In recent times, kefir enjoys popularity throughout the world as a healthy and refreshing beverage. The fermented beverage kefir is the stuff of legend. But coconut kefir combines the health benefits of traditional kefir by merging the values of kefir with the health rewards and delicious flavour of coconut water.
But What Exactly Is Coconut Kefir?
Kefir translates to ‘good feeling,’ it’s been used for centuries around the world to aid in a variety of conditions. Kefir is a fermented beverage that uses kefir ‘grains’ which are highly beneficial organisms of bacteria that promote proper digestion, gut health, immunity, and even enhance the brain and mood.
Traditionally kefir is made with dairy milk since the sugars in milk (lactose) feed the good bacteria needed for growth. However, it’s tough to get high-quality raw dairy, plus a lot of people don’t tolerate dairy well or have allergies to it. This is why many people are now turning to coconut kefir as a recommended alternative.
It’s possible to make a highly Paleo-friendly kefir. Kefir that’s been fermented longer, for example, will not only have fewer sugars left in it but will also have more good bacteria for your gut.
The Health Benefits of Kefir
Kefir consumption is still being researched, but the potential benefits include:
Blood sugar control – Trusted Source compared the effects of consuming kefir and conventionally fermented milk on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It was discovered that kefir could significantly lower fasting blood sugar levels than the conventionally fermented milk.
Increased nutrition – The nutrients in kefir depend on the type of milk used to make it. Generally, it is a good source of protein, calcium, and potassium. Some store-bought brands are fortified with vitamin D, as well.
Improve stomach health – The stomach contains both good and bad bacteria, but it’s challenging to maintain a balance between them. Diseases, infections, and some medications, such as antibiotics, can upset this balance. Probiotics are similar to the good bacteria found naturally in the digestive tract and may help maintain a healthy balance. Probiotic foods, such as kefir, can help treat diarrhea caused by an infection or antibiotics.
Immune boosting – Coconut kefir is a beverage that’s becoming more and more popular due to its incredible health benefits, for everything such as boosting immunity to fighting off harmful yeasts and bacteria.
Lower in calories than dairy – Coconut water kefir is also lower in calories than dairy forms, has no fat or sugar, and is much more palatable! It’s been shown to help the following: cleanse the body, enhance digestion when consumed after a meal, reduce bloating, promote a better mood, balance hormones, increase your energy, eliminate Candida (a harmful yeast), stop the growth of stomach cancer cells, and even stop cravings for sugar.
Contains potassium – Coconut water kefir contains about as much potassium as a banana. Potassium can help prevent the loss of bone mineral density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. According to a study, high dietary potassium is associated with reduced risk of stroke in both men and women.
Improves digestion – Consuming coconut kefir regularly is an excellent way to optimize the health of your gut microbiome, which means improved functioning and health of your digestive system.
Coconut kefir is coconut water that has been fermented with kefir grains. Like dairy kefir, it provides fuel for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. These good bacteria fight unhealthy bacteria, as well as an infection. They also help stimulate digestion and boost your immune system. All the nutrients in coconut water are present in coconut kefir. The downside of coconut kefir? It tends to be more expensive than traditional kefir.
Coconut milk kefir is very similar to milk kefir. It has all the same benefits without the lactose. You can make it dairy-free entirely when you use water kefir as a starter, which is perfect for those with dairy allergies or who follow a vegan diet. It can be made with coconut water to make a coconut water kefir or with coconut milk to make creamy coconut milk kefir. Both are delicious!
Why Coconut Over Dairy Kefir
The coconut is a magical food in almost every way you can imagine. Though it’s considered a tropical food, coconut has become more mainstream than ever, enjoyed by people that previously only related this food to exotic islands far, far away.
Coconut, on its own, as a whole food promotes a healthy immune system, contains antiviral properties, and has been shown to boost liver and brain health. When the water or milk from coconut is cultured with kefir grains to make coconut kefir, the benefits rise steeply. Coconut contains more beneficial strains and organisms than dairy-based kefir or any yogurt. Yogurt doesn’t colonize good bacteria in the digestive system, but kefir does.
Many avoid dairy these days unless it is fermented due to issues with lactose intolerance. Without the presence of bacteria in either raw milk or fermented dairy products, many people experience physical discomfort with symptoms that range from gas and flatulence to diarrhea – Fermented milk products are easier to digest and offer increased bioavailability of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
How to Use Coconut Kefir
It can be used in smoothies, you can purchase it as a flavoured beverage, in it’s creamier form it makes a great substitute for yogurt (especially with berries), used in place of whipping cream or sour cream, or eaten straight off the spoon. Also, it can be stirred into overnight oats. Avoid adding it into hot beverages such as tea and coffee. This is because the high heat destroys the kefir probiotics.
The Bottom Line
Coconut water kefir and other naturally fermented foods are important to add to your diet to maintain good health. After all, it’s important to take care of all those good bacteria so they can take care of you!