The more I watch television or read online, the more aware of the term probiotics I become. Jamie Lee Curtis and Activa have been talking about it for years. Here’s what else you should know about gut-healthy probiotics, other than the snippets you get on ads and TV commercials. So what is water kefir and what makes it so very special?
This blog post is all about it and how you can boost your metabolism rate the natural way. We start with water kefir and end the discussion with a mention of another liquid delight called Kombucha, these two are some of the best probiotics known to mankind.
Water Kefir or Tibicos is a fermented drink made of a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts that are kept in a bacteria-generated polysaccharide biofilm matrix and mixed with cold water. It is popular as an alternative to milk-based probiotic drinks or tea-cultured products.
This health drink is becoming popular the same way Kombucha or milk kefir is. They all originate from living grains or fungus, and their quality depends on the fermentation provided to them. It is the quality and amount of fermentation that helps them provide long-term health benefits.
Then, of course, is the topic of fizz that comes as a standard!
The origin of this health drink is not known. Some people believe that water kefir was invented in Mexico, thriving in the sugary water of the Opuntia cactus (prickly pear). Others believe it started further back in Tibet when monks gave the grains to Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Whatever be its origin, the word kefir comes from the Turkish word and means “feeling good.” Water kefir is a mild, zesty sugar-water beverage often compared to a natural, refreshing soda, and perfect for everyday drinking.
It is fermented at room temperature for 24-48 hours with fruit juice or lemon. Just like honey, it has a low glycemic index and is caffeine-free, a fact that makes it good for diabetics too. It is also easy to digest and can be made at home without much fuss.
This probiotic drink is a healthy alternative to soda. You would only need hydrated kefir grains, water, and sugar to make it. If you would like to make it tastier, you may add molasses, figs, and raisins to improve its taste. Any ingredient added would boost the drink’s nutritional value.
Making water kefir is easy. Here’s how you can do it at home:
1. Take a glass jar.
2. Fill it with water.
3. Add half a cup of sugar to it.
4. Stir until sugar has dissolved in the water.
5. Add hydrated kefir grains to the sweetened water.
6. Cover it with a cloth and keep it aside for 48 hours.
7. Open it and strain the water with a cheesecloth.
8. Your kefir drink is ready. Serve it chilled.
It is important to know the difference between water kefir grains, crystals, and cultures.
Grains: These are live probiotics that are ready for consumption. They occur as soft, jelly-like particles (or grains). If they are properly cultivated, they grow and multiply.
Crystals: Same as grains.
Culture: A culture is the resultant of the grains or crystals above as per required fermentation conditions so the former may swell and become fit to be used for making water kefir drink.
This natural health drink is loaded with natural sugars, enzymes, and beneficial acids, minerals, and vitamins. It supplies your body with healthy gut bacteria and yeast. Unlike kombucha (made with tea), kefir is caffeine-free and can be had more often than coffee.
While both of them are good drinks to hydrate and enjoy, the probiotic qualities of kefir water are way better. It is because it contains a large number of good bacteria strains that help in the digestive processes. You can also expect it to resist the formation of acne and other skin-related blemishes.
Here is the nutritional info for 1 cup of low-fat cow’s milk kefir with no added sugar, for example:
11 grams (g) protein (22% daily value, or DV)
2 g fat (3% DV)
12 g carbohydrates (4% DV)
12 g sugar
390 milligrams calcium (30% DV)
90 micrograms of vitamin A (10% DV)
The above values are taken from EverydayHealth.com
Drinking this probiotic drink every day offers the following benefits:
1. Improves digestion
2. Boosts immunity
3. Is an alternative to alcoholic beverages
4. Strengthens bones
5. May even protect against some cancers
6. Helps in weight management
7. Is full of gut-healthy probiotics
8. Is low in sugar
9. Can be taken with any diet
10.Is rich in nutrients
One should not have more than one cup of water kefir in a day. An excess may lead to various metabolic disorders like indigestion, stomach cramps, nausea, and weakness. These are some of the most common side-effects of taking this health drink in excess.
Your body is made up of billions of bacteria and yeast that support internal microflora support for digestion. Your body needs a healthy dose of probiotics to fight off bacteria, viruses, and yeast, which this beverage provides. It would also provide you with your daily dose of enzymes and nutrients.
Drinking this health drink may help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. It improves digestion, building immunity from colds and viruses, and boosting energy levels. You can also drink it just for the sake of its soda-like taste, and it is a good option for those addicted to coffee or other caffeine drinks.
Did you know? Research says that kefir may be anti-mutagenic and help manage free radicals. The longer the drink is fermented, the higher percentage of folic acid and B vitamins it develops. You should consider drinking this water and eating nuts to remove free radicals and to look younger.
Kombucha is also a probiotic drink. Prepared like tea, it offers a wide range of health and fitness benefits like kefir water. It is a gut-healthy beverage that helps you stay immune to diseases, age slower, and have a better metabolism rate.
Made of a culture of Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast (or SCOBY), Kombucha is full of polysaccharides. Water kefir has a translucent and grainy appearance but Kombucha has a mushroom-like appearance.
Water kefir can taste pretty much as you want it to. Do you like pink lemonade? Then make it out of strawberries and lemons. Do you like black cherries? Make simple syrup out of cherries, water, and sugar. Add them to this health drink for a great-tasting black cherry soda feel. You may also add some vanilla to the mixture.
Some people make it out of basil and lemon, pineapple, grape juice, or just about anything you can think of. Don’t like what you make? Throw it out and try something different next time. The grains continually replenish to give you a great and healthy alternative that is better than any soda anytime.
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