If you’re a female aged 12 and above, you may have found yourself swooning over a certain Mr. P Kavinsky from Netflix’s most recent blockbuster. If you’re a guy, you might be wondering how exactly to be just as much of a hit with the ladies. Well, here’s a tip – show up to a Halloween party with Peter’s go-to drink in hand, and watch as they swoon over how responsible (and knowledgeable about gut health) you are.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on anyway…
For a healthy alternative to party drinks, you could consider offering your guests some kombucha. Or if you’re feeling particularly gutsy (haha, see what I did there), you could even dress up as the wonderful sparking tonic that is kombucha. Of course, that would take a lot more effort, but you’d be a shoo-in for Best Costume.
Why do you keep going on about kombucha? What is it and how did it even come about?
Kombucha is a pretty big deal – sales are reportedly expected to reach $1.8 billion USD by 2020, so it isn’t just some wellness trend that is going to die out soon. In case you couldn’t tell from the word ‘cha’, it is a fermented and sweetened tea. While its origins are murky, most people agree that it originated from China around 221 BC and spread to Eastern Europe, Russia, and Japan. As the story goes, a Korean physician by the name of Kambu or Kombu, treated Emperor Inkyo with this tea – and had the honor of having it named after him.
The kombucha culture resembles a beige or white rubbery disc, and you’ll often hear people referring to it as ‘SCOBY’ (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). The SCOBY is placed in a sweetened tea mixture and left to ferment at room temperature for 1-3 weeks, before it is bottled for 1-2 weeks to released carbon dioxide and encourage carbonation. You can then place it in the fridge to slow down the carbonation and fermentation processes. By the way, the SCOBY is edible – you can serve up some delicious SCOBY snacks or even candy – perfect for trick-or-treaters! (A wonderful recipe can be found here)
Here’s something fun: if you’re in the process of brewing your own kombucha, you could leave the jars on display and label them as ‘brains’ for a little touch of spookiness – after all, those floating SCOBYs do bear a slight resemblance.
What are the benefits of drinking kombucha?
Plenty! Like yoghurt, it does wonders for your gut health through the probiotics that were produced during fermentation. These bacteria can improve your digestion and boost your immune system. Kombucha made from green tea will have similar health benefits, such as weight loss and blood sugar control. Lab tests run on rats have also revealed a reduction in liver toxicity, thanks to antioxidants found in kombucha. While researchers have yet to conduct similar studies on humans, there is reason to be optimistic about future breakthroughs. It also appears to have strong antibacterial properties, keeping only the good bacteria in your gut and stopping the growth of bad bacteria and yeast.
Other health benefits claimed by people include a boost in energy levels and suppression of cancer growth cells. However, most of the claims that currently exist are anecdotal and more concrete research is needed. There’s no denying though, that if you’re craving something fizzy, reaching out for a bottle of kombucha would satisfy that craving and give you way more benefits than a can of Coke.
So here’s to a healthy Halloween – celebrate with some kombucha! There’s nothing scarier than falling terribly ill, especially with Christmas and New Year around the corner, right?