Did you realize you’re actually more bacteria than you are human? If you stack up the number of cells in our body against the number of bacteria living in our digestive tract, the bacteria win in a landslide. It’s becoming more and more apparent that maintaining a healthy balance of this gut microflora is incredibly important for healthy weight, digestive health, and a number of processes within the body that support both immediate and long term health. So what can we do to make sure we have enough of the good bacteria and minimize the bad? A number of things actually, but consuming fermented foods containing probiotics is a huge part of the equation.
I’d heard and seen lots of information about kombucha, a fermented tea, over the past few years, so I thought I’d do some investigating. I looked into various brands and happened to meet the wonderful folks at Health-Ade at the Natural Foods Expo West earlier this year. Not only were they incredibly nice, their kombucha was the best I’d ever tasted. I was recently able to interview their CEO & Founder, Daina Trout, and she gave me some awesome information. Check out her informative answers below and then go grab yourself some Health-Ade!
Every time I go into health food stores (and even some gas stations now!) I see kombucha. What makes Health-Ade different than the other brands out there?
Health-Ade exists to make the best tasting and highest quality kombucha you can buy. This means pull out all the “stops” to make the most premium brew, without succumbing to market pressures or compromised quality, including (but not limited to): produce in an all-glass process to ensure no plastic/metal leaching, ferment in super-small batches (2.5 gallons!) to allow for premium control over quality, and flavor only with raw cold-pressed juice from organic produce. We never come close to using fake fermentation agents, artificial flavorings, or chemicals, and rely heavily on nature, not dollars, to decide when the product is ready. Non-GMO project verified, and certified organic, kosher, vegan, and gluten-free, Health-Ade heavily supports the REAL FOOD movement in their local communities, and is actively expanding their reach to become a valuable national brand.
We know of no-one else that does it quite like us.
What are the benefits of probiotic drinks on health, weight loss, gut microbiota, etc.
Kombucha has been used in countless cultures for 2,000+ years as a beverage to promote health. While not too many large studies have been completed on kombucha specifically, it is commonly thought that the two main functional benefits in the fermented beverage are due to probiotics and healthy acids. Probiotics are becoming well known in the literature as very important to our health, with most of the science pointing toward improvements in digestion, metabolism, energy and immunity. The idea behind probiotics is that, while they’re not cure-all agents by any means, they are proving to benefit many systems within our bodies because the “gut” of today is likely very depleted of these much-needed organisms. We’re depleted because our diets are rich in highly processed and “dead” food and water–and we’re killing the “good” stuff, along with the “bad” stuff. So, by replenishing our “guts’ with the very thing it’s in need of (the “good stuff”), everything else seems to work itself out and your body can begin to heal itself and function normally. This is likely why you’re seeing SO MANY touted benefits from probiotics. Again, it’s your body doing the healing–but the probiotics are putting your body in the best position to do so.
What do you recommend for people looking to add more probiotics into their daily routines?
Just like with everything else, all probiotics are not created equal. As a nutritionist, I am a firm believer in holistic food, and trust that the best way to “get” your probiotics is through eating and drinking REAL and unprocessed fermented foods and beverages. REAL kombucha, sour-kraut, kefir, and yogurt are all examples of fermented foods that I would consider functional in this sense. I feel strongly about this because when one eats/drinks these foods, one exposes themselves to a LIVE product living and sustaining itself in a natural ecosystem, so it’s likely that all the “good stuff” is active and available for you to receive when you ingest it. That said, there is a HUGE market of over-the-counter probiotics, slapped with a “probiotic count” meant to dignify strength. While many people partake in these on a daily basis, I’m not convinced that these “counts” are accurate at the time of consumption at all, considering the pills have no food to keep the probiotics alive AND were likely isolated and encapsulated too long ago to survive. Again, this is why I am a big proponent of getting your probiotics through fermented foods and beverages.