Abuzz with Bumble Brew

We never thought that an unexpected run-in with an old friend at an art gallery would lead to us learning about another source of probiotics, but that’s precisely what happened around a year ago. While discussing various digestive woes such as reflux, our adventurous buddy told us about a special tea called Kombucha.

“Komubu—what??” I asked.

“Kombucha. Fermented tea,” our friend explained before going on about the high probiotic load of this new drink, and how healthy it could be. Later, our research told us more about this unusual concoction. Kombucha, also known as ‘mushroom tea’ is essentially black or green tea that has been fermented with the help of a special bacteria-yeast culture. Think Yakult, but made with tea.

Kombucha is said to have originated in Manchuria, and has been touted as having various health benefits such as boosting metabolism and aiding in digestion. At present, kombucha is still under scientific investigation as to its medical uses and benefits for those with illnesses and chronic conditions. It is loaded with B vitamins and probiotics that can be beneficial to healthy persons and those that need some help with digestion. Generally, properly prepared and stored kombucha is deemed safe for human consumption.

Knowing this, we set off on a search for a good source of kombucha, only to find out that there are as many kombucha recipes as there are brewers! Kombucha can vary in its taste and acidity depending on the type of tea being fermented, the temperatures in the area, and the sorts of sugars or sweeteners added (unsweetened kombucha is probably not something the human palate can withstand!). We were lucky to come across Bumble Brew JUN Kombucha, a kombucha drink that is not only energizing but delicious as well.

Unlike other kombucha brews which utilize black tea, Bumble Brew is fermented from green tea. It also is fermented with raw honey instead of sugar, and flavored with fresh fruit and herb infusions. The result is a kombucha that is less acidic tasting, lighter on the palate, and even refreshing. This is definitely something to consider during this especially hot finals week!

We had the opportunity to try several flavors of Bumble Brew. Our particular favorite is the apple-cinnamon flavor, owing to its slightly spicy yet refreshing taste, with just the right amount of sweetness to it.

However there’s a caveat. Since it’s made from green tea, those highly sensitive to caffeine might find it best be best to go easy on the product. However that aside, it is still a great and affordable source of probiotics and antioxidants, right here in the busy metropolis.

To find out more about Bumble Brew, visit their homepage on FB at Bumble Brew PH.

 

Advertisements

The Good Bugs

Most of us grew up with an (acquired) aversion to bacteria and germs. We were always told that having these little entities in our guts would make us sick. However, not all bacteria cause stomach upsets; in fact, there are some kinds of bacteria which promote better digestion and health overall. These microorganisms are better known nowadays as probiotics. These special bacteria can resist the extremely acidic and enzyme-filled environment of the human gut, and thus can reside there for a relatively longer period of time.

So why eat or drink these kinds of bacteria? In recent years, probiotics have been studied for their beneficial effects in managing digestive problems such as gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and even irritable bowel syndrome. They are also helpful for children suffering from colic. They may be beneficial in managing allergies, atopic dermatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease; however, more studies are needed to show the effectiveness of probiotics for patients with these disorders. Probiotics may also have an antioxidant effect by reducing the ‘oxidative stress’ and damage caused by harmful bacteria in the gut.

Various strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are among the more well-known probiotics. These bacteria may be found in special preparations marketed for therapeutic purposes, but they are also found in some commercially available foods such as yogurt and some dairy preparations. Other foods containing beneficial bacteria include sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and kombucha (fermented tea). Like all things, these foods and other probiotic preparations must be taken in moderation. In fact, probiotics are not recommended for some critically ill persons, or those with severely weakened immune systems.

6933791485_91ca684502_b

Kombucha tea (Source: statickflickr.com)

 

In our anecdotal experience, regularly taking probiotics in addition to making necessary dietary and lifestyle changes has been helpful in preventing attacks of GERD, or at least in limiting their severity. We’ve also realized that drinking probiotics help us recover more quickly from our relatively rare stomach upsets and food poisoning misadventures. We hope that as more research is done about probiotics, that we can better incorporate these into our recommendations for healthy eating.

 

Sources:

Connor, E. (2017). 6 Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet. Retrieved from: http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/probiotic-foods#kombucha6

 

Sanders, M. E, Guarner, F., Guerrant, R., Holt, P.R., Quigley, E.M., Sartor, R.B…Mayer. E.A. (2013). “An update on the use and investigation of probiotics in health and disease.” Gut, 62, 787-796. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2012-302504

 

Wang, Y., Wu, Y., Wang, Y., Xu, H., Mei, X., Yu, D….Li, W. (2017). “Antioxidant Properties of Probiotic Bacteria”. Nutrients, 9, 521. doi:10.3390/nu9050521