Oh hey, probiotics
As far as trendy health drinks go, kombucha is right up there with green juice and coconut water. With even convenience stores and gas stations carrying the stuff these days, it’s safe to say kombucha has officially gone mainstream—and, in the process, gained a rep as a health tonic for everything from boosting your gut health to your heart health.
But is the slightly sour-tasting drink really a magic health potion—or just another health fad? Given today’s surge in all sorts of wellness products (and the growing research on the benefits of probiotics on many aspects of health), kombucha is here to stay, says Beth Warren, R.D., dietitian and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl. “Kombucha is a major source of whole-food probiotics,” she says.
Quick refresher: Kombucha is a mixture of black or green tea and sugar that’s fermented with the help of a SCOBY—or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Basically a blob of live bacteria that sits on top of the tea mixture, the SCOBY turns kombucha into the carbonated beverage you know and (maybe) love.