One of my patients recently asked for my advice on a meal plan that she should stick to in order to help manage her diabetes.
I recommended healthy foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as well as a variety of vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. When it came to beverages, I suggested she try kombucha tea.
“Kombucha?” she asked confused. “Sounds like a board game.”Not quite! Kombucha has been around for centuries and provides essential vitamins, minerals, and acids that are crucial for several health conditions, including diabetes.
What Is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a mixture of good bacteria and yeast; kombucha tea is made by fermenting a mixture of kombucha cultures, sugar, and tea for a few days to a few weeks. It is brewed with a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria), which results in an acidic probiotic drink. During the fermentation process, most of the sugar gets absorbed by the bacteria and yeast, so it has minimal effect on the body’s blood sugar levels.
Kombucha Benefits for Diabetics
Did you know that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.? The disease affects nearly 26 million Americans, so patients are always looking for new ways to manage their diabetes effectively. Kombucha has become especially popular as research shows it relieves diabetic complications:
- Keeps your blood sugar levels within a normal range
- Normalizes high blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels
- Improves your metabolism and energy levels, which benefits the digestive system
- The Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology published an article stating that kombucha can actually prevent, or even cure periodontal disease, which is a disease that diabetics are at a higher risk of obtaining.
Concerns Related to Kombucha
With all the positive aspects of consuming kombucha, there are a few concerns that surround it:
- In some cases, consuming kombucha can lead to an allergic reaction or stomach complications.
- Brewing kombucha tea can produce a toxic reaction with the elements that are in the teapot, which can also lead to severe complications to your health. Always make sure your teapot is as clean as possible to minimize the risk.
- If you purchase farmed kombucha, there is a risk it could be contaminated with other chemicals, which can affect your health. The best place to purchase kombucha is from an organic food market or a specialty food store.
- In 1995, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement stating that an Iowa woman died due to an unexplained illness—some doctors suggested is was due to her daily consumption of kombucha tea.
Despite the complications, albeit unlikely, that can occur from kombucha, it still provides significant improvements for those with diabetes. As always, make sure to consult with your doctor before making any changes or additions to your diet.
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Kombucha tea is widely known as an immunity-booster that can help strengthen the body against many diseases—it is even said to slow the aging process. As a result, it is a popular beverage among the elderly and for people with serious illnesses, such as cancer…. Read More