Should Kombucha Tea be a Part of Your Raw Food Diet?
I’m often asked about the practice of drinking Kombucha tea on raw foods regimens. Drinking of Kombucha Tea is one of many controversial practices you will find hotly debated in the raw foods community. Countless studies and testimonies stand both for and against this mysterious beverage. But first of all: what is it?
Kombucha tea is a beverage made from sweetened black tea fermented for 7 to 14 days, using a culture which is sometimes referred to as a “mushroom” although it is not at all related to actual mushrooms. The culture somewhat resembles a rubbery pancake and is technically a symbiotic colony of beneficial bacteria and yeasts.
The cake is placed atop the tea and fermented until the desired result is reached, at which time the culture is removed and reused several times for subsequent batches of tea. The origin of this drink is unknown, although there are recorded uses of it all the way back to 250 BC in China, from where it is believed to have spread to Europe, Asia and Russia.
We used to make it when I lived in Russia, where it’s known as kvass, and we used sugar and black tea. The sugar and caffeine actually feed the culture and are, in essence, used up and converted into health-giving properties during fermentation. But we can never be sure exactly when or if all of the tea and sugar have been properly converted, when they have changed their chemical structure. And for those in the raw foods lifestyle caffeine and sugar are definitely two substances to avoid.
Traditionally, Kombucha is used as an aid to balancing pH and assisting the body in detoxification. It contains several different types of B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics, and an impressive array of organic acids including: glucuronic acid, a powerful detoxifier produced in the liver malic acid, also a liver detoxifier and anti-inflammatory acetic acid, which is an inhibitor or pathogenic bacteria butyric acid, which can combine with gluconic acid to strengthen the walls of the gut in order to combat Candida yeast infections.
Proponents of Kombucha Tea swear by its healing properties and use it as a supposéd remedy for problems ranging from arthritis to obesity to hepatitis. On the raw foods lifestyle, there simply are no such health problems that need remedies. We get to the root of the problem by cleansing and nourishing the body, and the body is therefore enabled to perform those functions necessary for health and healing.
Any health benefits that might be conferred by drinking Kombucha are already afforded by following a 100% raw foods diet. This is not to say that the tea can’t be of assistance during the transition. Though there exists a long list of benefits believed to be derived from drinking the tea, and many on the raw food lifestyle drink it or at least experiment with it, I personally do not, for several reasons. For years now I haven’t bought or drunk anything that comes in a container, and I don’t intend to start now.
There is nothing better to drink than freshly squeezed vegetable juices. Kombucha presents challenges for busy people or people who travel. It can be complicated to make, as it must be carefully prepared, a consistent temperature maintained and you have to know when it is done to the proper acidity in order to avoid consuming caffeine and sugar. Too much fuss for me—nor do I want to run the risk of unwittingly adding caffeine and sugar to my diet.
On my Quantum Eating plan, drinking beverages (other than fresh juice) is excluded and is unnecessary at best. However, if you are a fan of Kombucha, please be sure you make your own, as this will give you the opportunity to ensure the best quality in both the original culture and your finished product. As you explore the raw food lifestyle, there will always be choices you’ll need to make. Whether to drink Kombucha Tea is just one of many. To come up with one recommendation about raw foods for everyone is a noble object, but any attempt to do so is bound to fail. I can’t take responsibility for your health and well-being. Let your own Rawsome Beauty guide you in the right direction. The journey to health is self-exploratory, but the ride is exhilarating.