Here's What Drinking Kombucha Does To Your Stomach

Kombucha has made a name for itself in the carbonated, healthy beverage department. Originating from ancient China, this extremely popular drink is made by brewing black or green tea with sugar, adding a starter liquid (from a previous batch of kombucha), then fermenting it with the aid of SCOBY (via The New York Times). The thick and rubbery SCOBY, which means "symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast," is a key ingredient when making this fizzy drink. Similarly, foods such as kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and more contain symbiotic cultures, too. But, what do these cultures, specifically, kombucha, do to your tummy?

Due to the rigorous fermentation process, kombucha is loaded with probiotics that support gut health. Probiotics have an impressive reputation because they're beneficial bacteria known to reduce gut inflammation, improve digestion, and increase the absorption of nutrients, according to Healthline. Evidence also points out the ability of kombucha to alleviate constipation. One 2014 review published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that probiotics hasten your digestive system by pushing food along quicker, resulting in increased stool frequency and consistency. The high-water content in kombucha keeps your body hydrated and lessens the likelihood of dehydration, which is a big contributor to constipation (via Healthline). Probiotics are great for gut health, but there are other factors that make kombucha good for your digestive system.

Kombucha supports your gut with antioxidants

Specifically, the tea alone is packed with a multitude of antioxidant health benefits, shares Rahaf Al Bochi, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, with The New York Times. According to Better Health, antioxidants are naturally found in a variety of foods, and these compounds help fight free radicals in the body. Popular foods rich in antioxidants include citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, and nuts, while popular antioxidant-rich drinks include coffee, cocoa, and green tea.

Green tea is noted for being high in polyphenols, which are disease-fighting compounds. A 2013 review published by Molecular Nutrition & Food Research suggested that polyphenols found in green tea may fight cancer cells and potentially prevent damage to healthy cells. Drinking kombucha brewed with green tea is not a cure for cancer, but it may support those healthy stomach cells. If you enjoy kombucha, drink assured that it's providing some support to your stomach.