Kombucha Your Way To Better HealthBeyond UCF, Culture, Food, News — By Melissa Colon on October 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm Tweet
It seems like a lot of us are grasping for the next big health kick, whether it’s embracing a new exercise routine, or opting for organic produce.
You can now add kombucha to the list, a naturally carbonated tea that is a smarter and healthier option to carbonated sugar water.
Kombucha has been around for thousands of years, dating back to 221 B.C during the Chinese empire of the Tsin-Dynasty, and they called it “the remedy for immortality” or “the divine tische”. It was later brought to Japan by Dr. Kombu to treat the Japanese emperor, Inkyo, for digestive problems, and it later spread to Russia, India and Europe. Don’t worry, you don’t have to travel far to achieve immortality; Central Florida based Farm Boy Produce brews and sells it locally.
Essentially, kombucha is fermented green or black tea comprised of a sea of health giving organic acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutrients. It also contains healthy bacteria in the form of Lactobacillus Acidophilus, as well as a dozen other probiotic strains. Kombucha carbonates naturally once bottled because it continues to ferment and release carbon dioxide that becomes trapped.
“One of the byproducts is cellulose, as the stuff ferments, you have this production of the cellulose which ultimately accumulates on the surface layer and actually forms like a gasket on the surface, which is almost completely impervious, even with a really sharp knife its tough to slice through it, and its just the cellulose network that people refer to as the kombucha, mushroom,” said Mark Bevilaqua, founder of Farm Boy Produce, and producer of kombucha.
Some of the benefits to drinking kombucha are that it improves digestion, boosts energy, improves circulation, prevents acid reflux, improves sleep, and it boosts the immune system.
According to Food Research International, Russia conducted a series of studies in the 1900s and mid 1900s .One study was based on a remote area of Russia that was poverty-stricken, therefore had shortages of food, but the people were big consumers of kombucha. Scientists found that the people consuming kombucha in this area had no instances of cancer, and had healthy immune systems. During World War I, Russia’s secret home remedy was referred to as the “Wonderdrink” because it helped treat headaches, gastric illnesses, and regulated intestinal activity.
“Ultimately the results of these studies were released and then they were tested and actually proven, in Netherlands, Germany, Poland, the news or the knowledge that kombucha, that fermented tea ultimately cures, prevents, cells from mutating, increases immune system function, all this stuff that has been proven by multiple scientific groups for almost half a century, basically the knowledge has been there,” said Bevilaqua.
However, not all kombucha is made the same. The benefit of buying locally brewed kombucha is that it is not pasteurized. Mainstream kombucha available on store shelves are all pasteurized, therefore killing off all the beneficial bacteria. According to Bevilaqua, it’s like drinking soda with b vitamins.
Farm Boy Produce uses reverse osmosis system, filtered water with the lowest dissolved solids, organic tea and sugar bought directly from producer or distributor. Their kombucha is available on draft or bottled in the following flavors: ginger soda, honey ginger, honey mate, yerba mate, spiralina, grape and apple cinnamon. You can find it on draft at Drunken Monkey or Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour. Bottled kombucha is available at Audubon Park Farmer’s Market, Hoover’s Market and Homegrown Co-op.