By encouraging a healthy gut, kombucha is linked to our hormones in a variety of ways. Read on for more about how kombucha provides a critical hormonal boost.
Kombucha is front and center for a nutritional revolution that is quietly brewing. Taste and quality will always be important for consumers, but we're also looking for foods that do more than just satisfy the tongue—functional foods that contain probiotics and antioxidants are now more integral to our diets than ever before. Our quest for a nutritional boost has helped kombucha surge in popularity, with people all over the world ditching sugary drinks in favor of superior options.
As kombucha's footprint expands, the word is getting out about the many health benefits that studies have linked to kombucha. One of the most exciting areas of research is kombucha's effect on hormones. By assisting our gut microbiome, kombucha can help optimize the way our hormones function. Here are seven ways that drinking kombucha can impact hormonal balance.
The most impactful benefits of kombucha begin in the gut microbiome, where millions of bacteria are active. Like other fermented foods, kombucha helps fortify our guts with good types of bacteria. When there are enough good bacteria in our gut, bad bacteria will decrease and our microbiome will thrive. Experts point out that when our guts are balanced by kombucha's probiotics, an improvement to other bodily functions connected to the microbiome will follow.
This kombucha-gut connection is critical in understanding how we can improve hormonal function. When incorporated into a balanced diet, kombucha can be a reliable partner that delivers the nutrition our gut needs to give our health a boost.
Nutritional specialists emphasize just how much of an impact gut health has on hormones. One of the most important places where this plays out is in our estrobolome—the collection of bacteria in our gut responsible for sending the right amount of estrogen around our bodies. Women do require more estrogen, though estrogen levels are very important for men as well. An estrogen disparity can alter our mood and libido levels as well as making it harder to maintain a healthy weight.
Gut dysbiosis (a bacteria imbalance) can also cause other health issues, particularly among women. A healthy gut helps ensure there isn't too much free circulating estrogen. On the other hand, dysbiosis can lead to too much estrogen being sent through our body, which can be a complication for women suffering from endometriosis. Endometriosis affects roughly 200 million women around the world.
The estrobolome also produces enzymes that directly impact our ability to digest complex carbohydrates, potentially leading to a series of gastrointestinal problems. For a fully functioning estrobolome, our guts need to be packed with many different kinds of bacteria; the diversity of bacteria is just as critical as having enough good bacteria in our system. Supporting the estrobolome through nutrition can be an easy and effective way to help our hormones do their thing.
We need thriving hormones, but a hormonal excess can also have negative effects. Without an efficient system for balancing our hormones, we can develop a variety of issues associated with a struggling metabolism. By some estimates, as many as 50% of excess hormones are dismissed through our gut functions. Disruptions in this process can lead to many different associated health issues, including:
Our ability to clear out these extra hormones can often come down to our nutritional habits. Although our gut makeup is affected by genetics as well, being mindful of nutrition is an easy step we can take to improve our ability to process hormones. The best thing we can do is find foods and beverages that help us diversify our gut and facilitate proper functioning.
The gut-brain axis is now better understood than it was previously. While in years past researchers believed our bodily systems operated separately, today's research shows that our guts and brains are strongly linked. The gut microbiota (the bacteria making up the microbiome) sends signals to the central nervous system, affecting everything from appetite to anxiety levels.
How well the gut-brain axis works largely comes down to the microbiota we develop. When the microbiome is well balanced, we develop and secrete enough gut hormones to help ensure everything is fully functioning. The system that creates these gut hormones is directly impacted by the nutrients we ingest. If we're receiving the appropriate nutrients (like those found in probiotics and antioxidants), our gut signals to our brain that the system is working.
But if our nutritional intake suffers, this relationship can short-circuit and wreak havoc on our bodies. Without the gut sending the right signals, we can overcompensate for the drop in nutrients by overeating, creating a harmful cycle that leads to weight gain. While researchers point out that we still have a lot to learn about the gut-brain correlation, it's clear our gut is doing a whole lot more than we previously thought.
It's not that surprising unhealthy guts are so prevalent—especially in the United States. Experts note that diets high in processed foods and sugar are the highway to poor gut health. Add in elevated levels of alcohol consumption and unhelpful fats and you end up with a gut that struggles to develop the diversity it needs. This type of diet can then make it very difficult to generate and regulate the hormones required to maintain our overall health.
One of the main culprits is soda. When consumed in regular quantities, soda can lead to chronic dehydration and high sugar levels. An average 12-ounce can of a leading soda can contains more than 80% of the recommended daily sugar intake; for a 20-ounce bottle, it's well over 100% of the recommended intake for a day.
Compared to an average serving of soda, a bottle of kombucha has significantly fewer grams of sugar. Swapping soda for kombucha lowers sugar levels while improving the microbiota diversity that your gut craves. Better overall habits are needed to repopulate our guts with good bacteria, but kombucha can be a productive building block that facilitates a healthier lifestyle.
Improving our gut health before there is a problem is ideal, but that's not always feasible. Anyone suffering from hormonal imbalances should look to improve their diets with a focus on the gut microbiome. One of the most prominent solutions offered by nutritionists is to regularly include tea in our diet. Green tea, the foundation of many kombuchas, is especially helpful for reducing the amount of cortisol that the body produces.
Known as the stress hormone, cortisol needs to remain in balance so our bodies correctly respond to stressors. Chronic stress, acute stress, and traumatic stress are all linked to cortisol, hence why it is so important to keep levels under control. Cortisol also affects more than our stress levels. High levels of cortisol can lead to inflammation, weakened immune systems, and a metabolism that struggles to effectively handle fats and proteins.
Green tea kombuchas offer a tasty way to keep our cortisol in check. Alongside other foods like blueberries, flax seed, and broccoli, green tea kombuchas can help make sure we're giving our system the nutrients needed to keep stress under wraps. Within the delicate balance that is our system of hormones, kombucha can be a key ally that fits well into any diet.
In addition to helping you pack in the right nutrients, kombucha is also a good partner for positive life choices. One of the best ways to manage hormones is through regular exercise. Cardio in particular can give your body the boost it needs to control insulin, the hormone tied to health issues like diabetes and metabolic disorders.
Kombucha is also a great beverage for keeping energy levels up after a workout. The probiotics and antioxidants make the top kombuchas an excellent choice on their own, but they also can be a game-changer in a post-workout smoothie. Load up a blender with kombucha alongside fruits like bananas or raspberries and you'll give your recovering body a major boost. Regular exercise and kombucha smoothies can help us establish positive lifestyle choices that will have a significant impact on our hormones.
Beyond the gym, kombucha can also be a great choice for many social functions. Instead of filling a cookout cooler only with alcohol, kombucha provides an excellent alternative for health-conscious friends and family. Kombucha helps us stay focused on our health goals even in situations where it's easy to stray.
Long-term health is all about making good choices that you can repeat over time. As we focus more and more on functional foods and beverages, kombucha can keep us on target while we assemble other good habits. The result is a lifestyle that can improve the way our hormones function. By helping our bodies regulate hormones through nutrition and exercise, we can experience a trickle-down effect that can positively impact our overall health.
The careful brewing process of Brew Dr. is crafted around making the best kombuchas on the market. Our environmentally responsible approach creates authentic beverages that use only organic ingredients, yielding full flavor that is loaded with nutrients. Find your new favorite kombucha flavor today and discover how kombucha can be a delicious part of a healthy lifestyle.