This guest article was written by Juleyka.
Juleyka is a nutritionist from Manchester; she is passionate about food sustainability in relation to health and nutrition. She has partnered with dissertations for good contributing to research around the U.N Sustainable Development Goals and food sustainability practices, volunteered for Dimension's charity; creating meal plans for people with complex needsand writes about all things nutrition and health.
Why kombucha is the perfect alcohol alternative for your celebrations
Many people are looking for ways to celebrate without consuming alcohol. While alcoholic drinks are often a traditional part of holiday celebrations, non-alcoholic options can be just as festive and enjoyable. One popular non-alcoholic drink that has gained popularity in recent years is kombucha.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea that is made by adding a culture of bacteria and yeast to sweetened tea. The bacteria and yeast feed on the sugars in the tea, creating a carbonated, slightly alcoholic drink that is packed with probiotics and other beneficial compounds.
Kombucha is a great non-alcoholic option for celebrations because it is refreshing and flavourful, and it can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is also a good choice for people who are looking for a healthier alternative to sugary sodas and other sweetened drinks.
The importance of a healthier holiday season
The pandemic has taught us many lessons, from reminding us how important time with friends and family is, to the importance of maintaining our health. For those looking for a healthier year, kombucha is a fantastic non-alcoholic way (which still feels like an indulging treat!) but without the alcohol, calories, and sugar.
What does the Science say?
Probiotics for health
- There is some evidence that the probiotics in Kombucha may help to maintain a healthy population of microorganisms in your gut. These bacteria can benefit your intestines as well as overall health.
Vitamin and mineral content
- Kombucha contains essential vitamins and minerals for your overall health and well-being such a small amount of B-vitamins (good for energy and nervous system health). Other minerals include small amounts of zinc, copper, magnesium, iron, and nickel.
May possess antimicrobial properties
- Green tea-based kombucha was found to inhibit certain types of bacteria such as Listeria, Micrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus. It also includes acetic acid, which is found in high amounts in vinegar. This compound has strong potential to fight off harmful bacteria.
May possess antioxidant properties
- The fermented tea has strong antioxidant properties associated with high polyphenol content, particularly flavonoids. There is some evidence it should be consumed by people particularly exposed to oxidative stress.
- The red and green tea types are particularly associated with high antioxidant content and polyphenol levels which are good for overall health.
Ideas on how to incorporate Kombucha into your celebrations:
- One way to incorporate kombucha into your celebrations is to serve it as a non-alcoholic option alongside traditional cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. Kombucha can be served on its own or mixed with fruit juices or other flavours to create a more festive and festive drink.
- Another idea is to use kombucha as the base for a non-alcoholic punch or sangria. By mixing kombucha with fruit juices and spices, you can create a delicious and refreshing drink that is perfect for holiday gatherings.
- Kombucha is also a great option for people who are looking to reduce their alcohol consumption or avoid alcohol altogether. It is a tasty and refreshing alternative to alcoholic drinks, and it can help to support a healthy digestive system and boost overall wellness.
Is kombucha safe for everyone?
Kombucha is classified as a functional food because of its potentially beneficial effect, when enjoyed as part of a varied and balanced diet; however, it may not be suitable for all people and there may be some risks. For pregnant or breastfeeding women, kombucha is not advised. Also, for those with a compromised immune system. This is because there is not a large amount of human clinical studies to prove its efficacy and safety.
Ensure that you check with your GP if you are concerned about introducing kombucha to your diet, or if you have any adverse side effects after consuming it.
Overall, kombucha is a great non-alcoholic option for celebrations when drank in moderate amounts. Whether you are looking to reduce your alcohol consumption, or simply want to offer a non-alcoholic option to your guests, kombucha is a delicious choice that everyone can enjoy.
Effect of kombucha intake on the gut microbiota and obesity-related comorbidities: A systematic review - PubMed (nih.gov)
An overview of antimicrobial properties of kombucha - PubMed (nih.gov)
Hepatoprotective and curative properties of Kombucha tea against carbon tetrachloride-induced toxicity - PubMed (nih.gov)
Kombucha fermentation and its antimicrobial activity - PubMed (nih.gov)
Mineral and water soluble vitamin content in the Kombucha drink | Request PDF (researchgate.net)