Coconut kefir. The words just roll off the tongue, don’t they? Just like the flavors of this delicious, probiotic food. Home to around 30 strains of good bacteria, this superfood is a gluten-free, dairy-free and lactose-free tangy drink made with kefir grains and fermented coconut milk.
Like probiotic-heavy yogurt, coconut kefir health benefits include the ability to strengthen the immune system, improve the digestive system, and fight infection. It’s a healthy addition to any diet to ensure that the body gets the probiotics it needs to stay healthy.
Coconut Kefir Health Benefits
1. Boosts the Immune System
First, we know the immune system resides in the gut. And we know that a healthy microbiome — that good gut bacteria — supports immune fuction. So it’s no wonder that probiotic-rich coconut kefir provides the body with a natural immune system boost. In fact, kefir is known as one of the best probiotic foods in the world. It helps defend the body against harmful bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli, as well as yeast overgrowth, like candida. The powerful probiotics it contains may even help heal external wounds. (1)
2. Improves the Digestive System
Because those strains of beneficial bacteria reside in the gut, it makes sense that coconut kefir will improve digestive health. In general, the probiotics in coconut kefir work to encourage healthy digestion to prevent constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. But it has another important benefit: reducing kidney stones. Part of digestion is proper elimination of excess minerals and waste products. Coconut kefir moves everything through. In addition, the lauric acid in coconut kefir converts to monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin helps protect the body from gastrointestinal infections, worms, and viruses. (2, 3)
3. Helps Control Allergies and Asthma
Consuming coconut kefir on a regular basis can help control allergies and asthma. Coconut kefir health benefits include reduced inflammation. By reducing inflammatory cells in the lungs and air passages, as well as mucus buildup, coconut kefir can help keep allergies and asthma attacks at bay. (4)
4. Fights Cancer
Just as probiotics support the immune system in the gut so, too, do they protect against chronic disease. Coconut kefir health benefits include the ability to fight off diseases, like cancer. Kefir provides the body with helpful bacteria that work to slow the growth of tumors and reduce cancer cells. Studies have shown that coconut water’s antiviral properties also help fight cancer. (5)
5. Is Lactose-Free
Naturally, a kefir made from coconut milk or coconut water will be dairy and, therefore, lactose free. As a result, this probiotic drink is a great alternative for those who must be dairy free. Clearly, coconut kefir is a safe option for those who suffer from lactose intolerance, dairy intolerance, or dairy allergies. On top of that, dairy may contribute to arthritic pain, so dairy-free alternatives are crucial. The natural sugar in coconut water can be broken down by the kefir grains and made into a delicious, healthy beverage without dairy or lactose. (6)
6. Provides Potassium
Here’s another surprise. One serving of coconut water contains as much potassium as four bananas. Wow! So making kefir from coconut water adds a nice boost of energy. Furthermore, the body uses potassium to improve bone health, lower blood pressure levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke. Health benefits also include a reduced risk of inflammatory diseases, thanks to coconut’s natural anti-inflammatory properties. Last but not least, including this probiotic drink in your daily diet can also help reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. (7, 8)