What is kombucha?

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It seems like these days there are primarily two types of people–those who love kombucha and those who don’t know what it is. For those not yet in-the-know, what is kombucha? It starts as a sweetened tea to which a “scoby” (a combination of beneficial bacteria and yeast) is added to feed on the sugar in the tea, creating a bubbly drink with a tart, sour, slightly sweet taste through a process known as fermentation.

The presence of probiotics in kombucha is likely responsible for the health benefits associated with this tangy product. Probiotics are live cultures, like those in yogurt. They’ve been shown to offer an assortment of health benefits, especially for the digestive system. They can help regulate bowel habits, improve irritable bowel syndrome, and may help boost the immune system.

Helpful Hints. Keep these ideas in mind if you plan on giving kombucha a try or you’re already a fan.

* Options. While kombucha options used to be pretty limited, these days you have a lot to choose from. You can find brands that are caffeinated, flavored, CBD-containing, or alcoholic.

* Over 21? You might notice that some bottles list a very slight alcohol content. This is a by-product of fermentation and commercial kombuchas are still considered alcohol-free because the content is less than 0.5%.

* Size smarts. You’ll notice the chart lists a variety of sizes. Some of those represent a full bottle, some a half bottle and some another fraction. Be sure to check the serving size on the bottle you choose so you’re aware of exactly how many calories and sugar grams you’re actually drinking. Note that picks are based on 8-ounce servings, which in most cases is not a full bottle or can.

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