How to tell if your chosen kombucha is truly healthy?

While functional beverages such as kombucha are not meant to replace a healthy diet, they became popular because of the health benefits of the ingredients, how it’s made, and the byproducts that occur as a result of the process

Our freedom of choice has increased tremendously, there are enormous efforts in the market to steer us towards drinks that our brains naturally crave while appearing to be healthy.

#1 Sugar content

Inside many “healthy drinks”, a large amount of sugar is hidden under “health claims” of certain ingredients. It leads the consumer to believe that they are doing something good for their wellbeing and their enjoyment of a large dose of sugar should be guilt-free. Take fruit juice for example, it is packed with nutrients from the fruits, but without the fiber, the high sugar content will induce a higher glycemic spike than eating the fruit itself. In the process of kombucha making, sugar has to be added to feed the SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). If the fermentation is too short, a large percentage of the added sugar will remain in the kombucha, making it a sugary drink. When choosing kombucha or making it at home, it’s important to have a 3-4 weeks fermentation process.

#2 Do the healthy ingredients truly exist?

Whether it’s a medicinal plant, seed,or fruit, there’s a big difference between the raw ingredients and flavoring derived from chemicals manipulated in a lab. Even a health-conscious consumer who makes an effort to choose drinks with specific health benefits may be misguided by the advertised ingredients on the label without reading the fine prints.

#3 Are the probiotics really alive?

Probiotic drinks are among the healthiest beverage choices. However, pasteurization is often used to prolong shelf life. This process kills most living bacteria, including the beneficial ones.

Sometimes probiotic organisms are added back to the beverage after pasteurization. But the culture is different from those naturally occurring from the fermentation process.

#4 Is there unintended alcohol?

The majority of homemade fermented drinks have a small amount of alcohol that’s hard to control. When we make kombucha at home and add fruits for the second fermentation, alcohol content is likely to increase from the process.