Kombucha is all the rage these days. Head into just about any grocery store, and you’ll see a large section of an aisle dedicated to this drink. In addition to many folks enjoying the taste of kombucha, this drink comes with a slew of health benefits. Even people with diabetes may find that drinking kombucha from time to time may help them manage their diabetes.
Let’s dive into more about the relationship between kombucha and diabetes and all of the drink’s potential health benefits. But first, what exactly is kombucha?
Kombucha and Diabetes
What is Kombucha?
So bear with us here. Kombucha doesn’t exactly sound like the most delicious drink out there based on its ingredients, but if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s worth a taste!
Kombucha is the byproduct of fermented sugared black or green tea. A mixture of yeast, fungus, and bacteria—known as a “scoby”— is added to the tea. The scoby kind of looks like jelly in the shape of a mushroom cap.
Have we lost you yet? Hopefully not, because we aren’t done!
The scoby acts as a catalyst for the tea’s fermentation. Over time, bacteria will grow and remove much of the sugar in the drink. Eventually, the scoby can be removed, and you got yourself a tasty batch of kombucha!
If that all sounds like a lot, maybe the taste of kombucha will get you to try it. It’s tangy and tart and a little bit of fizziness to it.
What Are the Benefits of Kombucha For Someone With Diabetes?
As always, you should discuss your diet with your doctor or dietician. What you put into your body greatly impacts your diabetes, so it’s important that you come up with a healthy, consistent meal plan with a professional.
Kombucha may be one potential drink you can work into your diet to help manage your diabetes. A study conducted in 2018 found that kombucha has the ability to significantly reduce blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c levels, as well as increase insulin production. In addition, the study found it delayed absorption of what is known as bad cholesterol, or LDL, as well as raised good cholesterol levels (HDL). The study also showed that kombucha might protect liver and kidney function.
Black tea is seen as a potential drink that can lower blood sugar. In 2012, it was tested against black tea kombucha, which found the kombucha was better than regular tea at promoting low blood sugar.
Kombucha General Health Benefits
Kombucha made from green tea can be healthy in a variety of ways – Green tea is often seen as one of the most healthy drinks, well, ever. So if you’re drinking kombucha made from green tea, you’re going to experience many of the same health benefits. Studies have shown that green tea increases the number of calories you burn, reduces belly fat, and improves cholesterol levels.
Kombucha may assist in preventing some types of cancers – Some studies have even shown that green tea, and therefore green tea kombucha, can reduce the risk of cancers, like prostate, breast, and colon cancer.
According to a Time article, kombucha may help with digestion – Food that goes through a natural fermentation process gains probiotic properties. Eating more of these foods can bring benefits such as a more balanced gut microbiome and improved digestion. However, the experts cited in the article also believe that more studies must be conducted in regards to the true health benefits of kombucha.
In fact, many nutritionists and dieticians believe that more research must be done on the positive health benefits of kombucha. Don’t be surprised if, over the next few years, we see a lot more studies pop up on just how healthy kombucha is. As we mentioned before, if you’re thinking of adding a drink or food like kombucha, which still needs more studies, speak with your dietician or doctor first.
Make sure to check out the rest of our blog for more tips on how to manage your diabetes!