Coconut water kefir a drink that provides an incredible dose of beneficial good bacteria without any artificial ingredients or harmful sugars. It is my new staple daily drink and its a very refreshing alternative to fizzy soda drinks that are filled with unhealthy sugars and additives!
Did you know that bacterial cells on your body out number your human cells by a ratio of 10:1?
Many different varieties of bacteria are responsible for the optimum functioning of various life functions such as your immune system, digestion, metabolism and even your thoughts and mood.
Thankfully you can make your own trillion count probiotic from home for less than a $1 per serving!
Keep reading to find out how…
The importance of probiotics for a healthy gut.
A healthy gut is the key to optimal health. Ancient healing practices such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicine state that many diseases begin in your gut and so healing should be focused there too.
Your gut naturally contains millions if not trillions of beneficial and pathogenic (bad) bacteria. More and more research is emerging on just how important these organisms are to your overall wellbeing.
Our diets and fast paced way of life has a big impact on the balance of good and bad bacteria in our gut. An over-consumption of refined foods, use of prescription medication, alcohol and leading a high-stress lifestyle can all disturb that balance.
The presence of too much bad bacteria in your gut leaves you with a weakened immune system and you are more susceptible to disease. A healthy balance allows the body to eliminate harmful toxins, chemicals and other unwanted products from the system.
Good bacteria leads to great mental health.
It is believed by many alternative medical professionals that all disease begins in the gut, especially within the Ayurveda world. Your gut is considered to be your “second brain” and not surprisingly so. Your brain and gut are constantly communicating with each other, but it has been found that the gut is sending a whole lot more information to the brain than the brain to the gut. The information is carried through the “vagus nerve” which runs from the brain to the abdomen.
The balance of bacteria in your gut directly influences how the vagus nerve operates as the micro-organisms in your gut release a number of chemicals which influence your mood. For example glutamate is one of the body’s top neurotransmitters that is produced by bacteria in your gut. Glutamate is linked to your memory, cognition and learning.
Maintaining a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria within the gut may be the answer to delaying the onset of degenerative disease in the elderly such as alzheimers and dementia. Many alternative medicine programs also utilise probiotics to treat patients who suffer from PTSD, autism and mood disorders with positive effect.
The gut flora: You and your 100 trillion friends: Jeroen Raes at TEDxBrussels
How To Make Coconut Water Kefir AKA Renegade Kola
This is my new favorite drink and a staple part of my diet. It has a natural fizz and a great refreshing taste that makes it a perfect alternative to soda. Whats more it contains trillions of live good bacteria!
Kefir can come in either water or milk form usually as a kefir yogurt. Like yogurt, kefir is a probiotic food, containing lactic acid bacteria (LAB). It is famous for its longevity properties, as some of the oldest living people in the world, from Bulgaria and the northern Caucasus, use it as a staple in their diet.
Nobel Peace Prize winning scientist Dr. Metchnikoff had a theory that the lactic acid bacteria in the fermented milk were responsible for these populations’ exceptional health and longevity. He believed that there was a connection between disease and the microorganisms in the digestive tract, and believed that bacteria in the fermented milk products consumed by these populations competed with the harmful microorganisms in their digestive tract. His studies regarding the contribution of LAB to the functions of the digestive and immune systems may have laid the foundations for the field of probiotics.
Kefir contains, in addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, contains many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes – particularly calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, B2 and B12, and vitamins K, A and D. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. As kefir also has an abundance of calcium and magnesium, important for a healthy nervous system, kefir can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.
Kefir grains are white lumps that resemble something out of horror movie rather than something you should eat. When you add them to milk or sugary water, they cause the liquid to ferment, producing a large quantity of beneficial bacteria.
You can buy kefir grains and make your own beverage with it, or you can purchase ready-made versions of the drink. But be a wise consumer, as different brands may vary in their concentration of the beneficial bacteria.
I love to ferment coconut water with water kefir grains. It makes a very refreshing beverage. I also add ginger and lemon juice to the mixture to give it extra health benefits as well as a ginger beer like taste. You can experiment with different flavours and see what works for you.
Right now I am working on perfecting the taste as a perfect coca cola alternative!
Here is my recipe for Coconut Water Kefir/Renegade Kola
- Water kefir grains: Purchase water kefir grains from a good source. I got mine from Amazon. Here is the supplier
- 1L Coconut Water: When living at my second home in Thailand I like to get ready made coconut kefir made from real fresh organic coconuts. However when in England I make my own using coconut water from cartons. Try to source the freshest most natural unadulterated coconut water possible. Get some here
- 6 tablespoons Demerara Sugar/Coconut sugar: You want to use the purest sugar possible to ferment the grains as refined sugar reduces the final quality and taste.
- Ginger, lemon, lime or any other fruit juice for taste.
- Cloth, rubber band, sieve, 2L jug, second measuring jug to pour into bottles, 250ml bottles that can be sealed with a lid.
- Stick the water kefir grains into the 2L jug.
- Add the coconut water and sugar to the jug and mix well.
- Cover with the cloth and seal with a rubber band.
- Leave for 48hrs in a dry place at room temperature.
- Sieve the mixture into another measuring jug to pour into bottles. Now add your flavouring. I love to make ginger juice by grating ginger and adding fresh lemon or lime.
- Then pour the filtered mixture into the 250ml bottles.
- Seal the lid and store in a fridge over night.
- After 24hrs of so you will now have a drink that’s super healthy, abundant in probiotics, fizzy, refreshing and with a great taste 🙂