Praised by followers of a healthy diet, kombucha is THE trendy drink of this summer. So much so that many cafes and restaurants have added it to their menu. We can therefore now sip it on the terrace, where they will intelligently replace sodas and beer. But what is it exactly? And what are its benefits? We asked Sophie Janvier, dietitian-nutritionist in Paris and author of The gentle method to eat better, 33 micro-changes to rebalance your diet without depriving yourself (Leduc.s editions, available for pre-order).
Kombucha: a fermented drink made from tea
“Kombucha is prepared by making ferment sweet tea with a mixture of bacteria and yeast called “mother of kombucha”, explains the dietitian. The latter will produce acid compounds and carbon dioxide, which gives this drink its gaseous side. It takes about two weeks to reach the right level of fermentation.
Not very sweet (count between 1 and 4 g of carbohydrates per 100 ml), this beverage is also rich in probiotics, which makes it very interesting from a nutritional point of view. “Probiotics are live bacteria that will seed our microbiota, therefore strengthening it, even diversifying it”, specifies Sophie Janvier. Of course, their quality and quantity may vary depending on the recipe and how the kombucha is made.
Bought or homemade kombucha: which one to choose?
“The answer is difficult”, points out the dietician. “If you make it yourself, you may not be hygienic enough, let it ferment too much or not enough”. In fact, it is necessary be careful when making your own kombucha. “A few cases of food poisoning have been reported following the ingestion of homemade kombucha,” reports the Montreal Journal. It is therefore necessary to ensure the cleanliness of your work plan and the utensils used, to avoid contamination with bacteria present in the environment. For these same reasons, it is better to favor glass containers rather than plastic. Do you see mold forming on the surface? Discard the drink and start your recipe over.
Kombucha purchased at the supermarket, on the other hand, may contain added sugar after fermentation, and therefore prove to be more caloric. Moreover, “commercial products are often pasteurized, which kills some of the beneficial bacteria”, notes Sophie Janvier. The ideal is therefore to read the labels carefully and choose the healthiest and “natural” recipes possible.