I can’t quite remember where I first heard about coconut kefir, but I do remember what made me look into it enough to try it. Donna Gate’s important book about controlling candida, The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity, was my catalyst.
For 21 days so far, I have followed her guidelines. I have suspected for quite a while that I have a Candida Albicans overgrowth. I have experienced many of the symptoms, and if they weren’t enough to prove it to me, actually experiencing the drug-addiction-like withdrawl from sugar the first week, did. See, sugar is the food for yeast and without it, yeast will die off and the yeast doesn’t want to die so the cravings are off the charts.
I cannot explain how important this experience was for me. It was shocking. The changes I see in my body, strength, focus and sleep so far have me almost convinced to never eat sugar again. While I know that is definitely not possible, and that once I get control over the candida overgrowth I can have sugar here and there again, my feelings about sugar have changed. I look forward to the benefits of keeping it to a minimum in my diet and truly enjoying it when I occasionally “go there.” As Dr. Jenna Taylor said in a recent YU interview, “When you see [changes] firsthand, it is always more meaningful.”
One of the important ways to keep a candida overgrowth from occurring is to populate your intestinal microflora with plenty of the ”good guys”—probiotics. Probiotics are the organisms that help your body defend against disease causing bacteria, viruses, yeast and other unwelcome and dangerous invaders. You want more probiotics than yeast in your gut to keep a healthy balance, which results in a strong immune system. Say goodbye to colds, folks!
Taking probiotics also encourage the growth of other friendly bacteria in the gut or intestines. They do this by attacking microbes that are not good for the body and destroying them. Probiotics also compete for food that organisms like Candida Albicans thrive on. This competition for food ensures that all the microbes do not dominate the body and a balance is maintained.
You can easily take probiotics is capsule or powder form, but you can also prepare “food tools” to create a vibrant inner ecosystem. Coconut kefir yogurt and fermented beverages, in addition to fermented veggies, are a way to do this.
Traditional kefir is made with dairy and kefir grains (bacterial colonies), and while I am completely behind the probiotic benefits, dairy is acid-forming and not for me. Plus, I’m not a baby cow, but I digress.
To make non-dairy kefir you can ferment the water in a fresh young coconut to create a champagne-like, fizzy probiotic beverage and/or blend the highly digestible, enzyme- and protein-rich meat into a pudding and ferment it into yogurt. The liquid of the young coconut has an abundance of minerals and electrolytes. Check out this list of coconut kefir benefits from The Body Ecology:
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It stops your cravings for sugar.
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It aids digestion of all foods
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It has a tonifying affect on the intestines and flattens the abdomen
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It appears to cleanse the liver. In Chinese medicine, the liver rules the skin, eyes, and joints. Coconut water kefir eases aches and joint pains. Many people report having a prettier complexion. They experience the brown liver spots on the skin fading away and skin tags, moles, or warts drying up and disappearing. Vision also improves.
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It contains high levels of valuable minerals, including potassium, natural sodium, and chloride, which explains why the hair, skin and nails become stronger and have a prettier shine.
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It appears to have a beneficial, cleansing effect on the endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, ovaries). Women find that their periods are cleaner and healthier; some who had experienced early menopause have found this important monthly cleansing returning again.
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It increases energy and gives you an overall feeling of good health.
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I have experienced many, if not all, of these benefits so far this month.
Over the past year or so, I have tried many of the methods you can to make coconut kefir—starter packs, kefir grains and probiotic capsules. Over the next few days, I will be posting the simple recipes that I use for making coconut kefir two ways—yogurt and beverage. All without the commitment of maintaining kefir grains, or the cost of purchasing kefir starter kits.
Try making your own:
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