Looking for an alternative to soda? Are you learning about its negative health benefits ? Here is a healthy alternative and is becoming a new health craze. Kombucha. It is a fermented tea drink that has been around for centuries and is gaining traction because of the health benefits that it has to offer. Kombucha is an “ancient fermented tea beverage” also called the “Immortal Health Elixir" by the ancient Chinese that has a natural effervescence (carbonation-like) and loaded with probiotics, antioxidants, B vitamins. I have to say that I'm hooked on it. After drinking water for most of the day, it's nice to switch over to something with a little flavor! My favorite is the Synergy Organic & Raw Raspberry Chia. It contains 150 calories per 16 fl. oz and 8g of fiber! The back of the label claims that it is "Often called 'runner's food', chia is a nutrient-rich superfood that provides sustained energy for your body. Packed with more than 8 times the omega-3s found in salmon, this small seed has big nutritional value. With more antioxidants than blueberries and more fiber than oatmeal, see for yourself how chia brings new life to our GT's Kombucha." This flavor offers the chia seeds floating in the Kombucha and gives it an interesting texture, but claims to have very high nutritional value.
According to www.foodrenegade.com, "In the first half of the 20th century, extensive scientific research was done on Kombucha’s health benefits in Russia and Germany, mostly because of a push to find a cure for rising cancer rates. Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called “tea kvass” there, was the cause. So, they began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within kombucha which was so beneficial."
There is limited research on Kombucha, but you can't argue with foodrenegade.com's statement that "Regardless of the “lack” of scientific evidence, the fact remains that this beverage has 2,000 plus years of tradition behind it and an ardent and addicted following." Also, "As is typically the case in the U.S., no major medical studies are being done on Kombucha because no one in the drug industry stands to profit from researching a beverage that the average consumer can make for as little as 50 cents a gallon."
So, there ya go! It's popping up on shelves in most grocery stores. It's a little pricey at $3.69/bottle.
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Dr. Mark Giovanini
Sand Dunes CrossFit
Scott Rusin is the Director of Physical Therapy at the Sandestin Executive Health & Wellness Center in Sandestin Resort, Miramar Beach, FL. He has a degree in Physical Therapy, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Nike Golf NG360 Performance Specialist Powered by the Gray Institute.