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Warning: You may develop an addiction to this tea.

Kombucha is the latest addition to the favorite list of many (Image via dicasdemulher.com)

I first began drinking kombucha during my various attempts to give up coffee. As an avid calorie-counter, I was on the search of a drink with minimal qualifications: something low in calories and could give me energy. One day while I was picking up my healthy, pre-prepared lunch from a “healthy fast food” place called Pure Fit Foods, I came across exactly what I had been searching for: kombucha. At the start, I knew the drink had an acquired taste. Most will describe it as straight-up apple cider vinegar or beer. Because it’s fermented, the drink contains 0.1 percent alcohol, giving it that beer-vinegar taste. With a large assortments of tastes and types, I feel that anybody can find a love for kombucha.

This tea is a rarity of a drink. When it started out on the market, its biggest distributors were Whole Foods and probably your local natural grocery stores such as Natural Grocers. With the recent health-kick going full swing into Americans, kombucha is slowly becoming more accessible via discount stores such as Target and Walmart.  With the right ingredients, you could even make the drink at home with the help of a kombucha making kit. The many benefits the tea reaps make up for its acquired, unique taste, which takes a little time for most people to enjoy or get used to. Here’s a couple of reasons why I’ve been head-first in the kombucha craze these past years.

1. This tea makes you feel physically amazing.

When you first drink a well-made kombucha tea, you’ll feel a little burn down your throat. You’ll probably burp a lot for a couple minutes as well. When you’re feeling bloated, gassy or simply need a healthy pick-me-up, kombucha will be your savior.

The probiotics and antioxidants carried in the drink help settle your stomach and reduce gas and bloating. Probiotics are known to be good for your digestive system. The healthy bacteria they produce reduces inflammation and aids digestion. Aside from all the scientific mumbo jumbo, kombucha will leave you feeling internally cleansed.

2. Mentally, you’ll feel amazing, too.

When I first began drinking kombucha, it was solely because of its low calories. My mindset towards food was unhealthy to say the least. As I began to develop a different perspective, I learned about many other benefits of the drink.

Not everything you consume is about the numbers in their nutrition facts. Once I started to enjoy kombucha, I realize it wasn’t just another low-cal drink—it was healthy and would benefit my body. The amount of vitamin C, B12 and B6 it contains are believed to enhance moods. Since the drink also has a portion of fruits and vegetables, its natural vitamins will cleanse your mind and body simultaneously.

3. The assortment of kombucha’s flavors and types are endless.

Whether it’s ginger based, fruit based or even vegetable based, kombucha caters to all. With varying amounts of sugar among flavors, each kombucha is unique.

Different brands have different goals for their teas. Some brands focus on making the drink sweet, while some pay attention to providing as many nutrients as possible in one serving. Kombucha, from coffee to herbal infused type, offers more than just the typical benefits. My personal favorite kombucha is Health-Ade’s Pink Lady Apple. Health-Ade uses the most minimal of ingredients to ensure their kombucha taste as natural as possible. I’m sure that’s what most people want their drink to taste like.

4. It can kick your cravings.

Does anybody drink soda anymore? I was never a soda fan, but my coffee obsession is beyond the roof. Whether it’s coffee, soda or anything you drink or eat excessively, kombucha is the perfect alternative for your guilty pleasure. Specifically for soda, kombucha has the same carbonation effect and sweet taste, minus all the nasty chemicals that are made from who-knows-what.

Kombucha could be exactly what you need to satisfy your sweet tooth or coffee obsession. It still gives you the energy you need without the extra creamer and excessive caffeine intake. I’m guilty for drinking two to three cups of coffee a day, but by replacing them with one kombucha tea, I’ve learned to curb my cravings.

Normally have an afternoon coffee? Replace it with a glass of ‘buch. Does your pre-workout drink make you too antsy? Try a kombucha instead. You’ll get the same energy in a more natural form.

5. Studies claim it could potentially kill and reduce the risks of a variety of diseases.

It’s no secret that an abundance of vitamins could promise to reduce the risk of heart disease, manage diabetes levels and protect the body against any form of cancer. It’s also self-explanatory that antioxidants, glucaric acid, probiotics and acetic acid aid in detoxifying the body of harmful toxins, lowering cholesterol levels and killing harmful bacteria. Studies on animals have shown numerous beneficial outcomes that humans can find useful from.

A sure way to gain all these physical and mental health benefits is developing a healthy relationship with your body and mind. Learning what your food and drink consist of is the first step to a healthy lifestyle. You’ll become more aware of what benefits and what harms your body. With weight loss and bodily diseases, knowing what you can take from specific food and drink will put your health goals in a clearer view. Kombucha is the perfect start to bettering your health. Now that you know how it can help you, take advantage of its benefits for your own sake.

To put things in perspective, no food or drink on its own can work miracles. But kombucha comes pretty darn close. My journey with kombucha has evolved through trying different flavors, brands and seeing which will fit my fitness goals to a T. The search of more refreshing and day-breaking kombuchas will continue for me. Even if you aren’t a fitness freak or nutrition buff, kombucha is a tea worth trying. Who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy the taste more than that Diet Dr. Pepper.

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