What’s all the fuss about Kombucha?


Kombucha (kawm-boo-chah)

Have you noticed kombucha drinks in the cold section of your local supermarket or on the shelf, and wondered what they are? Is it just another type of soft  drink? Is it fizzy or flat? Sweet or sour? Good for you or bad?

Kombucha is a green tea that is fermented with sugar and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). The result is a slightly sweet (although there is very little residual sugar left after the fermentation process), slightly sour, slightly effervescent drink. It has purported health benefits mainly because it is a fermented product and contains bacteria that is thought to be good for our gut health, although a lot more research is required to make this claim categorically.

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yoghurts containing probiotics, Greek yoghurt, kefir, miso, kimchi, sourdough bread, and kombucha are all classed as functional foods because not only are they nutritionally dense foods and good for us, they also potentially contain probiotic microorganisms. These microorganisms are what are touted to be beneficial for our gut health.

Remembering that water is always our beverage of choice, as an alternative kombucha is very low in sugar, and safe to drink when consumed in moderation. The fermenting process does leave it with a very small residual amount of alcohol (less than 0.5%) however it is not usually noticeable to the consumer.


Nadine Meggitt

Clinical Nutritionist