to you. I will be linking some studies done on kombucha below if you care to do your own research.
Having said that, after doing my own research, I learned that kombucha may provide the following benefits for diabetics:
1. kombucha has been shown to reduce glucose levels in diabetic studies (take into consideration these studies were done on animals. I couldn't find studies done on humans to date. Please send them to me if you find any!)
2. kombucha made with green tea is most effective in providing health benefits to diabetics, as green tea is high in antioxidents and can help prevent free radical damage to the liver and other organs
3. Rat studies consistently find that drinking kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity caused by toxic chemicals, in some cases by at least 70%
4. Kombucha can help reduce bad cholesterol, LDL levels, and increase good cholesterol, HDL levels
5. Kombucha is made with tea, which has flavonoids. Flavonoids help fight free radicals, providing protection against heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and alzheimer and parkinson's disease.
If you are reading this and still wondering what the heck is kombucha, let me explain.
Kombucha is an ancient (but quickly becoming famous) fermented beverage made by placing a mat of cellulose, bacteria and yeasts into sweetened tea. The mat is also known as S.C.O.B.Y which simply means symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. You may have heard it referred to as a mushroom or mushroom tea, but it is not related to mushrooms. Just a misconception.
The culture basically uses the sugar and some of the other properties in the tea and creates beneficial probiotics, organic acids (think apple cider vinegar) antioxidants, loads of B Vitamins and enzymes.
It tastes sour yet still just slightly sweet and has a nice amount of carbonation. Which makes it a great substitute for sugary sodas!
Since it's made from sugar and tea you may be wondering, doesn't all that sugar spike glucose levels and how in the world is that healthy?
There's good news! Those little yeasts and bacteria are hard at work when they are making kombucha. First the yeasts take the sugar and turn it into ethanol and gases. Then the bacteria gobble up some of the alcohol and turn it into benefical acids, like gluconic acid. This process cases the sugar to go from it's original state as sucrose to become fructose and glucose, two of the sugars that are easier on our bodies and found in fruit.
When drinking kombucha for it's benefits you will want to make sure you aren't drinking any that has added sugars after it's been fermented. That would defeat the purpose of it as a healthy drink. Of course the best way to know if there are added sugars is to check the labels and if you know a kombucha brewer just ask them! They will be happy to tell you how they make theirs. Buying from a local company will be your best bet. Most small kombucha companies make their brew the traditional way, much like you can make it at home.
If you wish to learn how to make your own kombucha and get all it's benefits for yourself, sign up for one of our upcoming workshops. Just subscribe to our email list today to get updated when the next one is coming to your area! ( Just scroll to the bottom of this page)
Articles I found helpful when researching: