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Down the hatch

Gut health, probiotics, cleansing – these have been the buzz words of the health industry for the past several years.

Green tea, believed to be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet for the effects of its antioxidants on the body, now has a sister that’s become all the rage for its health benefits. Kombucha, a fermented drink made of green tea, also contains antioxidants, healthy bacteria and yeast.

Originating in East Asia in the early 19th century, the miracle beverage comes along with a number of health benefits for those looking for help in the area of digestion, inflammation and even weight loss.

Believed to have become popular in the U.S. due to its ability to be grown and fermented at home, many believe it best to buy bottled. Fermented at home may result in over fermentation or contamination, which can cause serious health problems or even death.

Kombucha purchased from a local market or even online is believed to be the safer option for someone looking to reap the rewards of its ultimate health benefits. 

Some of these benefits include:

A mirror effect to its predecessor green tea. It has been proven that drinking green tea regularly can increase metabolism, reduce belly fat and improve cholesterol. Kombucha made with green tea mimics these effects through weight loss and blood sugar control.

Also mimicking its sister green tea, the antioxidants bring great benefits to the table (or tea cup). Scientists believe antioxidants consumed in this form are better for the body and overall health than supplements. Rich in antioxidants, Kombucha also is believed to protect liver toxicity.

A main substance produced during the fermentation is acetic acid. Acetic acid is able to fight harmful microorganisms, which aids Kombucha in being particularly strong against infection-causing bacteria. This also helps suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts.

It is also believed to have contents which are helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and some cancers. Test tube and rat studies are still being done to present stronger cases on these benefits.

While the miracle fermented green tea may help with probiotic and gut health, pressed juice is another alternative people are turning to for its cleansing benefits, as well as vitamin content.

“Juicing is good because it’s giving your body a whole bunch of nutrients and your body doesn’t have to process it,” David Mingham of Hughson’s Don’t Panic It’s Organic shared. “Everything is raw.”

A pressed juice convert, Mingham shared he partakes in the benefits of the beverage daily, noting its pure state as a great source for vitamins as well as the detoxification benefits it offers the body. 

“I’m really bad at eating veggies,” Mingham said. “I love fruit, I’ll eat lots of fruit but doing it this way, you’re getting all your vitamins.”

The Hughson-based eatery offers bottled organic pressed juices. The juices come from recipes Mingham and his two sisters Katherine and Sarah developed themselves based on taste as well as overall health benefit for the body.

The juicer shared vegetables like parsley and kale are good for pulling toxins out, as is cilantro, while turmeric is a good anti-inflammatory. Lemon also has a number of health benefits, as well as offers flavor to help offset some of the pressed veggie ingredients.

With a shelf life of three to seven days for freshly pressed organic veggies (i.e.: no preservatives), Don’t Panic presses juice every Monday and Thursday to stock the shelves for their clientele.

“When you’re drinking these you’re getting all your vitamins,” Mingham said. “There’s not a lot of fiber in them so your body is just soaking up everything.” 

It is because of this that Mingham chooses to make the juices a part of his daily routine.

“Honestly, if I don’t, I’m just really laggy,” he admitted.

The increased popularity of cold-pressed juices has now made them accessible in supermarkets, as well coffee shops. While one can never go wrong with a little extra intake of vitamins, consumers should read labels for extra sugars, preservatives and ingredients specific to what their health needs might be.