Kombucha

New Research On The Benefits Of Kombucha And Other Fermented Food And Drink

We love to sing the praises of fermented foods and drinks around here, but did you know that traditionally fermented food/drink is also a hot topic in the science world right about now? Yes, siree. Researchers have been studying the link between consuming fermented foods and drinks (including kombucha) and the potential positive effect it has on overall gut health.

The New York Times (aka the big dogs) recently covered findings from a study carried out by researchers from Stanford University which were published in the scientific journal The Cell, that shows us fermenting-nerds are onto something, revealing that “foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha increased the diversity of gut microbes and led to lower levels of inflammation”.

You can read the full article here but for those who need the TLDR version, we’ve put together our own little summary below:

WHAT DID THE SCIENTISTS WANNA KNOW?
They wanted to see what changes happen in our gut when we amp up our intake of fermented foods versus how our gut reacts to a diet fuller in fibre-rich foods.

HOW DID THEY GO ABOUT IT?
The researchers recruited 36 healthy adults who were randomly split into two groups. One went from having almost no fermented food or drink in their diet to eating about six servings a day (let’s call them our Fermented Friends). The other group had their usual fibre intake doubled (we’ve dubbed them the Fibre Fans).

SO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?
At the end of the 10-week study, our Fermented Friends showed marked reductions in inflammatory markers along with increased diversity in their gut microbes. The Fibre Fans on the other hand, did not show either of these things.

WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT THIS ANYWAY? 
Basically, our Fermented Friends showed a reduction in certain inflammatory compounds that are often elevated in people living with diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The Fibre Fans however did not show a similar decrease in the same compounds. But why should you care?      

Because the reduction in our fermented friends’ inflammatory markers corresponded to a change in their gut; consuming more fermented food and drinks meant a greater number and a much wider variety of microbial species started blooming!

More diverse gut microbiome = lower rates of Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and obesity (boo ya!). 

HANG ON, IS FIBRE NO GOOD?
Have no fear! High-fibre foods are still A-OK! Health professionals still agree that getting a good amount of fibre in your diet has a world of benefits including reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases and helping to keep you regular (TMI we know).  

But wait, there’s more. The article revealed that it might be the case that Fibre Fans with “low microbiome diversity may have lacked the right microbes to digest all the fibre they consumed”. This is because those who started out with higher levels of gut diversity showed a reduction in inflammation whereas those who had low diversity experienced increased inflammation in line with their fibre increase. 

We’re no scientists but it looks like researchers are speculating that increasing your intake of fermented foods (which can increase gut diversity) may actually help you to better digest fibre. Our fermented friends and fibre fans can finally come together (New BFFS!?).

*PSSST WHAT EVEN ARE FERMENTED FOOD & DRINKS?
Asking for a friend. No judgement here. Fermented foods are those that have undergone a process where a bacteria or yeast break down certain components of a food to produce live microorganisms and other by-products such as healthy organic and lactic acids and vitamins… along with delicious flavours. Kombucha happens to be one of these.  

SO HOW MUCH FERMENTED GOODNESS SHOULD I BE EATING & DRINKING?
OK. We’ll admit. The scientists got a little fermentation-happy with this one. Participants went from consuming no fermented products to 6 servings a day (but it’s not as much as it sounds like, we swear).

Their sample diet of 6 servings:

Breakfast: One cup of yogurt for breakfast

Lunch: 475ml bottle of kombucha

Dinner: 1 cup of kimchi

Remedy’s Sample Diet:

Breakfast: Remedy Ginger Lemon Booch to start the day

Lunch: Remedy Raspberry Lemonade Kombucha to wash the food down

Afternoon tea: Remedy Cola kombucha for the 3pm pick me up

Dinner: a sprinkle of kimchi (and maybe another Remedy)

Just joking (sort of)! But seriously, everyone is different so the amount of kombucha and other fermented products you wish to consume is totally up to you and how it makes you feel, but the insight from this new research certainly suggests getting a good range of traditionally fermented foods and drinks into your diet can only be a good thing. At Remedy HQ some of us are guilty of drinking up to 5 Remedies a day and as it turns out, this study showed us that our addiction is totally acceptable (take that Mum), especially if we throw a little yoghurt on our fruit salad and some sauerkraut on our sanger.

How do you know Remedy is the real deal?
Aside from the fact that we’ve self-claimed the title of kombucha connoisseurs, we’re also committed to making it right. We pride ourselves on being the real deal – brewing our kombucha the same way it has been for thousands of years. We’re talking small-batch, 30-day long-aged brews starting with a descendent of the very first batch our founders Sarah and Emmet made on their kitchen counter. You can rest assured knowing you’re getting a kombucha that is chock-full of live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants (and you won’t have to carry a jar of kimchi everywhere). Click here to find out more about how we make our kombucha the old school way.

How many live cultures exactly you ask?
Our drinks sit at a mighty minimum of 100 million live cultures per 100ml of Remedy (for real!), we’re raw, unpasteurised and contain no nasties – all naturale baby! How do we know our live cultures are swimming? Because we test every batch to make sure of it!


What's The Best Time to Drink a Remedy?

It's come to our attention at Remedy HQ that Remedy fans everywhere struggle to know when they are supposed to drink it. So, as self-proclaimed fermented beverage connoisseurs, we have climbed over mountains and sailed across seas to bring you the truth and finally answered the age-old question of when you should drink your bottle (or can) of Remedy!

And you know what? It would be easier to answer "when can't you drink it?!" and friends, the answer to that is never. It's always a good time to reach for a Remedy!

Our Remedy Kombucha doesn't have much caffeine compared to coffee (a wee 10mg per 100ml) and unlike our arch-nemesis - the soft drink - Remedy contains no sugar, for real. Instead of giving you that quick burst of energy followed by a sudden crash (we're looking at you, work birthday cake), Remedy Kombucha provides an all-natural pick me up. As for Remedy Switchel? It contains no caffeine at all. Hence why Remedy lovers are poppin' bottles and cracking cans at all hours of the day.

To offer some consolation for the uncertain sippers, we have compiled the ultimate list to guide you through which of our flavours have the right tannins and finish (fancy, right?) to complement each time of the day or special occasion.

 

Breakfast

Blood Orange Switchel. Cliché, we know, but you'll thank us when you can stop dry retching at the thought of downing a shot of straight apple cider vinegar and swap it out for a Switchel. The fiery ginger and fresh citrusy goodness can help to assist with digestion.

 

Morning tea

Raspberry Lemonade. Lip-smacking goodness — the perfect companion for a morning tea that calls for something a little fancier than the breakroom cookie jar.

 

Lunch

Ginger & Lemon. Best for those days when you forget to organise lunch and end up at the local sushi shop. It's hot and sour, fiery and tangy and adds oomph to even the simplest of lunches.

 

3 PM slump

Cherry Plum. We know you want to reach for a chocolate bar and the most caffeinated drink you can find, but you know you'll end up in a world of regret as you crash 30 minutes after. Instead, have a Cherry Plum Kombucha. It has all that flavour you're craving without the BS (sugar, chemicals, you know the guys).

 

Girls night/boys night

Wild Berry. The name says it all. Treat yourself and your tastebuds to this three-berry sensation. Throw in some gin, mint and fresh berries to really please the crowd.

 

Dinner with friends

Mango Passion. Still lots of passion but brewed with the euphoric feeling you get when tucking into a mango, this one is best shared around the table with friends.

 

All-nighter at work

Peach. It's fruity and sweet and will make you daydream about sitting on the beach with a Bellini in hand. Then you will remember that your job funds those Bellini's and kick back into gear.


Signs You're Getting Healthier

So you've started that 8-week challenge at the gym, and all of a sudden, you're now getting news alerts for Body & Soul, your most prized possession is your gratitude journal, and you've started talking openly in the office about your IBS.

Gone are the days where you would be in the clubs until 4 AM, as you have a strict sleep schedule to stick to since listening to that one podcast. Nowadays, you're in bed early every night having "screen-free" time, treating yourself to a medicinal mushroom and ashwagandha hot cacao whilst re-reading your dog-eared copy of the Power of Now.


Every morning, you start with a shot of apple cider vinegar, some wim hoff breathwork, and a guided meditation before checking who has done what on Strava. You can't let Steve clock more KMs than you, so you give him passive-aggressive kudos and get into your $600 lycra kit.

OK, so maybe you're not quite there yet, but here are some of the signs you're getting healthier!

 


What your Remedy Flavour Says About You

Forget about that Myers-Brigg personality assessment.

Words by Melissa Shedden

Attachment styles are cool and all, but if you really want to know what a person is like, pay attention to their drink flavour.

Yep, we live in a time where our drinks are more than just something to quench our thirst. They’re a status symbol – a way of life even. And that drink needs to match not only our Birkenstocks but our soul.

Can you imagine if a farmer walked into a bar and ordered an Aperol? That would be weird.

So when you select a Remedy Kombucha from the fridge, what vibe are you putting out to the world, really?

Behold, snap judgments of what yours says about you. (Best served with a pinch of live cultures and a heavy pour of good humour.)

 

Raspberry Lemonade Kombucha

You’re a classic extrovert gaining energy from others! And you love exclamation marks! You probably shouldn’t have any more kombucha but you just can’t help yourself! Yes, you’ve got a childlike wonder, curiosity, enthusiasm and persistence. (Note, childlike doesn’t mean childish.) Weirdly, you’re also wildly likeable. No one’s ever been disappointed with pink lemonade.

 

Blood Orange Switchel

You’re sophisticated, like still read paper books and write with a pen, sophisticated. You likely own those impressive cocktail sized silicon ice cube trays. You prefer small groups over large ones and are most content observing. You probably also use words like "bespoke" and "artisanal” with alarming regularity and love tastes that are smooth, yet tart.

 

Wild Berry Kombucha

Wild Berry people don't want subtlety. You like your coffee extra hot, your wine ice-cold, and your conversations direct. You’re impulsive, open to new experiences and feel generally happy yet dissatisfied at the same time. That might be why instead of choosing one berry, you choose three, because that’s your jam. Why deny yourself?

 

Pure Coconut Water Kefir

Logical and sensible, you’re a lifelong resident of the comfort zone and rate predictability. A restaurant is deemed good if the service is efficient. You have high expectations and if you’re drinking something other than water, it better be doing the most for your gut health and immunity.

 

Passionfruit Coconut Water Kefir

Your brazen in-your-face confidence is something to be applauded. You believe in astrology and mercury in retrograde. You’re a sucker for smells transporting you places and likely spritzed Britney Spears’ Fantasy silly back in the day. Most of all, you’re all about enjoying yourself. And brunch. You’re definitely here for brunch.

 

Cherry Plum Kombucha

You travel to feel alone, on purpose. Right now you’re reading this sitting solo at a cafe that has more milk options than it does egg dishes on the menu. You’ve never been to Europe on Contiki instead favouring far-flung places like Nicaragua, Kyoto and Sri Lanka (way back when). Content with your own company, you’re not about concrete plans for the week, let alone, the day

 

Peach Kombucha

Helpful and agreeable, you’re the person in the pre-Covid office everyone looks to when the photocopier runs out of toner. Your camera roll is filled with snaps of neighbourhood flowers and you’re always easily convinced to “go halfsies” in dessert – your dining companion’s choice because you’re happy with anything.

 

Mango Passion Kombucha

Most likely to have an account on TikTok and a serious case of FOMO, you’re great at giving advice about life, dating (like if your boyfriend isn’t treating you right, let that man-go, get it?) and whether or not you need those trainers (the answer is always yes). An enabler from way back, moderation isn’t your strong point. But, YOLO.

 

Apple Crisp Kombucha

You’re a creature of habit. Why experiment when you’ve found the one? You’re a serial monogamist and always choose the same spot in yoga class: second last row, furthest left. Nostalgia is your special power and you can remember not only what year, you and your mates went to your first movie marathon, but what flavour lip-balm you were rocking. Spoiler: it was apple.

 

Ginger Lemon Kombucha

Your parents raised you to be perfect – and it backfired. Like the brew, you’re pungent and lip-puckeringly spicy, delivering feisty sarcasm that can border on rude. That aside, you’re iCal is chockers with social engagements (IRL before Covid, then Zoom drinks) because if there’s one thing you are, it’s a guaranteed good time.


What to expect the first time you drink kombucha

You’re not alone if you think it sounds weird

Words by Melissa Shedden


If you haven't plunged into the puckery depths of kombucha, you probably will soon, especially if you’re feeling bleurgh about your health. Or just darn thirsty.

As part of my own perpetual quest to find a wellness tonic for everything that ails me, I now look back with rose-tinted glasses on my first time, like it was yesterday (and much more affectionately than my first squirmy kiss with Kelvin White on the school basketball court, but that’s a whole other story.) I fondly remember my virgin sip of this cloudy liquid as the taste equivalent of tiny fairies tap dancing on my tongue.

It was otherworldly. Like nothing I’d experienced before. At first, I wasn’t sure. But it quickly grew on me. You know why? Kombucha tastes like health. But not a hold-your-nose-close-your-eyes-and-down-it health taste, because heck I’ve tried plenty of those as a health journalist over the years.


Kombucha: an acquired taste

That was more than a decade ago when kombucha caused your face to go Jim Carrey and by that I mean physically respond to the initial teeth-thrumming taste. Now it’s best described as exhilaratingly tangy and tart fruity flavour infusion (which explains why there’s so many tasty flavours to choose from). Sipping on one feels like a power nap in drink form – all sorts of refreshing.

You see, the collective understanding that not all bacteria are evil and that many are in fact, good and necessary to human health, have since made live cultured products as alluring as that fresh-out-of-the-oven Subway cookie scent. Yep, these days you can barely order a latte without bumping into something cultured, or otherwise funky – in a good way.


Kombucha's origins – like almost everything about the drink – are a little Harold Holt-esque – a combination of myth and mystery. It’s been around for about 2000 years and made its way to us from China through Russia and Eastern Europe – but the middle class hipsters made it famous in the last decade when it got brewed commercially. We salute you beard-oiled friends.

 

Kombucha for beginners

The carbonated drink with live micro-organisms is made when tea, raw organic sugar and water are left to ferment with SCOBY, an acronym, that stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. (Google warning: If you've never looked at a picture of SCOBY, the slimy beige blob is reminiscent of a jellyfish from the depths of unchartered waters. You know you want hit search, stat.)

Sounds funky, but the outcome is good, so let’s press on. The fermentation process makes the drink naturally fizzy as well, and then different flavours are added. Remedy, made famous by the ‘I Quit Sugar recommends’ tick, makes the real deal no sugar stuff straight out of Melbourne. (Side note: During their 30-day long aged brewing process, all of the key starter ingredient sugar is converted into organic acids leaving no sugar.) Think passionfruit and mango, raspberry lemonade, ginger and lemon and their newest creation, wild berry, a great gateaway booch that I wish I had when I first began my dalliance with the drink. 

 

Great expectations

So what should you expect the first time you pop the top and suck one down?

My advice? Start with Remedy Kombucha Wild Berry – the jammy mouthfeel of a warm summer’s day. Give it a good sniff, then pretend you’re at a bougie restaurant and somehow you’ve ended up being anointed by the sommelier as the wine tester and consider it for a moment. Take that opening sip. Let it linger. Smack it between your lips and swoosh it to the back of your throat. Trust me, your expression will change more times than a cat meme – and rapidly – and I guarantee you’ll go back for more.

As for the health benefits, Remedy Kombucha is teeming with live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants (AKA the really good stuff). If you’re thirsty and looking for a smug feeling alternative to soft drinks, booze and juice this summer - go wild on Remedy Kombucha.

 

 

Article first published on Body & Soul.