Is Kombucha Paleo Approved?
With the multitude of articles about the health and wellness benefits of kombucha circulating the internet and social media, it’s difficult not to know a positive thing or two about this ancient fermented tea. But with increased exposure and popularity, more and more people with specific diets and active lifestyles are wondering: is this drink right for me? And this brings us to an interesting topic: is kombucha paleo approved?
What is Paleo?
“Paleo” is short for “Paleolithic,” which refers to the Paleolithic era (from about 3 million years ago to about 10,000 years ago). Colloquially we’re talking about “the caveman era.” In the context of modern fitness and diet plans, “paleo” refers to a diet that includes only foods that were believed to be available to humans in the caveman era. This means consuming naturally occurring foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts, and seeds. It means excluding certain foods that came about when humanity started farming and producing food like grains, legumes, dairy products, and, most importantly, sugar.
The idea behind this diet is that our bodies are biologically optimized for a particular diet, and a return to that diet is not only beneficial from a health and wellness standpoint but can also help keep weight in moderation and certain health issues at bay. With many links found between sugar and maladies like diabetes and obesity, it’s understandably at the forefront of many people’s minds, and especially those who are health-conscious and might be following the paleo diet.
Does Kombucha Fit Into The Paleo Diet?
It’s essential to know how kombucha is made to understand why kombucha being acceptable on the paleo diet is even up for debate.
Kombucha is a fermented tea, so of course, two ingredients are water and tea. No problems there! To brew kombucha, you also need a SCOBY, the bacteria and yeast that carries out the fermentation. Still in the clear!
However, the “fermenting” part is what brings up this question. Fermentation (at least in the context of brewing kombucha and other alcoholic drinks) is the conversion of sugar to alcohol using yeast. Along with tea and water, brewing kombucha requires sugar, and since sugar is a big no-no for the paleo diet, it’s now clear why kombucha being paleo-approved may come into question.