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Probiotic tea is gaining popularity, and you might have already seen it in your grocery store. Here, we will discuss all of your options and the benefits of probiotic tea, so you can decide if it is a healthy drink that you should incorporate into your diet.
You probably already know that taking probiotics is beneficial to both your gut and your general health. But you’re not just limited to yogurts, sauerkraut, and pills from the health food shop anymore.
Read on to find out all you need to know about probiotic tea.
What Exactly Are Probiotics?
When understanding what probiotic tea is, and why it’s good for you, the first step is to understand what probiotics are and what they can do.
The World Health Organization (commonly known as WHO) defines probiotics as ‘live microorganisms which when consumed in adequate amounts as part of food confer a health benefit on the host.’
Generally, these beneficial probiotic microorganisms (i.e., ‘good’ bacteria, that have the ability to improve gut health), are found in foods (such as yogurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut), or can be taken in pill form as a supplement. Now, though, you have the option to take your beneficial probiotics as a tea.
How Does Probiotic Tea Work?
The tea works through the same biological mechanisms as traditional probiotic food, by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system.
Your gut only has a certain bacterial capacity, and you want the majority of this capacity taken up by probiotics. By taking probiotics, you increase the number of good bacteria in your digestive system and also decrease the number of harmful or neutral bacteria.
Therefore, drinking probiotic tea can help to rebalance the microbiome in your gut, and improve your overall digestive health.
The Two Types Of Probiotic Tea
Natural Probiotic Teas
There are two types of probiotic tea – natural and supplemental. Both are good sources of probiotics and are really effective at enriching and rebalancing your gut’s microbiome, so which one you decide to go with is largely up to your personal preference.
We will investigate both types so that you can choose which one is the right choice for you, dependent on requirements and lifestyle.
One of the natural forms of probiotic tea is kombucha (or something similar). Kombucha is a fermented tea, that has a long history of human consumption and health benefits.
It is rich in both probiotics and antioxidants, so it can kill harmful bacteria, protect cells from free radicals, and protect against a myriad of diseases.
The naturally fermented kombucha increases the levels of probiotic good bacteria in your gut, but only if it is served cold. Not only does it taste a bit gross when served hot, but heating also kills all of the beneficial probiotics, so you won’t get any of the benefits.
Therefore, natural probiotic tea is best if you want a cold, refreshing, and sparkling beverage. If you want something toasty and hot, a supplement form of probiotic tea is best.
Pu’erh Tea is also naturally probiotic, from the same plant that produces green, white, and black tea, which is pressed into cakes and then aged.
It is during this aging process that the naturally occurring bacteria on the tea leaves transform the pu’erh into a probiotic. It has a few notable health benefits – such as healthy blood sugar support, healthy cholesterol support, and support for maintaining body weight.
Supplemental Probiotic Tea
The term supplemental probiotic tea refers to teas that have had individual probiotic bacteria strains added to them, i.e., the probiotics that develop as a result of the tea going through a fermentation process.
But, just because they are not fermented naturally, does not mean that they are any less effective than kombucha. They are especially useful if you are looking to increase your gut levels of a certain strain of beneficial bacteria.
This is because a supplemental probiotic tea will also probiotic tea will have details about the exact types of strain that it contains, whereas, with kombucha, it is never entirely clear what strains you are consuming.
Different probiotic strains are unique in their effects on your health – meaning that different strains can have a really different impact on your body.
If you opt for supplemental tea, look for the probiotic strain that will most benefit your body and its specific needs.
Most probiotic tea is not heat stable and will die if exposed to heat that is too strong. As usually, you want live bacteria for the maximum probiotic benefit, this is a bad thing.
However, there is some recent research that suggests that even dead, or inactive probiotics can have a beneficial impact on health too.
Though probiotic tea often needs to be brewed and served cold, there is a newer option if you’re wanting a hot supplemental probiotic tea.
There have been technological advancements with probiotic tea bags, and there are now a few heat-stable probiotic strains, i.e., you can have your favorite hot tea and still receive all of the probiotic benefits.
If you think this is the best probiotic tea option for you, you should be able to pick up probiotic tea bags at your local grocery store, supermarket, or health food store. They typically come in a number of flavors.
Before you purchase any supplemental probiotic teabags, you should double-check that the tea you are purchasing contains the bacteria strain that you have researched and know is effective for the particular benefit that you are looking for.
A Common Strain Of Good Bacteria Commonly Found In Supplemental Probiotic Tea
- Bacillus Coagulans = this probiotic strain is highly heat-tolerant (and pH extremes), meaning that it can survive both boiling water and stomach acid.
It has also been shown to have a positive effect on the function of the digestive system, such as reduced gas and bloating after meals. It also has some anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects.
Probiotic Tea Benefits
- Supporting healthy cholesterol levles (source)
- Supporting blood sugar levels (source)
- Potentially helps maintain body weight. (source)
Teas With Probiotics
- Kombucha Tea
- Pu’erh Tea
- Clevr Blends
- Pique Tea Crystals
Something Else You Should Know
It is also worth noting that all high-quality green, white and black teas contain compounds known as prebiotics, which are able to nourish your gut for a healthier microbiome, which is equally important as probiotics.
Consume both probiotic tea, and good quality prebiotic tea (just regular green, black, or white tea, no supplementation necessary) for a thriving microbiome and good gut health.
Probiotic tea is a healthy addition to anybody’s diet. Not only will it cultivate a healthy microbiome to have good bacteria, using any digestive problems, but also so can get rid of bad bacteria in your system, leading to a myriad of short-term and long-term health benefits.
It is a good idea to incorporate probiotic tea into your diet if you dislike any of the more traditional options or just one more way to increase your good bacteria