Water Kefir Grains (Image on right), have gel like consistency. Water kefir is the results of fermentation of sugar solution by kefir grain which contains of lactic acid, acetic acid and yeasts, which produce important molecules such as polypeptide, polysaccharide, organic acid, and other compounds. According to the previous findings about kefir and other fermented foods, water kefir can provide benefit microorganisms and bioactive molecules.
Kefir Water can be a good source of natural antioxidants. Studies have shown antioxidant activity of water kefir and suggest this activity is due to the presence of lactic acid, acetic acid bacteria, and yeasts in water kefirs with intracellular and extracellular metabolites existing in the water kafir.
Research has found that kefir contains kefiran, a polysaccharide associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol in animal studies. It’s also loaded with B vitamins and tryptophan, which fend off stress and produce a calming effect.
The probiotics found in kefir help protect us against many infections. One of these probiotics is Lactobacillus kefir, a probiotic exclusive to kefir.
According to studies, Lactobacillus kefir can stop the growth and fight bad bacteria in the body, including E. coli, Helicobacter Pylori, and Salmonella.
Water Kefir is good source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that live on the lining of the intestines and are responsible for important tasks such as immune support, crowding out bad bacteria, and improving digestion and gut health, as well as many more things crucial to good health.
Some of the other things probiotics help with:
Some health benefits of Kefir?
Some people find that kefir improves their digestion, potentially due to its probiotic content. Probiotics may help restore balance in the gut, thereby improving digestion. Those with a diagnosed condition such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should consult with a GP or dietician before introducing fermented foods because, in some cases, they can make symptoms worse.
May support weight loss
Obesity has been linked to an imbalance in gut bacteria. However, which strain of bacteria has an effect is less clear. Some evidence suggests the lactobacillus species, or LAB group, like those found in kefir are associated with changes in weight.
Promotes bone health
Traditional kefir made from cow’s milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin K, nutrients that are both important for bone health. As we get older, our bones become weaker, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially in post-menopausal women. Kefir, along with other dairy products, is a useful source of dietary calcium.
Inflammation is involved in a number of diseases such as IBD or rheumatoid arthritis. The anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of probiotics have been reported in some studies, although this is an emerging area of research. It does appear that the LAB bacteria are anti-inflammatory but whether that translates directly to kefir is still unknown.
The nutritional composition of kefir varies widely and is influenced by water composition, the origin and composition of the grains used, the time/temperature of fermentation and storage conditions. The nutritional composition of kefir is:
Acetic acid bacteria
Lactococcus lactis cremoris
Lactococcus lactis biovar
People always ask about the “sugar” in water kefir? Here’s what I suggest. Next time you prepare your “kefir water wash”(sugar water), before you place the Kefir grains into it “Taste it” yes it will taste very sweet; but after 24/48 hours the water taste completely different. The resulting liquid is actually not very sugary at all, because the Kefir grains metabolise (eat) 80% of the sugar in the first ferment. Kefir Grains are alive, if you treat them well they will thrive; kefir grains are very sturdy and can survive most things except starvation and extreme heat.
How to make 1 litre water Kefir:
1. Place a Litre of mineral water (Not tap) in a glass jar (room temp)
2. Put 8 tablespoons of sugar into the water and stir, some people recommend heating the water for sugar to dissolve, I don’t and I never had any problems with the results.
3. Place approx. 40g of kefir grains in the sugar/water and stir.
4. Place porous cloth or kitchen roll over top of jar and secure with elastic.
5. Leave at room temperature for 24/48 hours depending on the temp of your home (not in direct sunlight)
That’s it not hard, not complicated; just easy. When your fermenting time is up your kefir water is almost ready for dinking, using a plastic sieve (not metal) place over a jug/jar and pour everything in the grains remain in the sieve and water ends up in the jug! Now it’s ready to drink. This is when you can do a 2nd fermentation and add some flavouring and give it a little fizz. Instructions below:
1. Pour your kefir water into a bottle with a secure flip top
2. Add dried or fresh fruit into the bottle and secure top.
3. Leave at room temp for 24/48 hours
4. Check regularly and release excess fizz (slightly open top)
5. When 2nd ferment completes place in fridge to cool before drinking.
Water Kefir will ferment much faster in warmer conditions. Recommend burping (opening bottle top to release pressure) once a day normally. Temperatures above 75°F, burp bottles more frequently. Once refrigerated, chilled bottles need only be burped weekly.