Right now it seems like the coconut is one of the internet’s favorite foods and right up there with the avocado and quinoa. Partly this is due to all of the hipster Paleo dieters out there but it’s also down to the simple fact that it really is very good for you. Not only that but coconuts also happen to be very tasty and insanely versatile (with many uses beyond just culinary ones).
Now there’s one more way you can get more coconut in your life: coconut kefir!
What Is Coconut Kefir?
Kefir is a creamy substance similar to yogurt that is made from milk. Most often that means cow’s milk but switching to non-dairy coconut kefir not only makes this an option for the lactose intolerant but also presents a number of additional health benefits.
To make kefir, white/yellow particles called ‘grains’ are simply added to the milk. These contain bacteria and yeast which will mix with the casein (protein in milk) and complex sugar. The result is what appears like small lumps of cauliflower or large, flat sheets. During this process, the friendly bacteria will also ferment the milk and thereby create the cultured product. The grains are then removed via a strainer, leaving behind the kefir.
The Health Benefits
By now, you are probably familiar with the concept that we have lots of important bacteria cultures living in our guts and throughout our bodies. In fact, the human body famously contains more of these bacteria than our own cells!
Good bacteria helps to keep bad bacteria (like yeasts, viruses and fungi) at bay, while at the same time helping with a range of other processes: including digestion and even the secretion of certain hormones and neurotransmitters. This latter reason is why the stomach is sometimes referred to as ‘the second brain’.
Any fermented food like kefir will help to maintain a healthy balance of ‘good bacteria’ and especially following a course of antibiotics.
Then there’s the big added benefit of drinking kefir made from coconut oil. Coconut oil is already highly good for you thanks to its content of good fats and useful vitamins and minerals, so this is just a big added bonus. What’s more though, is that coconut water kefir is actually better at feeding the bacteria resulting in even more beneficial strains.
All that and coconut kefir also contains no fat or sugar and is actually quite tasty. The only downside is that it isn’t all that cheap…