Kombucha has been a part of many cultures for thousands of years, but the keto-diet is a relatively modern concept.

So, is it compatible with a keto lifestyle?

In this article, we’re going to take a look at kombucha’s nutritional content, its top health benefits, and, ultimately, whether or not you should be consuming the tea while trying to stay in ketosis.

First, let’s begin by exploring what goes into kombucha tea, and how it’s made.

What Is It & How Is It Made?

Looking into most of the origin stories of Kombucha, it appears that most sources claim it was created in either China or Japan. It’s a tea that’s made using the fermentation process, and involves mixing bacteria, yeast, and sugar to black or green tea.

It’s then fermented for a another week—a period that creates the most diverse probiotics bacteria [1]. It can, however, be dangerous to make your own kombucha. Fermenting the solution for too long can lead to adverse health effects if consumed and it can even be fatal.

Let’s look at some of the nutritional information concerning this ancient brew.

Nutritional Facts

While you might assume tea doesn’t have any carbs, Kombucha can indeed be relatively high in them, with a one-cup serving containing 3.9 grams of net carbs, which can put you over your daily limit if you aren’t careful.

Fortunately, with 1.9 grams of dietary fiber in the mix, it can hit almost 10% of your recommended daily fiber intake which can contribute to a healthy digestive system. Its low sodium levels can improve your cholesterol too, which will help promote a healthy heart.

Kombucha is also a great source of beneficial nutrients as well. It includes an abundance of B vitamins. These vitamins can assist your body in several ways, such as maintaining eye health, breaking down proteins more efficiently, and protecting the nervous system.

Top Benefits of Kombucha

There are numerous benefits to consuming kombucha tea, one being that it’s an excellent source of probiotics. They’re produced during the fermentation process and they can provide your stomach with healthy bacteria.

Some kombucha teas contain green tea, meaning the benefits of green tea can be found in the kombucha brew. Green tea contains polyphenols which have antioxidants that can give you protection from free radicals.

Acetic acid (also found in vinegar) can be found in kombucha. This ingredient is able to kill pathogens and other harmful bacteria [2]. A study on rats, consuming kombucha, showed that it could reduce the risk of heart problems due to the tea being linked to boosting ‘bad’ LDL and ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels [3].

Another study suggested that kombucha could help with Type 2 diabetes, as it slows down the digestion of carbs and neutralizes blood sugar levels [4]. You can also find a decent source of caffeine in kombucha, as both green and black tea contain the substance.

Other Fermented/Related Drinks & Foods

If you’re not into the flavor of kombucha, there are a few different fermented foods and drinks for you to try out that come with their own slew of health benefits for your keto diet.

Apple cider vinegar is a great alternative that can be added to a refreshing lemon-infused tea and it fits perfectly into a French salad dressing.

It’s high in acetic acid and it can even help neutralize your blood sugar levels, which could be helpful for anyone who experiences symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.

The best thing about apple cider vinegar is that it contains no fat, carbs, and traces of sugar content, making it ideal for maintaining ketosis.

A different substitute you could try out is Kefir tea, another fermented drink filled with nutritional goodness. It’s made using either goat’s milk or cow’s milk, which is added to the natural Kefir leaves.

After a day of fermentation, the kefir grains duplicate, creating the milky substance. A one-cup serving can give you 9.2 grams of protein, 31% of your daily recommended calcium intake, and you’ll find some great vitamins and minerals in there too.

Try not to go too crazy with Kefir milk though, as it can be high in carbs.

Will It Kick You Out of Ketosis?

Based on what we’ve learned here, it’s safe to say that kombucha will only kick you out of ketosis if you go overboard. A single-serving contains 3.9 grams of net carbs, and that’s almost 20% of your daily carbs limit.

Therefore, it can be enjoyed on an occasional basis, but you’ll have to be on the lookout for hidden carbs and sugars in other foods that day.

Conclusion

So, should kombucha be in your keto-diet? Absolutely! It’s a natural remedy with plenty of health perks, being a source of B vitamins, dietary fiber, and probiotics.

You’ll just want to be sure to keep a close eye on how much you’re consuming to ensure you don’t exceed your daily carb limit.

References:

[1] Chakravorty S, Bhattacharya S, Chatzinotas A, Chakraborty W, Bhattacharya D, Gachhui R. Kombucha tea fermentation: Microbial and biochemical dynamics. Int J Food Microbiol. 2016 Mar 2;220:63-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2015.12.015. Epub 2016 Jan 7.

[2] Darshna Yagnik,corresponding author Vlad Serafin, and Ajit J. Shah. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; down regulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Sci Rep. 2018; 8: 1732. Published online 2018 Jan 29. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18618-x

[3] Aloulou A, Hamden K, Elloumi D, Ali MB, Hargafi K, Jaouadi B, Ayadi F, Elfeki A, Ammar E. Hypoglycemic and antilipidemic properties of kombucha tea in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 May 16;12:63. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-63.

[4] Aloulou A, Hamden K, Elloumi D, Ali MB, Hargafi K, Jaouadi B, Ayadi F, Elfeki A, Ammar E. Hypoglycemic and antilipidemic properties of kombucha tea in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 May 16;12:63. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-63.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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