More than 2,000 years ago, in ancient China, the elderly Zhào Míngzé drank a special, healing and stimulating infusion against his ailments. This drink came from the fermentation of tea and had a taste between sweet and acid.
His wife, Zǐhán, who enjoyed iron health, drank it mainly because she liked its taste. Thanks to its multiple beneficial properties, the well-known “mushroom of immortality” or Kombucha spread throughout Japan, Russia, Europe and America.
It would be strange if we had not heard of Kombucha, since this ancient drink has recently become fashionable and there are several brands in the Spanish market that offer it.
However, it is still a great unknown and there are some myths hovering around it: What does Kombucha taste like? Is she as healthy as they say? Does it contain added sugars? What actually is Kombucha?
What actually is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from tea. To ferment, SCOBY, a culture of bacteria and yeast, is added. Thanks to this process, the tea will become a powerful drink rich in probiotics, vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, C, D, E and K), minerals (iron, potassium, zinc, manganese , copper, calcium, magnesium) and essential organic acids.
Does it contain added sugars?
The formula to make Kombucha requires sugar, but the sugar is needed to feed the SCOBY in the fermentation process. Without sugar, this would not be produced. Therefore, after it, only residual amounts of this sugar remain. “In a second fermentation is when we add the desired flavors with our juices that we cold press in our production center,” explains Teresa Carles, Director of R&D and founder of Flax & Kale.
“We do not add sugar, the one that exists is the one that comes naturally from the juices used for the flavoring of the Kombuchas and each one offers a different experience of authentic refreshment; this is the added value of our Kombuchas”, explains Teresa Carles, R&D Director and founder of Flax & KalCarles.
The delicate process of making these juices consists of crushing the fruit without producing heat, thus avoiding its oxidation and preserving all its properties. Flax & Kale Kombuchas are low in sugar (less than 2.5 grams per 100 ml). And if a sugary drink is around 42 kilocalories, these Kombuchas would count around 17.
Is it as healthy as they say?
“There is strong evidence of the health benefits of consuming fermented foods,” explains Mireia Cervera, nutritionist at Flax & Kale. And it turns out that Kombucha is a fermented drink. Thus, according to a study from the Stanford School of Medicine, a diet rich in fermented foods improves the diversity of the intestinal flora and helps reduce inflammation.
The intestinal flora or microbiota is responsible for metabolic activities that serve to recover energy and nutrients and strengthens the immune system.
Well, in the Stanford clinical trial, 36 healthy adults were randomly assigned a 10-week diet that included either fermented or high-fiber foods. Those who ate yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi and other fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and Kombucha tea saw their gut flora markedly increased in its diversity.
According to Justin Sonnenburg, associate professor of microbiology and immunology responsible for the study, “This finding is an example of how a simple change in diet can completely reshape the microbiota in a healthy adult person.”
“Kombucha, very rich in probiotics, living organisms that feed the intestinal flora and strengthen our defenses, is energizing thanks to its content of B vitamins,” says Cervera.
It is also detoxifying thanks to the enzymes, bacteria and other secondary metabolites of the fermentation process; antioxidant, due to the compounds of green and black tea increased during fermentation; digestive, by the bacteria that help to assimilate food and restorative, by the components that we saw before.
What does Kombucha taste like?
We said it at the beginning of this article. Zǐhán, the ancient woman of ancient China, loved the sweet and sour taste of Kombucha. That acidity, like a slight vinegar flavor, comes from fermentation. For this reason, some people who have tried Kombucha have not been convinced by its taste. Something that Flax & Kale have realized and have brought 5 different modalities to the market in which the flavor stands out above all else thanks to its second fermentation with cold-pressed juices.
The 5 Flavors of Kombucha Flax & Kale
ORANGE FANTASY KOMBUCHA
With orange and lemon for maximum sweetness naturally.
KOMBUCHA LEMON FANTASY
Lemon and lime for those who need energy and freshness.
KOMBUCHA DRAGON LEMONADE
In addition to the classic citrus fruits, this modality contains pitaya, a very refreshing source of natural antioxidants and vitamins.
KOMBUCHA BLUE MOJITO
Mix yuzu, a sweet fruit similar to tangerines, and spirulina, a type of algae considered a superfood due to its excellent source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and proteins.
One of the newest creations of Flax & Kale, refreshing, energizing and revitalizing and also with a secret formula like the drink we all know.
At what time is Kombucha taken?
At vermouth time, accompanying a salad, a pizza or while we take a dip in the pool. Any time is a good time to enjoy a Kombucha. “One a day would be the optimal amount to notice the benefits of these probiotics in our intestinal microbiota.
And in addition, it will help us to improve our digestion if we take it before, during or after a meal”, advises Mireia Cervera. “We can also mix it with other juices, make a cocktail, a smoothie and even an ice cream. There are Kombuchas for all tastes. Imagination to power!” says Teresa Carles.
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