April 15, 2012|
What is Kombucha Tea?
Yesterday after a long day of working out and running errands, I had dinner with a friend at Cafe Gratitude (a vegan restaurant) in San Francisco. I heard about the restaurant from an international fan who visited SF a while back. I had the pleasure of teaching her and her husband a private Pilates session for their honeymoon. Hope you guys are doing well 🙂
As you all know, I love eating vegan when I eat out so beware anyone with a meat addiction who wants to meet me for food.
I ordered the “I am Fortified” which was quinoa with veggies and Thai almond sauce. It was so amazing. What I love about this place is that their entrees are actually affirmations. Loving the positivity. Check out the menu:
My friend Ada ordered the “I am Terrific” which was a kelp salad topped with greens and almonds.
Ada owns a very successful event planning company (gotta love your women entrepreneurs!) and invited me to teach some POP Pilates classes at Pamper Me Fabulous in SF on May 13th. It’s a super luxurious mind-body-spirit-fashion-spa-fitness-food event where women can indulge in a whole day experience of pampering! The tix are only $40! I can’t wait to kick some booties that weekend. If you come, bring your mommy too because it’s Mother’s Day. Let me know if you’re coming – I’d love to meet you.
OK and now onto the title of the post…what is kombucha tea? As much of a health nut as I am, I have to admit I have never tried kombucha tea before! I’ve heard soooooo much about it. I think about this video when I think of this drink:
(Oh man, I love that video so much…)
So anyway, when I saw that it was on the menu, I was like yeah, let’s DEF order that. When I took my first sip I was pleasantly surprised! It was like a sour apple cider with fizzy bubbles. It was sooooo good!!!!!! I was like, huh? How is this tea? And how is this healthy? It tasted like it had a TON of sugar.
So when I got home, did a little digging on kombucha tea health benefits. Here’s what I found:
Kombucha tea is made by fermenting sweetened green or black tea with a culture of yeasts and bacteria called the “Kombucha mushroom,” according to Cancer.org. It is not actually a mushroom; rather, it is called that because of the shape and color of the sac that forms at the top of the tea after fermenting.
So that’s the “mushroom” that isn’t really a mushroom.
After you ferment the sweetened tea with the bacteria, you get a liquid containing vinegar (which explains the sour taste) plus B vitamins and other chemical compounds.
You know what’s funny? I think I got a little tipsy off of kombucha. I kid you not. It IS fermented after all…My head started getting really hot, my face was super warm and red, and my heart beat was a getting a little bit quicker. This is what happens when I drink. But I actually don’t drink at all if any of you are wondering because I am HIGHLY allergic to alcohol, beyond the normal Asian who can’t break down alcohol because of a missing a enzyme. (Pay attention to your Asian friends the next time you go to a bar, they turn BRIGHT RED.)
My case is little more serious. One time I had a drink that was probably 7/8 Pepsi and 1/8 rum and I went blind. Yes, blind. I could not see anything but blackness with my eyes WIDE OPEN. I could hear, smell, taste, feel, but the sight was gone. It took about 10-15 min to recover but it was one of the scariest moments of my life. I lost my vision completely.
Anyway back to kombucha…here are the supposed benefits according to IBtimes:
- When the yeasts in Komucha break down the sugar and combine with the tea, it forms antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which can fight wrinkles diabetes and boost the immune system.
- The high amount of Vitamin B in the elixir can help extract more energy and nutrients from the food you eat.
- Drinking this can increase energy, ease muscle soreness, and help with recovery post workout – therefore improving athletic performance.
- Because it is probiotic, consuming Kombucha may aid digestion and boost the immune system.
- Some even say that it can cure anything from baldness to insomnia to AIDS and cancer!
Hmmm…yeah…I’m sure it’s good, but not THAT good. The high amount of sugars is probably what helps the athletes with their increased energy. To this day, there has been no scientific study done to justify the above claims. So, I guess it’s another one of those in-style hipster drinks that’s been marketed well.
Have you tried kombucha? Do you like it and are there some health benefits that you’ve seen work for you?