The Many Benefits of Coconut Water Kefir
Kefir is an ancient drink that has been enjoyed for hundreds of years.
Originally from the Caucasus Mountains in the former Soviet Union in Central Asia, the word kefir derives from the Turkish word “Keyif,” which means “good feeling.”1
Kefir is traditionally a cultured milk beverage.
Since many of us on the Body Ecology Diet are in the initial stages of healing the gut, Donna developed a way to enjoy kefir that doesn’t involve milk or potentially irritating proteins found in milk, like casein.
Coconut Water Cultured with Kefir Starter
Coconut water kefir, made from the Kefir Starter, is fermented and rich in beneficial bacteria and yeast. Enjoying coconut water kefir in your diet can benefit your kidneys, heart, immunity, and overall health.
Coconut water kefir contains the beneficial microbes that are found in traditional kefir. It also offers all the benefits of raw, living coconut water.
Because coconut water kefir is fermented, beneficial bacteria and yeast transform the natural sugars found in coconut water — releasing powerful metabolites that often benefit the human body. The World Health Organization tells us that probiotics are, “Live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”
Raw coconut water inoculated with Body Ecology’s Kefir Starter Culture is a restorative tonic that supports energy and detoxification.
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Why Drink Coconut Water?
Coconut water contains essential minerals that serve as electrolytes in the body, including:
Researchers at the Loma Linda University Medical Center report that raw coconut water is sterile. It can be safely injected directly into the bloodstream without harming blood cells. The mineral profile of coconut water is so similar to human plasma that in emergency situations doctors have injected it intravenously to prevent dehydration.2
This was a common practice in World War II and during the Vietnam War when intravenous solution was in short supply. A patient can safely receive as much as one quarter to one third of the patient’s body weight in coconut water intravenously.3
The high levels of potassium in coconut water make it an effective remedy for kidney stones, calcium crystal stones that form in the kidney and travel through the urinary system.4
Coconut water is also heart healthy. Research shows that coconut water may protect against heart attack, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and blood clots.5
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The Probiotic Power and Benefits of Coconut Water Kefir
From infection to high blood pressure and obesity, the probiotics in kefir prove themselves to be a valuable addition to anyone’s diet.
Kefir often contains seven strains of probiotic bacteria and yeast:
- Lactococcus lactis subsp. Lactis
- Lactococcus lactis subsp. Cremoris
- Lactococcus lactis subsp. Diacetylactis
- Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. Cremoris
- Lactobacillus kefyr (thermophilic)
- Saccharomyces unisporus
- Kluyveromyces marxianus
In 2007, the Turkish Microbial Society cultured all seven strains together.6 They then tested each individual strain and found that each one could protect against food-borne pathogens, such as Staphylococcus, Salmonella, and Listeria. Lactobacillus kefyr alone was found to fight the toxins produced by Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that contributes to chronic and sometimes deadly diarrhea.7 Because C. difficile is increasingly resistant to antibiotics, C. difficile infection is life threatening.
In 2008, researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland found that the probiotic Leuconostoc mesenteroides ssp. cremoris can produce chemical messages that fight cancer and boost the immune system’s response.8 Other research even shows that kefir may reduce the spread of cancerous cells.9
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The probiotic Saccharomyces unisporus is a yeast that produces healthy fatty acids, such as palmitic acid (found in palm oil) and palmitoleic acid (found in macadamia nuts). Palmitic acid acts as an antioxidant in the body and is a source of vitamin A.10 According to research, palmitoleic acid is a signaling molecule that helps fight weight gain.11 Besides helping to keep off excess weight, S. unisporus produces an anti-tumor agent called farnesol.12 Farnesol has been shown to control the growth of opportunistic yeast, like Candida.13
Kluyveromyces marxianus, another beneficial yeast, profoundly affects blood pressure.
Recent studies show that K. marxianus produces molecules that act like ACE inhibitors in the body.14,15 ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor) make up a class of pharmaceutical drugs that open blood vessels. Because ACE inhibitors are used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, scientists are exploring the use of kefir as a “functional food.”
Surprisingly, coconut water kefir is quite simple to make and enjoy at home, once you get the hang of the prep process. Body Ecology’s step-by-step tutorial makes fermenting fresh coconut water easy.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Kefir is an ancient, beneficial cultured beverage. In fact, the word “kefir” comes from the Turkish word for “good feeling.” In the initial stages of the Body Ecology Diet, you can make kefir with coconut water instead of milk using the Kefir Starter Culture to avoid irritating milk proteins, like casein.
Coconut water kefir is full of beneficial microbes and powerful metabolites found in coconut water. It can provide a multitude of benefits, like:
- Alleviate kidney stones with high potassium levels found in coconut water.
- Protect heart health against high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, blood clots, and heart attack.
- Guard against food-borne pathogens with seven different strains of probiotic bacteria and yeast.
- Control opportunistic yeast growth, like Candida.
- May fight cancer and boost immunity with probiotic chemical messages.
- May reduce the spread of cancerous cells.
You can make and enjoy coconut water kefir at home — our handy tutorial will walk you through the fermentation process, step-by-step.
- Lopitz-Otsoa, F., Rementeria, A., Elguezabal, N., & Garaizar, J. (2006). Kefir: A symbiotic yeasts-bacteria community with alleged healthy capabilities. Revista iberoamericana de micología, 23, 67-74.
- Campbell-Falck, D., Thomas, T., Falck, T. M., Tutuo, N., & Clem, K. (2000). The intravenous use of coconut water. The American journal of emergency medicine, 18(1), 108-111.
- Petroianu, G. A., Kosanovic, M., Shehatta, I. S., Mahgoub, B., Saleh, A., & Maleck, W. H. (2004). Green coconut water for intravenous use: trace and minor element content. The Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine, 17(4), 273-282.
- Karthikeyan, J., & Samipillai, S. S. (2010). Sugarcane in therapeutics. Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology, 4(1), 9-14.
- Yong, J. W., Ge, L., Ng, Y. F., & Tan, S. N. (2009). The chemical composition and biological properties of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) water. Molecules, 14(12), 5144-5164.
- Ulusoy, B. H., Çolak, H., Hampikyan, H., & Erkan, M. E. (2007). An in vitro study on the antibacterial effect of kefir against some food-borne pathogens. Türk Mikrobiyoloji Cemiyeti Dergisi, 37, 103-107.
- Carasi, P., Trejo, F. M., Pérez, P. F., De Antoni, G. L., & Serradell, M. D. L. A. (2012). Surface proteins from Lactobacillus kefir antagonize in vitro cytotoxic effect of Clostridium difficile toxins. Anaerobe, 18(1), 135-142.
- Kekkonen, R. A., Kajasto, E., Miettinen, M., Veckman, V., Korpela, R., & Julkunen, I. (2008). Probiotic Leuconostoc mesenteroides ssp. cremoris and Streptococcus thermophilus induce IL-12 and IFN-γ production. World journal of gastroenterology: WJG, 14(8), 1192.
- Maalouf, K., Baydoun, E., & Rizk, S. (2011). Kefir induces cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in HTLV-1-negative malignant T-lymphocytes. Cancer management and research, 3, 39.
- Beare-Rogers, J. L., Dieffenbacher, A., & Holm, J. V. (2001). Lexicon of lipid nutrition (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry, 73(4), 685-744.
- Kurtzman, C., Fell, J. W., & Boekhout, T. (Eds.). (2011). The yeasts: a taxonomic study (Vol. 1). Access Online via Elsevier.
- Muramatsu, M., Obata, S., & Shimizu, S. (2005). U.S. Patent No. 6,974,685. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- Albuquerque, P., & Casadevall, A. (2012). Quorum sensing in fungi-a review. Medical Mycology, 50(4), 337-345.
- García-Tejedor, A., Sánchez-Rivera, L., Castelló-Ruiz, M., Recio, I., Salom, J. B., & Manzanares, P. (2014). Novel antihypertensive lactoferrin-derived peptides produced by Kluyveromyces marxianus: gastrointestinal stability profile and in vivo angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
- García-Tejedor, A., Padilla, B., Salom, J. B., Belloch, C., & Manzanares, P. (2013). Dairy yeasts produce milk protein-derived antihypertensive hydrolysates. Food Research International.