The flu season is in full swing and you might be looking for ways to give your immune system a boost.

With up to 80% of the human immune system housed in the digestive tract, taking care of your gut is an essential part of staying healthy this winter.

When you eat too much processed food, drink alcohol in excess, or don’t get enough exercise, the microbiome in your gut deteriorates, which means your body has less protection against illnesses.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

“There are a ton of different factors that influence the type and number of bacteria we have in our gut. Diet is one of the key ways to restore balance and stay healthy,” said Alex Glenday, the Director at Brew Kombucha, South Africa’s first producer of certified organic rooibos tea kombucha.

Foods and beverages that go through a natural fermentation process, like kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, and certain yoghurts, gain probiotic properties.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that play an essential role in digesting food and helping to absorb and synthesise nutrients. Beyond the gut, they also assist with metabolic and immune function.

Photo by Katherine Sousa on Unsplash

“As a beverage, kombucha has additional benefits because it keeps you hydrated and provides electrolytes, as well as vitamins B and C. It can also help with relieving uncomfortable conditions like diarrhoea or a bloated stomach. It’s also a tasty alternative to alcohol, for those looking to cut back or cut out,” Glenday said.

When you are picking a kombucha to stock up on over the winter, look out for one that is raw instead of pasteurised, because this process can destroy all the live bacteria and remove the main health benefits from the drink, advises Glenday.

“Additionally, the darker the bottle, the better. When probiotics are exposed to light for a long period of time, they are damaged. This impacts the gut health benefits of the kombucha,” she added.

Launched this Autumn, Brew Kombucha’s new flavour variant – Ginger Lemon – adds an extra kick to the traditional kombucha mix.

Brew Kombucha. Picture: Instagram

“Ginger is known for soothing the digestive tract and providing antioxidants, while lemon is great source of Vitamin C. We’ve combined the health benefits of these ingredients with the immune-boosting qualities of kombucha to create a delicious new flavour – just in time for winter,” said Glenday.

Brew Kombucha is available at selected stores nationwide, including Wellness Warehouse, Spar, Food Lovers Market, and a number of health shops nationwide. For more information, visit