Why You Should Make Fermented Coconut Water
Although the health benefits of coconut water are abundant, on its own, it may be too sweet for some—particularly anyone with autoimmunity, cancer, candida or major blood-sugar imbalances. However, by making fermented coconut water, this healthy beverage becomes very medicinal and suitable for all.
Coconut water contains natural sugars, which can provide energy but also potentially feed viruses and pathogenic yeast like Candida. Drinking it would could potentially make the blood too acidic and encourage the progression of any pathogens or cancer cells.
The idea of making fermented coconut water was originated by Donna Gates from Body Ecology. Because the mineral content of coconut water is so similar to that of animal’s milk, she had the idea that it may ferment similarly to the way milk is fermented to make Kefir—a probiotic beverage.
Added benefits of fermented coconut water
Coconut kefir comes with all the benefits of raw coconut water with the added benefits of probiotics, enzymes, and more bio-available nutrients. It also happens to be sugar-free making it great for just about anyone, even those with advanced illness. When fermented with kefir grains or a starter culture, the coconut water becomes slightly sour, sweet and fizzy like a champagne-like beverage.
Additionally, because it comes with the added benefits of probiotics it becomes that much more healing. Here are some health benefits of fermented coconut water:
1. A source of probiotics
The gut biome contains trillions of cells of bacteria, both good and bad. In order to maintain optimal immunity, we must have a ratio of about 85:15 of good to bad bacteria. Coconut kefir is a fermented food that is naturally rich in probiotics. Two ounces of this magic liquid can contain up to 200 trillion cells of healthy bacteria.
2. It aids digestion of all foods
The probiotic bacteria in our intestines are responsible for the assimilation of nutrients. Getting enough probiotics into the system will ensure better nutrition absorption. Coconut kefir also contains live enzymes that help break down food in the stomach.
3. It can flatten the stomach
A bloated, pudgy stomach may be the result of poor digestion. When the intestines are inflamed or food isn’t being fully digested, it can create the appearance of a larger stomach than normal. Coconut kefir can sooth the intestines and improve digestion, resulting in a flatter stomach.
4. It cleanses the liver
In ancient Chinese medicine the liver rules all—it is the governing organ of the body. It particularly affects the condition of the skin, eyes, and joints. Coconut water kefir alleviates achy joints by cooling the liver. In order to keep glowing skin, it is as simple as getting the liver healthy.
Coconut kefir is said to cleanse and tonify this precious organ. Many people—including myself—have noticed blemishes, acne, scaring and pigmentation fading when drinking this regularly. The vision is also likely to improve as a result of cleansing the liver.
5. Healthier hair
This beverage contains more than probiotics and enzymes, it comes with very bio-available minerals that are essential for healthy hair. Minerals like potassium, natural sodium, calcium, and magnesium, which make the hair stronger and more shiny.
6. Beneficial to the endocrine system
This system is a combination of glands (Pituitary, Penile and Adrenal axis), which plays a big role in hormone production and staying youthful. The probiotic beverage seems to cleanse and purify the endocrine system. Some women report having lighter more comfortable periods and more balanced moods while consuming coconut kefir.
7. More energy
Sometimes energy can be improved via simple hydration. There is no other beverage I know of that is quite as hydrating as raw coconut water. Fermenting it makes it that much more beneficial and the electrolytes that much more available to hydrate. This means an energy increase and an overall better sense of well-being.
How to make coconut kefir
When making coconut kefir (fermented coconut water), you are using the raw coconut water (not the milk) to get a fizzy, probiotic beverage. To do so, you’ll first need to know how to choose and crack open those coconuts.
- Picking the right coconuts. Generally speaking, you want Thai coconuts to make fermented coconut water. These are the white coconuts found in Asian markets or health food stores. Get at least one large one or make them in bulk getting nine of them at a time. Look out for any brown or discoloration on the surface, this may mean mold.
- Crack your coconuts. Normally, you would use a large cleaver to crack these coconuts open. However, now you have two less intimidating options. You can purchase raw coconut water in a bottle and avoid the cracking process or you can get a Coco Jack, which is a very handy tool to open the tops of the coconuts. Otherwise, just take a heavy cleaver, and crack the top (pointed part) of the coconut on four sides, making a small square opening. Peel the top back and pour into a sterile glass jar through a strainer.
- Using the water from about 3 coconuts, you will now add your starter culture or grains. I prefer water kefir grains because they grow over time; however, these need more maintenance and you will actually want to do batches of plain water kefir in between to keep them alive. So for convenience, you can use a starter culture. You can find these online or at Bodyecology.com. Add 1 package of starter to room temperature coconut water.
- Stir this mixture with a sterile wooden spoon. Cap the Mason jar and let it sit in a stable, warm 70 degrees for 36 hours. If using kefir grains, you’ll only need 8-15 hours as they ferment faster. You’ll know that it’s done because the color changes to something more white and there is some bubble action going on. You can even pop the top and check for fizz and pressure.
How to enjoy coconut kefir
Now you’re ready to go but how do you consume this fermented coconut water concoction? Well, it’s fantastic on its own. It tastes sort of like a soda. However, add some fresh lemon juice and a bit of stevia to it for a probiotic lemonade and you’ll have a fancy, healing beverage.
You can also add a half-cup to smoothies and juices for a probiotic-enhanced beverage. I like to add herbs like fresh ginger juice and turmeric for a healing tonic. You can also add low-sugar juices like black currant, cranberry or pomegranate for a pleasant tasting breakfast juice that is not overly sweet and will wake up the digestive system.
Because this beverage is very alive with probiotic bacteria, start off slow with a few ounces and increase over time as your digestive tract becomes more balanced with beneficial bacteria.