Kombucha has acquired its golden reputation in the recent years, due to its highly acclaimed health benefits and versatile flavours. This fizzy, fermented drink is a rising star in the beverage world and is therefore often pitted against soda and soft drinks alike. Lets put both these popular beverages to trial, to discover the factual differences between the two.
THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
People taken by kombucha's sour, tart and tangy flavour, can brew the fizzy drink at home. Water, sugar, tea and SCOBY is all you need to prepare a batch for yourself, by yourself. The process of making kombucha is surprisingly easy. Warm some water, steep the tea bags in it and allow it to cool. Add sugar to sweeten the tea, and SCOBY to initiate the fermentation process. Let the kombucha ferment for 2-3 weeks, and voila your home brewed kombucha is ready to be sipped on. You can flavour it with your favourite spices, fruits or herbs if you wish.
Manufacturing soda on the other hand involves several distinct stages- sugar syrup clarification, water microbial stabilization, carbonation and more. The ingredients required to produce this elaborate beverage are- carbonated water, high fructose, corn syrup, artificial colouring, phosphoric acid, citric acid, carbon dioxide, brominated vegetable oil and more. The ingredients and techniques required to make soft drinks are most readily available in professional manufacturing corporations. Producing the beverage is not everyone’s cup of tea. Pun intended.
All soda flavours taste somewhat the same- sugary and artificial. While kombucha offers an extensive selection of flavours, all equally complex and interesting. From blueberry to ginger to pumpkin spice kombucha offers us all. Its wide variety of flavours makes it versatile and easy to pair with a vast assortment of dishes.
Sugar plays an important role in our diet and body, but only when consumed in the right quantity. Kombucha ,post fermentation, typically contains 6-12 grams of sugar for every 12 ounce of the beverage. The sugar in kombucha is for the bacteria and yeast culture to feed on, not for you.
Whereas a 12 ounce can of soda contains 35-47 grams of sugar, i.e. about 10-12 teaspoons, which is more than 80% of the recommended daily intake for a healthy diet. Added sugar like the ones found in soda have time and again been linked to instigating a higher risk of obesity and/or type 2 diabetes.
CHEMICALS & PRESERVATIVES
Preparation of kombucha does not require the involvement of any harmful chemical substances. It is a fermented tea, rich in probiotics, made from fresh organic ingredients.
The artificial colouring added to sodas might seem innocent enough as they have acquired the FDA’s approval. Contrary to this the International Agency for Research on Cancer states a carcinogen- 4MEI, found in these colours is said to increase the rate of malignant and benign tumours. Biphenol-A found in the plastic lining of aluminium soda cans, mimics oestrogen in the body, leading to reduced sperm counts and increased rates of reproductive cancers. Phosphoric acid present in the beverage would erode the enamel of your teeth and harm your gums.
AFFECTS ON HEALTY AND BODY
Kombucha during its fermentation, produces acetic acid, probiotics and several other organic compounds. Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria, improves digestion, reduces inflammation and encouraged weight loss. As the beverage is tea based, it possesses the same health benefits as the tea its brewed from. Rich in antioxidants it improves cholesterol, maintains blood sugar levels and helps burn calories.
Soda with its high sugar content, is not good for a person’s health. Consuming too much of the sickeningly, sweet beverage can lead to weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney dysfunction, non-alcoholic liver disease, gout, tooth decay, insulin resistance, leptin resistance and an increased risk of dementia.
While soft drinks have spread far and wide across the globe, consumers rising interest and caution regarding health and lifestyle choices have encouraged healthier alternatives such as kombucha to pave its path. If you too are looking to distance yourself from soda and other sugar sweetened beverages resort to this light and refreshing drink instead.
Introducing Kombucha tea in your diet gradually, with one to two servings per day is a great way to begin reaping the health benefits of kombucha.
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