Probiotic drinks such as kombucha and kefir may seem like a new health trend, but they’ve actually been around for centuries.
Kombucha, a sparkling fermented black tea, was first used in China in 221 BC and was called “the tea of immortality” because of its many health benefits purported to treat everything from high blood pressure to cancer.
Since then, it had spread to Russia, Japan and Eastern Europe. The name kombucha came from Japan in 415 AD and was later dubbed “the elixir of life” when it spread to Europe. Kombucha is made by adding a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) into brewed green or black or green tea with sugar.
Kefir, which tastes a lot like a yoghurt drink, is a water- or milk-based drink fermented from kefir grains. Unlike kombucha, which is tea-based, kefir does not contain caffeine and is a richer source of lactic acid bacteria.
Because these drinks are fermented, they contain plenty of probiotics that are beneficial to our digestive system — and a healthy gut contributes to better digestion and brain function, heart health, a strong immune system, better mood and sleep, and may even help prevent certain cancers and autoimmune diseases. Kombucha and kefir are also great alternatives to milk because they do not contain lactose.
Get on board the probiotic drink trend at these places.