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Kombucha Benefits: What It Is & How To Add It To Your Diet 2023?


Reviewed by Elizabeth Gonzalez Cueto, MD
kombucha benefits
There are certain health benefits of kombucha. Photo: zarzamora/Shutterstock

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Kombucha tea is a popular fermented tea beverage that has gained attention for its many health benefits. The fermentation process[1] involves adding bacteria and yeast to sweetened tea, resulting in the production of organic acids, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. These probiotic bacteria and yeast have been shown to support digestive health, boost the immune system, and improve overall well-being.

Research suggests that drinking kombucha may also have additional health benefits. For instance, studies have found that kombucha can aid in weight loss by reducing body fat, improving metabolism, and promoting feelings of fullness. It may also help lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease by reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol levels.

Furthermore, kombucha tea is a low-calorie alternative to sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages, making it a popular choice for people looking to reduce their calorie intake or limit their alcohol consumption.

Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand kombucha benefits, it appears to be a promising addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Evidence-Based Kombucha Benefits 

  • Contains beneficial probiotics.
  • Has similar benefits to green tea.
  • Can boost immunity.
  • Helps with weight loss.
  • Great for the digestive system.
  • Contains antioxidants.
  • Can regulate blood sugar.
  • Has vitamins and minerals.

Potential Benefits Of Kombucha Tea

Contains Beneficial Probiotics

The fermentation process in making kombucha creates[2] beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, in the drink. It can be found in supplement form, as well as naturally in other fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and yogurt. Probiotics are all the rage these days, with good reason.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host (the person consuming them). A strong, diverse ecosystem of bacteria is needed in the gut to create a healthy gut microbiome, which is the foundation of overall health. So, including more probiotics in the diet is one way to strengthen health. 

Similar Benefits To Green Tea

Green tea contains an abundance of antioxidants and polyphenols, making it one of the healthiest drinks to consume. Kombucha has similar properties as green tea, which means it shares many of the same health-promoting properties. Some of these health benefits include burning more fat, stabilizing blood sugar, improving cholesterol, and protecting the heart. 

Can Boost Immunity

The human gut contains approximately 70% of the body’s immune cells, making it a crucial component of our immune system. Kombucha’s gut-friendly compounds, such as probiotics and organic acids, can contribute to a healthy gut environment and boost immunity.

The gut wall is lined with immune cells that act as the first line of defense against pathogens and harmful bacteria that may enter our body through food or drink. Maintaining a strong gut with sufficient beneficial bacteria is essential for the optimal functioning of our immune cells.

Regular consumption of kombucha can help to replenish and maintain the beneficial bacteria in the gut, which in turn strengthens the immune system. The probiotics in kombucha have been shown to stimulate the production of antibodies and other immune cells, making it an effective addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle for boosting immunity.

Kombucha Benefits Weight Loss

kombucha benefits
Kombucha tea helps the weight loss process. Photo: Stock-Asso/Shutterstock

Although kombucha tea contains small amounts of sugar and alcohol content, the overall calorie content is minimal, making it a healthier alternative to sugary drinks. By replacing soda and fruit juice with kombucha, you can significantly reduce your calorie intake while benefiting from the drink’s probiotics and polyphenols.

The polyphenols in kombucha tea have been linked to weight loss by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, both of which can contribute to weight gain. Additionally, the probiotics in kombucha tea may help to improve digestion and regulate metabolism, further supporting weight loss efforts.

By choosing kombucha as a replacement for high-calorie, unhealthy drinks, you can support your body’s weight loss goals while benefiting from its many health-promoting properties. However, it is important to note that kombucha tea should be consumed in moderation as excessive intake can lead to adverse effects. 

Great For The Digestive System

Kombucha tea is probably best known for its benefits on gut health.[3] By replenishing the friendly bacteria in the gut, kombucha may aid in constipation. It’s thought that the high amounts of lactobacillus (a specific strain of healthy bacteria) may be particularly helpful in “getting things moving,” as well as protecting the gut from inflammation.

With that being said, some individuals who have specific gut conditions (such as SIBO or candida) may have an adverse reaction to kombucha, because they already have an overgrowth of bacteria in their digestive tracts. Therefore, kombucha tea may help improve gut health for healthy individuals but should not be used as a “medicine” to treat specific conditions. 

Contains Antioxidants

Antioxidants are powerful plant compounds that work night and day to protect our cells from harm, and in many cases, reverse the damage that’s already been done. Antioxidants are essential in every diet and can be found in a variety of plant foods, or foods made from plants, including kombucha. If you’re not getting enough antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, spices, dark chocolate, or tea, consider adding kombucha to your daily routine for a boost of antioxidant support.[4]

Can Regulate Blood Sugar

Managing blood sugar is a staple of a healthy lifestyle, for all individuals, particularly those who have or may be at risk of developing diabetes. Kombucha has been shown[5] to have a positive effect on blood sugar or glucose levels, even more so than black tea. Kombucha may also have a good balancing effect on cholesterol – raising the good (HDL) and lowering the bad (LDL).

Contains Vitamins And Minerals

In addition to being a low-calorie alternative to sugary drinks, kombucha tea also contains naturally occurring vitamins and minerals that can provide a nutritional boost to your diet. While kombucha alone may not meet your daily recommended intake, it can be a valuable addition to a well-rounded diet. 

Kombucha contains a variety of vitamins, including vitamin C and B vitamins such as B1, B6, and B12. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and protect against chronic diseases. B vitamins play a crucial role in energy metabolism, brain function, and the production of red blood cells. Furthermore, the fermentation process used to make kombucha tea can increase the bioavailability of these vitamins and minerals, making them easier for the body to absorb and utilize.

What Is Kombucha Tea?

Kombucha tea (pronounced com-boo-cha) is an ancient beverage made from black or green tea with yeast and sugar, which are added to the tea, creating a fermented drink. The fermented drink lasts for at least one week (and up to a month), during which time, healthy bacteria form in the drink.

Kombucha tea is a low-calorie, delicious drink that is often described as having a slightly sweet and tangy taste. It also contains small amounts of alcohol, sugar, and caffeine, although the levels are generally considered safe and within recommended guidelines.

In addition to its probiotic content, kombucha also contains antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that may help to reduce inflammation, lower the risk of chronic diseases, and even have anti-cancer properties.

While more research is needed to fully understand the health benefits of kombucha, it is a tasty and healthy addition to a person’s diet.

How To Include Kombucha Tea In Your Diet?

Drink It Straight

Enjoy kombucha straight from the bottle or pour it into a glass and drink it straight. If you’re new to kombucha, start with a small amount and see how you tolerate it. You may notice a little bloating or a change in bowel movements, but overall you shouldn’t experience any unpleasant side effects.

Mix It With Other Beverages

kombucha benefits
Kombucha can be mixed into teas, lemonades, and cocktails. Photo: Jane Vershinin/Shutterstock

Kombucha can be mixed into other drinks such as teas, lemonades, and cocktails. Depending on the flavor of kombucha, you may find it a nice addition to other drinks to enhance not only the flavor but the health of the drink, as well. 

Use In Dressings Or As A Marinade

Try adding a few teaspoons of kombucha to salad dressings or marinades. You may find it an upgrade to regular vinegar. By adding it to dressings or marinades, you can eat your kombucha instead of drinking it.

Freeze It For Dessert

Rather than making popsicles from just fruit juice or water, upgrade your frozen dessert by making popsicles with a kombucha base. Either freeze kombucha alone to make kombucha pops, or mix it with a fruit juice/fruit of your choice.

Dilute With Water

For some, kombucha may be too sweet and/or sour or fizzy. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to dilute it with a little filtered water to help you enjoy it better.

Soak Your Grains

If you haven’t heard, soaking grains before cooking them makes the nutrients more bioavailable, as well as makes the grains themselves easier to digest. But rather than using just water to soak your grains, try using kombucha.

You can add one teaspoon of kombucha to every cup of water (increase the measurements as needed). For soaking grains, specifically, you may find better results when using long-brewed kombucha. Be sure to soak your grains for at least 20 minutes if not several hours. 


Kombucha is a delicious and healthy beverage that offers numerous health benefits. The probiotics present in kombucha are essential for maintaining a healthy gut, which is linked to overall health and immunity. The drink is also packed with antioxidants that help to protect the body against disease-causing free radicals.

In addition, the fermentation process used to create kombucha results in a drink that is rich in beneficial enzymes, organic acids, and B vitamins, which can improve digestion, support metabolism, and boost energy levels. Kombucha is also a low-calorie, low-sugar alternative to many other beverages, making it an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their calorie intake and support their weight loss goals.

While kombucha has numerous health benefits, it is important to consume it in moderation and choose a high-quality, organic brand to avoid harmful additives or contamination. Incorporating kombucha into your diet can be an easy way to improve your overall health and well-being while enjoying a delicious and refreshing beverage. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who shouldn’t drink kombucha?

Kombucha should be avoided or consulted with a healthcare professional before consuming it by pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with weakened immune systems, digestive issues, a history of alcoholism, or allergies/sensitivities to its ingredients.

Is kombucha good for kids?

It is not recommended for children under the age of four due to its small amount of alcohol and acidity level. Children’s digestive systems are not yet fully developed, and the presence of alcohol and acidity may cause discomfort or even harm to their health.

For older children and teenagers, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before introducing kombucha into their diet. If they are given the green light to consume kombucha, it is best to choose a high-quality, organic brand with minimal added sugars and flavors. It is also important to monitor their intake and avoid excessive consumption to prevent potential side effects.

Can I drink kombucha hot?

There’s no reason why you can’t heat kombucha and enjoy it warm, if that’s what you prefer, however, heating the drink will kill off most (if not all) of the beneficial bacteria. Therefore, drinking it warm may taste nice, but may not have the same health benefits as cold kombucha.

+ 5 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Villarreal-Soto, S.A., Beaufort, S., Bouajila, J., Souchard, J.-P. and Taillandier, P. (2018). Understanding Kombucha Tea Fermentation: A Review. Journal of Food Science, [online] 83(3), pp.580–588. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.14068.
  2. Kapp, J.M. and Sumner, W. (2019). Kombucha: a systematic review of the empirical evidence of human health benefit. Annals of Epidemiology, [online] 30, pp.66–70. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2018.11.001.
  3. Kaashyap, M., Cohen, M. and Mantri, N. (2021). Microbial Diversity and Characteristics of Kombucha as Revealed by Metagenomic and Physicochemical Analysis. Nutrients, [online] 13(12), p.4446. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124446.
  4. Permatasari, H.K., Nurkolis, F., Augusta, P.S., Mayulu, N., Kuswari, M., Taslim, N.A., Wewengkang, D.S., Batubara, S.C. and Ben Gunawan, W. (2021). Kombucha tea from seagrapes (Caulerpa racemosa) potential as a functional anti-ageing food: in vitro and in vivo study. Heliyon, [online] 7(9), p.e07944.
  5. Alaei, Z., Doudi, M. and Setorki, M. (2020). The protective role of Kombucha extract on the normal intestinal microflora, high-cholesterol diet caused hypercholesterolemia, and histological structures changes in New Zealand white rabbits. Avicenna journal of phytomedicine, [online] 10(6), pp.604–614. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7711297/


A Health Coach specializing in Integrative Nutrition, I approach wellness with a holistic and functional medicine perspective. As a writer, I simplify intricate topics such as nutrition, gut and hormone health, mental well-being, and spiritual health,… See More

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