Water Kefir: Benefits Of This Vegan, Dairy-Free Probiotic Drink And How To Make It At Home

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: March 05, 2019 10:48 IST

Water Kefir: Benefits Of This Vegan, Dairy-Free Probiotic Drink And How To Make It At Home
  • Water kefir is made by adding kefir granules to sugar water
  • Water kefir is a probiotic drink which is rich in gut-healthy bacteria
  • Water kefir is quite palatable and can be flavoured

Health freaks around the world are quite familiar with the fermented dairy product - kefir - which is rich in gut-friendly bacteria and is consumed for maintaining health of the immune system as well as for boosting digestion. Kefir is made by fermenting milk with a yeast or bacterial fermentation starter. It is prepared by injecting kefir grains in the milk from cow, goat or sheep. Similarly, water kefir is another probiotic drink, which has multiple health benefits and may be used to boost gut health and by extension, digestive health. Just like regular kefir, water kefir can also be brewed at home using a few simple ingredients.

Water Kefir Benefits

Water kefir is also known as tibicos, Japanese water crystals or California bees. It is prepared by combining filtered water with sugar and adding kefir grains to the mix. The drink takes a time period of about 48 hours to be ready. But, before going into the details of how to brew water kefir at home, let's take a look at why you should be preparing it for consumption in the first place. Looks like a lemonade, but slightly less acidic, water kefir is one of the fermented drinks that is brimming with various health-promoting properties. 

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Here Are Some Incredible Benefits Of Preparing And Consuming Water Kefir At Home:

1. Boosts Immune System

It's a well-known fact that gut bacteria plays a crucial role in boosting the immunity of the body. Kefir is an even better source of beneficial bacteria than yogurt or curd, with some of the most common families of bacteria being Streptococci, Lactococci, Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus.

2. Dairy-Free, Vegan Source Of Probiotics

Due to its water base, this drink is good for vegans, who want to stay away from dairy and dairy products for health purposes or otherwise. It is also great for people who are lactose-intolerant, and hence, are not able to consume dairy products.

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3. Improves Overall Health

Kefir has been known to prevent the growth of certain types of cancer cells, reducing risk of breast cancer, blood cancer and colon cancer. There has been some research into the impacts of kefir on cancer cells, which reflects positively on the inclusion of kefir in daily diet. Moreover, probiotic bacteria have also been known to reduce risk of certain intestinal infections and even prevent recurrence of urinary tract infections.


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How To Make Water Kefir At Home

All you need to make water kefir at home is some water, kefir grains and sugar. Dissolve one-fourth cup of sugar in a half cup hot water to make sugar syrup. Add this sugar syrup to about three cups of room temperature water in a jar (preferably glass jar), along with kefir grains and stir the mixture. Cover your jar and keep it in a warm place. Allow the jar to sit undisturbed for one or two days, to let is ferment properly. Strain the fermented sugar water at the end of the fermentation period and store the collected product in an air-tight container for consumption. The water kefir grains from this batch can be used for fermentation of sugar water in the next batch as well.

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The taste of water kefir is quite palatable and you can add some mint leaves or lemon juice to your water kefir drink to enhance its taste and flavour. Water kefir has not been known to cause any major or long-lasting side effects. However, some people have experienced a spell of constipation, cramps or nausea, which also subside after continued consumption of water kefir. If you are prone to frequent digestive issues, consult your doctor or nutritionist before adding water kefir to your diet.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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