There’s been a lot of hype over kombucha the last several years. Going from an all-out super drink to one that was banned from store shelves, many have gotten confused over whether or not this stuff is really good for them, or if its all just fluff.
Dating back to the Asian cultures for over 2000+ years now, it’s safe to say that there is probably some truth behind the talk. I mean, Asians are some of the healthiest, longest-living people in the world and many of their holistic treatments and philosophies from centuries past still hold strong today.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS
Kombucha is recognized worldwide for its detoxifying, energizing, immune-enhancing, digestion-regulating properties. It is a ‘live’ beverage made from a living blend of healthy bacteria and beneficial yeast called a SCOBY. (Kombucha is to tea as yogurt is to milk.)
Filled with billions of probiotics that travel down to your digestive tract, they help keep your stomach clean and boost your immune system by promoting the health of your gut. And while the alcohol content of this beverage has caused some to become skeptics, the miniscule amount that is possibly present isn’t enough to cause any harm anyway. (Plus, a little alcohol is actually good for the system!)
Kombucha also contains tons of other balancing elements necessary for well-being, including: enzymes which help you break down sugars and process nutrients;
B-vitamins your body needs for energy, healing, and brain function; electrolytes that aid hydration; and antioxidants that reduce cell oxidation (i.e., slow down the aging process and prevent proliferation of foreign invaders like cancer cells).
This detoxifying beverage also contains a number of different organic acids, including: lactic acid, which is essential for healthy digestive and liver function; malic acid, which is helpful for liver detoxification; butyric acid, which guards and protects the lining of your stomach; amino acid, the building block of muscular tissue; as well as others.
FOR PREGNANT OR NURSING MOMS
With all the above said, as a new or expectant mother, you may wonder if drinking kombucha is not only good for you, but if it’s safe. And while many may have their own opinions, I’m here to tell you that in mine, it is completely fine. With a couple caveats of course.
Like many things during pregnancy or even while breastfeeding (like exercise, for example) if you were doing it before, than by all means keep it up! Kombucha has a lot of health benefits, many of which are great for expecting mothers. These can include:
- Increased energy levels
- Regulation of bowel movements
- Detoxifying to the body
- Helps maximize nutrient absorption [because it’s probiotic]
All of these are great things, especially for moms-to-be who seem to have lots of issues in these areas. I mean, what pregnant woman doesn’t suffer from lack of energy?! And since caffeine is [basically] off-limits and sugar shouldn’t be a go-to either, kombucha will give you that energy boost you are looking for.
Constipation is another unfortunate side-effect of pregnancy, and kombucha can help you become more regular. It can also help cleanse and detox your body allowing you to fight off potential illnesses, which is obviously another issue that moms-to-be try to avoid.
Finally, nutrient absorption is key during pregnancy as everything your little bundle gets is based on what you eat and the vitamins and minerals that get absorbed from it – and kombucha helps aid this process!
However, there are a couple precautions for pregnant (and/or nursing) women.
If you’re pregnant and you’ve never drunk kombucha before, start slowly. In very rare cases, kombucha can cause a reaction in first time drinkers, and having any kind of “adverse” reaction while pregnant would not be fun. Start off drinking around 4 oz. a day, then slowly build that up as you determine your body’s response.
And for those of you who are nursing – again, proceed with caution. Your little one gets all of their nutrients through your breast milk (or at least a good majority of them if you are not exclusively breast feeding), and therefore can react to the food and/or beverages that you consume.
First of all, kombucha is a detoxing agent and the toxins in your body can come out through your skin, your eyes, or even your breast milk if you are not well hydrated. Fortunately they will come out in your pee or stool if you are – so make sure you drink plenty of water!
Second, kombucha increases energy. While this is probably needed for you personally, your baby might not need the extra jolt. On the same accord, your baby may not need the extra help in the bathroom department either. Kombucha can cause overly-loose stools in your baby and you don’t want to risk dehydrating them. (Remember, with breastfed babies defining diarrhea isn’t so much about frequency of passing stools [some breastfed babies can pass 10+ a day while others manage only one every two or three days!], but about how liquid or explosive they are.) You’re the mom; you know what’s normal. If their stools start becoming abnormal when you drink kombucha, lay off it.
IN MY OWN EXPERIENCE:
With all that said, I personally drink kombucha even though I am still breastfeeding and have not noticed any negative side-effects whatsoever – in me or my son. In fact, he is probably the healthiest kid I know (and I’m not just saying that because he’s my child!) I didn’t drink kombucha while pregnant though (except for in the very early stages). This isn’t because I was worried about it, but rather because the smell made me feel nauseous – oh, the joys of pregnancy. However, if I can handle [the smell] the next go-around, I most definitely will continue to drink it, as the benefits of this wonder drink are truly amazing.
Now drink up and enjoy ;).
And for a review on one of my favorite brands of kombucha that taste amazingly similar to your favorite soda, without all the negative side-effects, then click HERE!