What is water kefir?
Water kefir (pronounced kee-fer or kuh-fear depending on who you listen to!) is a fermented beverage which acts as an intense probiotic, in a similar way to those expensive little pots of probiotic drinks you can buy in the supermarket which typically contain a few healthy bacteria, as opposed to kefir which contains more than 30.
Water kefir is made from water kefir ‘grains’ which are actually a mixture of bacteria, yeast, protein and sugar. The grains are grown in filtered water and ferment over a few days until ready to drink. Water kefir has a mild slightly sweet taste and is slightly carbonated. Everyone can drink water kefir, young, old, even pregnant women. Water kefir does not contain dairy or gluten. Diabetics can drink water kefir as long as they monitor their blood sugar regularly.
Why do we need kefir?
Our gut is naturally full of bacteria, which should ideally be balanced with ‘good’ and ‘bad'. This bacteria is vital for digesting food, developing our immune system and generally keeping us in good health. If our gut bacteria is out of balance, which is all too common in an age where we routinely take antibiotics and eat so much processed food then drinking water kefir or consuming other fermented food can be a way of achieving a healthy gut.
Health benefits of water kefir
In recent years there have been many studies into the health benefits of a healthy gut and it is now believed this can improve our digestion which has a healing effect on IBS including bloating, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation and leaky gut, it can reduce inflammation and allergies, it can restore balance to our skin and improve skin conditions such as acne and eczema, and generally promote optimum health.
How much water kefir should I drink?
Kefir is best served with ice
It is best to introduce water kefir slowly, starting with half a glass or so once a day gradually allowing your gut to adjust and increasing eventually to between one and four glasses per day. Water kefir can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Where can I buy water kefir?
Water kefir grains are available to buy at Gym & Tonic allowing you to can make your own, alternatively a limited amount of bottled water kefir is also available for £5 for the first bottle and £4 thereafter with a returned empty bottle. It can also be made to order. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to a member of the team for more info!