Superfoods are becoming more popular nowadays for many reasons. Among those that are gaining massive popularity is coconut water kefir.
Although kefir has been in existence for hundreds of years, it’s unknown to most people. Let’s have a look at what it is, what are its benefits, and how it’s applied.
What is Coconut Water Kefir?
Kefir is a beverage that has been mentioned by Marco Polo. It is traditionally made from sheep, cow, or goat milk which is then fermented with Kefir grains by Asian and Central European farmers.
There are various speculations on how Kefir came to be. The most popular one is that the Prophet Muhammad gifted it to the mountain tribes; hence why it’s also known as “grains of the Prophet.”
However, kefir grains are not exactly grains or plant seeds but a mixture of several ingredients which are as follows:
- Lactic acid bacteria
When the ingredients mentioned above are combined together, they create a gelatinous substance. They then become similar to a sourdough bread starter that has live and active cultures. The mixture encourages fermentation when combined with milk.
However, instead of combining Kefir with milk, many people these days use coconut water as a substitute. This simply means that coconut water kefir is basically fermented coconut water.
Coconut water on its own contains a long list of minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients that are essential for human health. It is also high in potassium and a good source of cytokinins which is associated with lowering the risk of cancer.
The Benefits of Coconut Water Kefir
It is a known fact that coconut water has a long list of benefits. However, once it’s made into coconut water kefir, it has even more benefits than just plain coconut water.
Some of its most notable benefits are the following:
1. High Potassium Content
A serving of coconut water kefir has the same potassium content as four bananas. Potassium is an essential mineral for the body as it can help reduce osteoporosis risk and prevent bone mineral density.
Furthermore, eating a diet rich in potassium can also significantly help reduce the risk of stroke and heart complications, especially among older women.
Are you lactose intolerant? If you are, then finding a delicious but healthy drink can be quite challenging because most of what’s available nowadays contain dairy products. However, coconut water kefir might just be the solution for you.
It makes for a really refreshing drink, but it is also packed with a long list of health benefits. Coconut water kefir is also ideal for people with celiac disease since it’s gluten-free.
3. High Probiotic Content
Coconut water kefir contains high levels of probiotics. These are yeast or live bacteria that line your gut. Their presence is what drives away unhealthy bacteria that are trying to invade it.
Probiotics can help treat the following conditions and symptoms:
- Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Bacterial vaginal infections
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract Infections
4. Allergies & Asthma Remedy
Another noteworthy benefit of coconut water kefir is that it can help keep allergies and asthma under control. Many allergies and asthma are associated with suboptimal gut health and internal inflammation.
Since coconut water kefir contains high levels of probiotics which aid gut health and reduce inflammation, it can help keep allergies and asthma under control. These live microorganisms can help boost the immune system, thus improving the body’s response to allergic reactions and outbreaks.
5. Digestive Aid
Your digestive tract is home to a complex community of microorganisms that are directly affected by your daily diet. Drinking coconut water kefir regularly can help optimize and maintain the balance of the microorganisms in your gut. As a result, the overall health of your digestive system can also improve.
Aside from that, since coconut water kefir contains a high amount of probiotics, it can minimize your risk of experiencing constipation. It can also revitalize the good flora in your gut that combats pathogens and gastrointestinal side effects due to medications such as antibiotics.
Moreover, coconut water kefir is an excellent source of lauric acid. This becomes monolaurin in the body, and it helps protect you from viruses, worms, and infections in your gastrointestinal system.
How to Use Coconut Water Kefir?
Coconut water kefir can be used for smoothies. You can also opt to just have a tablespoon in the morning with water and lemon, like what you would normally do with apple cider. Alternatively, you can use it as a liquid for overnight oats along with other fruits and flavoring ingredients.
However, make sure to avoid combining coconut water kefir with hot beverages such as coffee or tea. Doing so will kill the probiotics and will lessen the benefits that you will get from it.
Coconut Water Kefir Recipe
Here’s a quick and easy coconut water kefir recipe that you can try at home:
- 1/4 cup of hydrated kefir grains
- 4 cups of coconut water (fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 cup of white or organic sugar (optional)
- Combine the sugar and coconut water in a half-gallon jar. Stir the mixture thoroughly until the sugar has fully dissolved.
- Mix in the hydrated kefir grain to the sugar and coconut water mixture.
- Cover the jar with an airtight lid or fermentation cap.
- Let it ferment in a warm place that is around 70 to 78 degrees for 24 to 48 hours.
- Taste the mixture after 24 hours if it was unsweetened. If you added sugar, let it sit for at least 48 hours. You know when it’s ready if it has that distinct tanginess of something fermented.
- Using a non-metal strain or cheesecloth, strain the Kefir grain. You can save the grain to make another batch of coconut water kefir.
If you want your coconut water kefir to have low sugar content, let it ferment for at least 48 hours. However, avoid leaving it for a longer period of time because the grains can die due to a lack of sugar.
By following the recipe above, you can get a basic coconut water kefir as a result. It has a tangy taste similar to other fermented items. However, you can add your own choice of flavor to make it more tailored to your preferences.
To add flavor to your coconut water kefir, you need just a flavoring before you drink it. You can choose to add any of the following:
- Fruit Juice
- Crushed berries
Meanwhile, if you want your Coconut Water Kefir to have a richer flavor and a fizzy texture, you need to put it through a second fermentation. The result will be similar to soda but much healthier.
Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to ferment your coconut water kefir the second time:
- Add your flavoring of choice to the coconut water kefir that you have that’s been through the first fermentation. Doing this will allow the carbon dioxide to build up and create fizz.
- Let the liquids ferment for 1 to 2 days.
- If there are solids in the mixture, strain it using a cheesecloth or a non-metal strainer.
- Place the mixture in an airtight jar or bottle and let it chill inside the fridge before you consume it.
Take note that the fizz might overflow during warm weather or if the second fermented coconut water kefir mixture is exposed to hot temperature. Also, avoid shaking it or you will have the same mess as opening a can of Coca-cola that has been shaken.
A Final Word From Wellness Nova
Coconut water kefir indeed has a long list of benefits, so it’s understandable why many are considering it to be a superfood. What makes it even better is that it is super easy to make. The ingredients are widely available, and you can flavor it in any way that you want.