Search Results for: kombucha

Krazy for Kombucha

KombuchaYou’ve been hearing about it everywhere. Maybe you have a friend who loves it. But you’re wondering a little bit about kombucha – and what is it, anyway?

What is kombucha?
Kombucha (pronounced kom-boo-cha) is a fizzy fermented sweetened tea. This tea is fermented with something called a SCOBY – a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. The fermentation process leaves the resulting liquid bubbly and may have a trace amount of alcohol. Although there are varied reports of its origin – some say it originated in China, others in Russia – but one thing is certain: It’s tremendously popular right now!

What does it taste like?
It’s a little tart-sour (some may find it vinegary) and a little yeasty (think of bread), but you can find a wide range of kombucha, including Clearly Kombucha and GT’s Kombucha, that comes with additional natural flavors, like guava or citrus. No matter what else is in the mix, kombucha will retain its uniquely tart tang.

What’s the stuff floating in the bottle?
That’s the SCOBY.

What does it do?
There is a range of anecdotal evidence about the wonders of kombucha, but no scientific studies to prove them at this point. However, most kombucha contains live bacteria – the friendly kind that help digestion, including probiotics. Some varieties of kombucha are also high in antioxidants.

Does it have alcohol?
Yes, alcohol is a natural side effect of the fermentation process – that’s how we get wine and beer! However, the kombucha you’ll find on supermarket shelves usually has an alcohol content of less than 0.5%, although some may be slightly higher, like GT’s Classic Kombucha.

Does it have caffeine?
Yes. Remember: It’s a fermented tea.

What’s the difference between brands?
To some degree, it’s about flavor profiles, just like the difference between Pepsi and Coke. Some brands have more or less sugar. Clearly Kombucha is a little sweeter and has no SCOBY floating in the bottle. GT’s – the most popular brand of kombucha – offers an array of raw and organic varieties, from traditional to fruitier. You’ll also find other brands, depending on your store. If you really love kombucha and you live in the Sacramento area, our Gold River Bel Air now has kombucha on tap, so you can really stock up!

Ask the Expert: Probiotics – Healthy Habit or Hype?

Dave Fluitt

 

 

 

Dave Fluitt, Pharmacy Supervisor, Raley’s
Learn more about what makes Dave an expert.

There’s a lot of attention on probiotics these days and it’s evident in the wide range of products on the market containing lactobacillus (also known as live, “good” bacteria), from yogurts and capsules to coconut water and chocolate.

So, as a consumer, where do you start? Here’s a general overview to help you separate hype from science.

How do they work?
Probiotics ( good bacteria) help suppress the growth of “bad” bacteria by improving our gut as a barrier to things that aren’t so good for us. They also help moderate our body’s immune response and can potentially reduce inflammation. While the FDA has yet to officially regulate them, labels claim they “help promote digestive system balance” or “naturally help support digestive and immune health.”

Are they safe?
Yes, they are generally safe and well-tolerated by most consumers. Only those with severely-compromised immune systems may want to check with their doctor first. Some doctors are hesitant to recommend these products because although studies show some benefit in treating allergies, constipation, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, infectious diarrhea and antibiotic associated diarrhea, more studies are still needed to make those claims.

How do I find the right one for me? Where do I start?
To date, there’s simply not enough research to prove one product over another or certain strains of bacteria over another. So make your decision based on what will work best for your lifestyle or what’s most convenient for you. For example, if you’re lactose intolerant, the live cultured yogurts may not be the best fit for you; you may be better suited with a capsule or tablet form that serves the same purpose. And always feel free to ask one of our friendly pharmacists to help you choose a quality product over the counter or even discuss what behind the counter options we have available with a prescription from your doctor.

Once you are ready to try the probiotic that’s right for you, you’ll find a wide range of options in our stores. From kombucha to kefir, we’ve got you covered.

Related articles by Raley’s Well for Life team: