a’ll, I was a diet soda ADDICT. Totally justifiable, too; “It’s my one sweet treat after lunch!” “It’s diet after all.” “I only have one a day.” I had a retort for everything. I mean, how bad could it really be?
Then I learned how bad caramel coloring and artificial sweeteners are (hello carcinogens!). Then I learned about soda and the damage it can cause to your bones. And then? Well…then I ran out of excuses (and if you’re thinking regular soda is any better…I’ll burst your bubble now and tell you it’s not).
In a nutshell, soda contains phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid interferes with your body’s ability to absorb calcium which can lead to osteoporosis, cavities and bone softening. Phosphoric acid also interacts with stomach acid, slowing digestion and blocking nutrient absorption. And though caramel coloring sounds innocent, the manufacturing process of making this coloring produces a chemical byproduct called 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI), a known carcinogen.
If I’m being completely honest, knowing these facts didn’t stop my love-affair with soda. I still indulged in the devilish-drink every now and then (the hubs and I had this thing about getting a fountain soda on our way up into the mountains…), instead, I was just grossly aware of the damage I was doing with every refreshing sip.
What is kombucha you ask? Kombucha, put simply, is fermented sweet tea.
But it’s more than that. Kombucha is full of B-vitamins and antioxidants, it assists your body in digestion and can calm intestinal discomfort. Studies have even shown kombucha to boost your immune system due to its probiotic content (#SCORE!). It has the potential to reduce arthritis pain, ease fibromyalgia symptoms, calm anxiety, and even fight cancer. All this by sipping something yummy*!
Beat THAT soda!
If you’re a lover of fizz, a soda devotee, but not thrilled with the damage caused by the sweet ”treat”, then give kombucha a go!
Kombucha is readily available at most grocery and convenient stores, but sadly packs a hefty price tag at an average of $4 per bottle (ouch!). Be sure to read the labels carefuly as some of the added “flavors” can be from less than stellar ingredients. Also, the sugar from added juice can up the sugar to where the drink ceases to be a “healthy choice”.
I do hate to be such a Debbie-Downer, but there is good news! You can easily and affordably make kombucha at home! If you’re ready to take the plunge, check out this step-by-step kombucha tutorial. (Trust me when I say “easy”. If you can make sweet tea, you can make kombucha! I’ll walk you through the entire process.)
Still not convinced you want to kick your soda habit? Let me encourage you to read the following articles:
*It is advised to start drinking kombucha (or any fermented beverage) slowly as it can take a while for your digestive system to get acquainted with this new drink. My suggestion is to start with a couple ounces. If you have no adverse effects (gas, bloating or intestinal discomfort) then try 4 ounces the next day, slowly working your way up to 16-32 ounces a day. The “effects” are not side effects, they are your system resetting itself.