In this article, learn what it is and how to inexpensively make your water kefir.
What is water kefir?
Water kefir is a fermented drink made from a bacterial yeast culture called tibicos.
The culture changes sugar into fructose and releases probiotics into the water it is immersed in.
It is increasing the popularity as a very pleasant and convenient way to obtain the probiotics you need.
Various manufacturers of water kefir are promoting it as a healthy alternative to sugar-laden soda drinks.
How is water kefir made?
- Put one-third of a cup of kefir grains into a solution of four cups of cool, filtered water and one-quarter cup of sugar and leave to ferment for two days;
- After that strain the grains from the solution. The longer the solution is left to ferment, the lower the sugar content will be, as the bacteria and yeasts feed on the sugar.
- It’s time to add the flavoring. Put the water kefir into a sealable glass bottle, and fruit or other flavoring and leave to ferment for another day.
- A few examples for the flavoring are apple, strawberries, cranberries, ginger, peach, almond and vanilla using real vanilla extract to name a few.
Water kefir grains are available for purchase online in many health food and organic stores.
However, if you don’t wish to make it yourself, it is available in stores ready-made.
Why is water kefir so good for you?
Water kefir is a natural source of probiotics with similar health benefits to milk kefir, kombucha tea, and yogurt.Probiotics are the good bacteria that promote a healthy immune and digestive system. Water kefir contains approximately thirty different types of bacteria and yeast.
Your state of health depends heavily on the good bacteria and yeast present in your colon, as 75 percent of your immune system is situated in your digestive tract.
If you have diabetes, you might find that water kefir, containing only 1.4 percent sugar will benefit your health by providing an acceptable alternative to soda drinks, which contain a huge amount of sugar.
Even though the health benefits of water kefir haven’t yet been scientifically proven, many people have reported improvement in certain ailments after consuming water kefir.
Some of the ailments include:
- migraine headaches;
- irritable bowel syndrome.
Suitable for various diets
If you are non-dairy, gluten-free or vegan diet, water kefir will provide you with a suitable source of probiotics and all the B vitamins that fermentation produces.
It is also caffeine-free and almost sugar-free, for those who are concerned about avoiding these ingredients.
The differences between water kefir and kefirKefir is a fermented milk drink, somewhat like a soupy yogurt. The best kefir is made with raw milk – either cow or goat – and live culture. Raw milk contains all of nature’s intended healthy bacteria which are magnified when fermented.
A live kefir culture (also called kefir grains) lasts practically forever with some care and never needs to be replaced.
Kefir grains extracted from a finished batch of kefir are retrieved and used to start the next batch.
The process to make kefir at home is simple and requires only standard kitchen equipment. The most important caution with regard to making kefir at home is to ensure that everything that comes into contact with the milk is properly sanitized.
Sanitization can be done by heating the equipment to over 180 degrees Fahrenheit for over 10 minutes or by soaking all equipment in a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon chlorine to a gallon of water.
Rinse thoroughly with warm water until there is no longer the smell of bleach.
Save money with water kefir
Water kefir is one of the easiest and least expensive methods of taking probiotics.
I’m a family practice physician with a strong interest in preventive medicine. I trained at the Medical College of Virginia where I earned a medical degree (M.D.) and a master’s degree after graduating with a double bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology.
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