It would be hard to miss the buzz about gut health. But what is gut health, anyway?
Gut health can mean supporting the physical health of your digestive tract, the process of digestion, or the health & diversity of “good gut bugs” (living organisms in your gut—such as bacteria & fungi—which appear to support its health).
There is good reason this topic has captured everyone’s attention:
the health of your gut has a very real, very significant impact on your overall health.
About 70% of your entire immune system is in your gut! Good gut bugs stimulate the immune system to have a protective response, and help balance or block “bad” bacteria that would otherwise harm the immune system.
Good gut bugs protect the lining of the digestive tract. A damaged lining can become a “leaky gut” which allows things to enter the bloodstream that should not be there (like food particles). Since these aren’t normally in the bloodstream, the body may view these as foreign invaders, which activates an inflammatory response as the body tries to protect itself. Chronic inflammation may overstress the body and cause or worsen many health conditions.
Bacteria make hormones and brain chemicals that affect our mood, such as serotonin. In fact, their role in mood and feelings is so great that the gut is often referred to as the “second brain.” It’s no wonder we say we have gut feelings!
Fermented foods are those in which bacteria or yeast consume sugars, changing them into an acid or alcohol. Examples of fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. Some of the bacteria & yeast used to ferment a food are considered probiotics.
Probiotics are specific organisms (usually bacteria & yeast) shown to support good gut bugs when consumed alive and in adequate amounts. Products that often have probiotics include yogurt, kefir, and kombucha (be sure to look for products which state they contain probiotics).
If you’re on the path to good gut health, you might be taking your veggie intake to the next level. If so, drinking plenty of fluids while eating all that extra fiber will help with digestion. Also, staying hydrated supports all bodily processes, including digestion.
While there is no single diet to improve gut health, a plant-based pattern of eating can do a world of good for your gut. The fiber in plant foods (such as fruits & veggies, whole grains, and nuts) promotes healthy digestion.
Additionally, specific fibers and plant compounds found in certain fruits (like apples or bananas), veggies (like leeks, onions, garlic, or asparagus), and legumes (like kidney beans) are prebiotics, or “food” for good gut bugs.
Enjoying these foods in moderation is no biggie. But, when they make up the majority of the food you consume they end up taking the place of foods that could have a beneficial effect, and they may even harm the gut.
Sleep deprivation, excessive stress, and lack of physical activity all appear to have negative effects on gut health. The new year is a great time to consider improving in any of these areas.
Kombucha is a beverage made by fermenting tea. Fermentation is the process by which microorganisms – in the case of kombucha, yeast & bacteria – turn sugar into acids and alcohol. Sugar, yeast, and bacteria are added to green & black tea to create our kombucha.
Tea + Sugar + SCOBY* = KOMBUCHA
*SCOBY = symbiotic culture of bacteria & yeast
While researchers are investigating potential health benefits of kombucha, no universal benefit has been identified (there are many different kombucha formulations). However, Wegmans Brand Kombucha contains the probiotic DE111® Bacillus subtilis, which may help support the body’s digestive system.
Probiotics are microorganisms – such as yeast & bacteria – which, when consumed alive and in adequate amounts, provide health benefits. Not all microorganisms are probiotic.
WB Kombucha contains the probiotic DE111 Bacillus subtilis. There are many different formulations of kombucha, and different suppliers use different types and amounts of probiotics. Probiotics are not easy to compare: 1 Billion CFU of one probiotic may have similar – or completely different – effects as 1 Billion CFU of another probiotic. We recommend customers refer to the label to determine how well the products they are considering meet their individual health goals.
Although the bacteria DE111® Bacillus subtilis used in our kombucha is considered a probiotic, the yeast used does not meet the criteria to be considered probiotic.
Sugar or a sugar source (ex. fruit juice) is necessary for fermentation. We use a traditional brewing method which means tea, sugar, and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) ferment for 7-21 days. During the fermentation process, sugar is the food source for the culture. Some of the sugar gets changed into acids in kombucha which may be beneficial to a person’s gut health. Once our kombucha has gone through the fermentation process, we add juices and concentrates to create flavors that have broad customer appeal.
The research showing that DE111® Bacillus subtilis may promote digestive health is based on 1 Billion CFU (colony forming units, a way to describe the number of live bacteria in the product). This is the amount found in 12 fl. oz. of kombucha (1.5 servings, or an entire bottle). Drinking 12 fl. oz. of kombucha is a way for you to consume the amount of DE111® Bacillus subtilis suggested by research to help support the body’s digestive system; however, it does not guarantee health benefits.
Our kombucha comes in a variety of flavors, many of which are chef-inspired: Raspberry Lemon Ginger, Ginger Honey Lemon, Cranberry Peach, Mango Turmeric, Pineapple Habanero Cayenne, and Cranberry Hibiscus.
Wegmans Brand Kombucha has around 12 mg of caffeine per 12 FO bottle (around 8 mg of caffeine per serving).
We do not measure the amount of B vitamins in our Kombucha and therefore cannot confirm the exact amount of B vitamins present. In general, most Kombucha will contain some B vitamins, as these vitamins are produced by bacteria and yeast during the fermentation process.
Due to natural fermentation, this product may contain a trace amount of alcohol (less than 0.5%).
No, Wegmans Brand Kombucha is not pasteurized in order to preserve the probiotic organisms in the product. Pasteurization kills the “good bugs”.
Customers told us the traditional 16 FO bottle was too much kombucha to drink in one-sitting. Customers were drinking some of the 16 FO bottle, then putting it away, and taking it out later to drink the rest. We wanted our product to be the freshest possible, which means offering the optimal container size!
There is currently not much research on kombucha and children. Therefore, we don’t know how kombucha will affect children. We recommend parents check with their pediatricians before allowing their children to drink kombucha. As a precaution, it is probably best that children avoid drinking kombucha until scientific evidence about its effects is available.