Coconut kefir is a healing elixir held in high esteem by many people. This post touches on all the important things you need to know about this super fermented food.
Coconut is a superfood and highly regarded in natural medicine. We have covered a lot on coconuts on this blog and even how to make coconut oil at home.
If you missed that post, click here. That will save us time from writing all the amazing health benefits coconuts bestow.
The use of probiotics and probiotic-rich foods has been on the rise in the last decade because of their immense health benefits. Coconut kefir is one of the most common probiotic foods available.
We have a post on probiotics and their wonderful benefits. Click here to read it. One of the most important benefits of probiotics is the impact it has on gut health.
Your gut contains 70 to 80% of your immune system. Health and diseases start from the gut and this depends on the population of probiotics you have.
The state of your gut can affect your mood and mental health through the gut-brain barrier. It can also affect your skin through the gut-skin barrier.
Probiotics affect every part of your body and one of the best ways to load up on these healthy bacteria is to consume coconut kefir.
What is Coconut Kefir?
This wonderful food is also called “the health food of the 21st century” due to its immense therapeutic benefits. Coconut kefir contains 30 strains of good bacteria and many bioactive compounds.
All these help in fighting against tumors, carcinogens, harmful bacteria, and many more disease-causing factors. It strengthens your immune system and improves your overall well-being.
Kefir is a spicy, enjoyable, probiotic drink made with kefir grains and fermented milk. But for those who don’t take milk for health reasons, milk can be substituted with plant beverages like coconut milk.
Kefir fermented in coconut milk is called coconut kefir. It can also be made with coconut water.
Coconut kefir does not contain lactose or gluten. This supplies your gut and body with a lot of helpful microbes that fight diseases and boosts skin and mental health.
Origin of Kefir
For thousands of years, Asians and Central European farmers have used kefir to boost their gut health and strengthen their defenses against diseases.
Water kefir is still regarded as a sacred healing elixir in some parts of the world. Marco Polo even wrote about this wonder drink and other famous people had encounters with this powerful therapeutic drink.
Mass production of kefir began in the mid-1900s in Russia and by the late 20th century, about 1.2 million tons of this fermented product were produced.
They are various myths regarding the origin of kefir grains. Some refer to this grain as the manna that fed the Israelites in the deserts for many years.
Others believe this grain was brought by Prophet Muhammad to the mountain tribe. Hence it is called the “grains of the prophet” by some people.
What Does Coconut Kefir Contain?
Coconut kefir contains young coconut water and the residual probiotics leftover from the kefir grains. These two constituents of coconut kefir are nutritious.
Coconut water alone contains a lot of minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals. It is high in potassium and also contains powerful plant hormones called cytokinins.
These plant hormones reduce the growth of cancer cells. The fermentation process by which this food is made ensures that you don’t lose any nutrients.
In general, kefir of all types contains very high levels of vitamin B12, probiotics, enzymes, folate, biotin, vitamin K2, magnesium, and calcium.
Amazing Health Benefits of Coconut Kefir
Boosts the immune system
In the microbial world, probiotics are powerful forces and one of the best probiotic foods is coconut kefir.
80% of your immune system is in your gut where probiotics stay. One particular strain of probiotic that fights against salmonella and E.coli is Lactobacillus Kefiri and it is abundantly found in coconut kefir.
Apart from keeping disease-pathogens at bay, Lactobacillus kefiri also helps in modulating the immune system and also inhibit the growth of bad bacteria.
Coconut kefir also contains a powerful compound called kefiran. This compound is an insoluble polysaccharide and is it antimicrobial in nature.
It fights against candida and relieves its symptoms. Kefiran also hastens the healing of external wounds.
You must have heard the saying that “you are what you eat”. Well, this statement is partly true. The truth is that you are what you absorb and they can be no absorption without proper digestion.
An effective way to boosts your digestive system is to consume coconut kefir regularly. This will also improve the health of your microbiome which is mostly impacted by what you eat.
The probiotics present in coconut kefir will protect you from constipation and promotes regular bowel movement. It restores your good flora and empowers your immune system to fight against pathogens.
These probiotics also prevent disruptive diarrhea and other side effects affecting your gastrointestinal tracts which are mostly caused by taking antibiotics.
Coconut kefir promotes healthy digestion because it is rich in lauric acid. In your body, lauric acid is converted to monolaurin. This compound protects you against viruses, worms, infections, and many more.
Reduces the symptoms of asthma and allergies
A good way to put your allergies and asthma under control is to take coconut kefir daily.
Suboptimal gut health and internal inflammation are responsible for various forms of asthma and allergies. Kefir reduces inflammatory cells affecting the lungs and air passage.
It also reduces the buildup of mucus. The helpful microbes present in kefir help your immune system suppress allergic reactions. It also changes the way your immune system responds to systemic outbreaks.
A lot of scientists and even studies prove that allergic reactions are caused by the deficiency of probiotics in the gut.
Even when it comes to the emperor of all maladies, cancer, probiotics help the body to give a good fight.
Coconut kefir’s probiotics play an important anti-carcinogenic role in your body.
This is a powerful cancer-fighting food. It slows the growth of early tumors and stops their enzymatic conversions from non-carcinogenic to carcinogenic.
Coconut kefir is effective in fighting cancer because it has anti-viral properties. Green coconut water contains three antimicrobial peptides that boost the effectiveness of this superfood.
Coconut kefir also has a high content of electrolytes and hydration power. This helps in relieving the side effects of chemotherapy like nutrient depletion, dehydration, nausea, and diarrhea.
It also replenishes the good bacteria that chemotherapy kills, hydrates the body, and replenishes lost electrolytes.
Safe for lactose-intolerant people
If you are lactose-intolerant, then coconut kefir is a very good alternative. Dairy-based kefir contains very little amount of lactose and this can still be a problem for some people.
Coconut kefir, on the other hand, has no lactose or dairy. This is why it is safe for people who have symptoms of lactose intolerance.
A very rich source of potassium
One of the richest sources of potassium is coconut water kefir. A serving of coconut water contains 4 times the amount of potassium in 4 bananas.
Potassium improves overall bone health, reduces the risks of stroke and heart disease, and even lowers blood pressure. The potassium in coconut kefir also helps in treating digestive disturbances.
This includes inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. If you are at risk of low potassium, coconut kefir is a great way to increase your levels and prevent a deficiency.
How To Make Coconut Kefir
Coconut water is the starter used in making water kefir. It contains naturally occurring sugars and carbohydrates that the yeasts used during the process of fermentation.
Water kefir grains are salt-like and crystalline-like grains that feed on sugar. These grains can be used to culture coconut water, juice, or water.
Milk kefir on the other hand is made from white fluffy grains that feed on the lactose in milk. You can also make coconut milk kefir with milk kefir grains.
Buy your grains from a reputable store and make sure they are fresh and have not been dehydrated. If you buy quality grains and care for them well, they will have an unlimited lifespan and can be used many times to make water kefir.
To make coconut water kefir, use fresh and young coconuts. Extract the water yourself. Don’t use store-bought coconut water because it is pasteurized and their nutrients depleted.
I will be showing you three ways to make this amazing drink.
1. Use milk kefir grains
In this method, you make use of milk kefir grains and coconut milk. I prefer you to use homemade coconut milk than store-bought ones for the reasons mentioned above.
To make coconut milk, simply cut your coconut meat into pieces or grate it. Blend and sieve to get your coconut milk.
If you don’t have access to coconuts, then use store-bought coconut milk that doesn’t contain sweeteners, unnatural additives, etc.
These unnatural additives can be hard on the kefir grains and they can also affect your health when you consume them. Then you need to get your activated milk kefir grains.
- Milk kefir grains (activated)
- Coconut milk
- Get a big glass jar to make your coconut kefir.
- Pour your coconut milk inside and put the milk kefir grains inside the coconut milk
- Stir this using a non-metal spoon
- Cover the jar with a cloth or filter. Secure the covering using a rubber band
- Culture this at room temperature (69-850F)
- After 12 hours, make sure you shake the jar every few hours and leave it to stay for a minimum of 24 hours.
- Remove the milk kefir grains if your coconut kefir has reached your desired consistency.
Remember to rest your kefir grains in regular dairy milk after every few batches to keep them strong. They need lactose to thrive and if you don’t put them in lactose, they will atrophy and die over time.
2. Use finished water kefir
In this method, you make use of finished kefir and not the water kefir grains. Add ¼ cup of water kefir to 2 to 4 cups of coconut milk.
Stir with a non-metal spoon, pour in a glass jar, and cover loosely. Cover this for 34 hours.
Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?
Water or coconut water kefir has no side effects. People who have severely compromised immune systems and worn down digestive functions may experience intestinal cramping and constipation.
You would also react if your system is not used to taking certain types of bacterial strains and yeasts.
If you take blood pressure medications, you have to be careful because coconut water reduces blood pressure due to its high levels of potassium.
This is a benefit for those battling hypertension. However, combining this with your medication is not advisable as it can bring your blood pressure way down too low.
You should not also overtake it if you have diabetes although coconut kefir does not have an extremely high content of sugar.
Coconut kefir is healthy food and one of the ways to improve your health is to ingest this regularly. It is easy to make yours and you can also buy from a reputable natural food store.