There is no question that stress is a deeply unpleasant state that drains the enjoyment from our lives. It’s an important cause of depression, headaches, heart attacks, cancers, and countless other ailments. Simply put, stressed out people live lower quality lives.
Although stress is sometimes attributed to life-changing events, most of the stress experienced in our lives is due to background stressors. These include deadlines, isolation, relationships, and unpaid bills, etc.
The unfortunate reality is stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the US say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
So what can we do about it?
While many medications and treatments can alleviate the symptoms of chronic overstimulation of the stress response, they don’t tend to address the source of the problem. Instead, most health practitioners advice taking a holistic approach. This includes:
- More sleep
- Positive social interactions
- Spending time in nature
The good news is, adding kombucha to the mix can help too! Here are five ways kombucha can relieve stress.
1. Kombucha Can Help Lower Your Caffeine Intake
While we may not always consider it to be, caffeine is, in fact, a drug. Lately, there has seemed to be quite a bit of controversy surround caffeine. Is it good or bad for you? The research continues to find conflicting results so it usually comes down to the pros and cons.
Unfortunately, one of the cons of caffeine can increase the level of cortisol in our bodies. While moderate amounts of cortisol is okay, too much flowing through our bodies is bad. For those with caffeine addictions, the extra bump in cortisol may be the factor that pushes them into unhealthy levels of stress.
Caffeine also injects adenosine and adrenalin into the system. This makes you feel alert at the moment but can disrupt your sleep schedule.
Personally, I found it difficult to kick my caffeine habit. The only way that worked for me was slowly cutting back over the period of a few weeks.
Kombucha can be the perfect substitute for your morning coffee.
The small amounts of caffeine in black tea will ease you off until you are ready to switch to caffeine free tea (if you’re looking to kick the habit completely.)
2. Kombucha Is Packed With B Vitamins and Vitamin C
Kombucha contains vitamins B1, B6, and B12. All of these vitamins are known to help stabilize mood, improve concentration, and fight depression. Deficiencies in vitamin B12, in particular, may lead to a reduction in healthy red blood cells (anemia).
Vitamin C is also known to suppress the release of cortisol (the stress hormone.) As mentioned above, too much cortisol in the body can lead to weight gain, mood swings, increased anxiety, fatigue, and trouble sleeping among other things.
The important thing about kombucha is all of these vitamins are bioavailable. In other words, they are in a form that the body can digest naturally. This contrasts with vitamins that are usually found in supplements.
This is why you may have heard the opinion that you flush out most of the vitamins taken through supplements through your urine without actually absorbing anything!
3. Kombucha Balances The Body
Kombucha is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural substances that are considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes.
Adaptogens help you respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing your physiological functions. Naturopath Edward Wallace
Adaptogens benefit the entire body instead of just a specific process, organ, or system. They tend to be a very rich source of antioxidants which soak up excessive free radicals that wreak havoc on your cells DNA. They also tend to reduce cravings for sugar, alcohol, and provide liver protection. They can also help boost immunity, energy, and stamina.
One study found that kombucha was able to increase anti-stress functions in the body when it was subjected to abnormal levels of stress.
4. Kombucha Supports Healthy Digestion
Amount the other health benefits of kombucha, it provides a natural boost to your digestive system. It increases the acidity of the gut and is packed full of a number of different natural enzymes that aid in breaking down food.
Gut acidity is particularly crucial for easy digestion and absorbing nutrients from food.
Stress often leads to irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers, both of which are improved by balancing out digestion acidity.
5. Kombucha Promotes Healthy Gut Bacteria
80% of your immune system lives within the inner ecosystem of the gut, affecting almost every aspect of how you feel each day. When your gut is healthy, it contains about 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria. Good bacteria in your body work to keep you both feeling and functioning at your best by:
- Boosting your immune system
- Digesting your food
- Improving mental clarity
- Promoting nutrient absorption
- Balancing your hormones
- Normalizing glucose levels
The Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology recently published a study showing that consistent stress negatively affects the amount and diversity of your good gut flora.
A diverse population of gut flora is your goal.
To make matters worse, too much stress can reduce your bodies ability to fight off the bad bacteria. This creates a negative feedback loop that only results in more stress.
When your good microbes are weakened or damaged due to stress, the integrity of your gut lining can become compromised.
Luckily for us, eating fermented foods is a proven way to help support the good bacteria in our gut. The microbes in your system change relatively quickly according to what you eat. That means you can quickly turn things around with a change of diet.
Drink 4 oz of kombucha a day and see how it makes you feel!
Occasional stress is going to be inevitable. It can even help you define and navigate your path on the way to a healthier life.
As you journey through all of life’s ups and downs, you can choose to prioritize your well-being, health, and happiness. Kombucha is going to solve all of your problems. But it can provide a great starting point or well-needed boost to set you on the right path.
Try encorporating small amounts of kombucha into your daily routine. You may notice significant changes in areas you never thought possible.