Can kids drink kombucha?
Kombucha tea is fermented green or black tea and sugar combined with a culture of bacteria and yeast. Many people refer to kombucha as “mushroom tea” since the combination of the tea and the culture of bacteria and yeast resemble a mushroom but that is only a misconception. There are several health benefits to drinking kombucha such as improved digestion, prevention of cancer, a boost in your immune system, and liver damage prevention. However, can kids drink kombucha? Though it’s safe for children to drink, you should give it to them only after consulting your physician to avoid its potential risks and side effects.
DOes Kombucha provide health benefits for kids?
Kids are picky eaters, which can make it difficult to get them to eat the right foods that promote a balanced amount of gut bacteria. The probiotics in kombucha increase the healthy bacteria in their guts, bringing balance to their digestive systems. It can help relieve upset stomach symptoms such as constipation or bloating.
Supports a Healthy Immune System:
Kombucha could also help improve their immune systems since recent studies have found that up to 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. The healthy gut bacteria teaches your immune cells the difference between a foreign substance and the body’s own tissues, which is an important process in teaching your body what is healthy and what needs to be attacked.
Help Fight Depression:
Kombucha contains vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, which helps combat depression and improve concentration significantly in kids.
Contains Healthy Acids:
Glucuronic acid: a powerful detoxifier that cleanses the body and supports the liver.
Acetic Acid: helps the body absorb minerals and balance several systems, including blood glucose regulation and the cardiovascular system
Lactic Acid: improves digestion, prevents constipation, improved blood circulation, balances the body’s pH, helps reduce bad bacteria while promoting the good, and increased nutrient absorption.
Promotes a Healthy Nervous System:
Kombucha is rich in vitamin C, B9 and B vitamins, amino acids, methylxanthine, and alkaloids, which promotes the functioning of your child’s nervous system to fight off epilepsy, nervous disorders, stroke, and headaches in kids.
Treats Microbial Infections:
Kombucha is rich in organic and acetic acids, enzymes, proteins, and bacteriocins that provide your child anti-microbial benefits that work against pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella and E Coli, and cure infections.
Aids in Iron Absorption:
Kombucha is rich in vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption. Drinking the fermented tea on a regular basis will help boost hemoglobin count and treat the symptoms such as fatigue and dizziness.
Prevents Joint Problems:
Kombucha contains Glucosamine, which supports the preservation of cartilage and joint collagen. This will help prevent and joint related problems and damage in kids, as well as prevent pain.
what are the potential risks?
There are a few potentially serious risks you should be concerned with:
Since kombucha is made with green and black tea, it contains a lot of caffeine – about 40mg per 8 oz. serving, which is a lot of caffeine for a child – about the same amount as a cup of coffee! The current guidelines for children ages 4-6 years old is less than 45mg a day. So as long as you limit their intake to 8oz. a day you should be within the recommended guidelines.
Since kombucha is fermented, it contains a trace amount of alcohol. The vast majority of store bought kombucha have only .5% ABV, the same amount as a glass of orange juice. However, a lot of home-brewed kombucha typically contains about 3%, which is almost as much as beer!
what are the potential side effects?
There are a few potential side effects (mostly when over consumed) you should be concerned with:
Diarrhea and Bloating:
Just like most things in life, moderation is key. Drinking too much kombucha can make your child suffer from bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Heartburns, ulcers, and other gastrointestinal disorders are also some of the effects. Consult your physician for the required dosage.
Excess of kombucha can cause dizziness, drop in the blood pressure, urination, shortness of breath, throat tightness, liver inflammation, nausea, and vomiting.
Affects Immune System:
If your child has a weak immune system, the small amounts of wild yeasts or pathogenic bacteria can adversely affect their immune systems.
Words Of Caution
Do not give kombucha tea to babies since their digestive systems aren’t completely developed. They may not digest kombucha well, affecting their health adversely.
Don’t feed your child your home-brewed kombucha since it contains higher amounts of alcohol (unless you’ve tested the alcohol levels yourself.) You can feed your child store-bought kombucha but try to keep the dose under 8 oz. per day to prevent them from drinking too much caffeine!
Did you give kombucha to your child? What was the reaction? Let us know below.
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