Kiwis can now take advantage of the health-boosting properties of coconut water kefir, a probiotic drink that’s renowned for supporting a strong immunity and good digestion.
The Kefir Company is selling its locally-produced kefir (fermented coconut water) in 300ml and 500ml bottles at stockists throughout New Zealand.
Managing director Anita Kyle, who founded the company with her husband Terry, says New Zealanders are becoming more aware of the health benefits of fermented food, but many people haven’t heard of kefir, an ancient cultured drink rich in B vitamins, amino acids, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. "Kefir means ‘feel good’ in Turkish and that’s just how you will feel after drinking it in the morning," she says.
As well as aiding digestion, colonising the intestinal tract and boosting immunity, kefir has been known to support the nervous system and regulate the body’s response to cravings for sugar or carbs, help balance mood, regulate menstruation, maintain healthy hair, nails and skin and cleanse the endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary and ovaries).
"It’s a must-have after antibiotic use," says Anita.
Kefir is great for those starting out on their fermented-food journey as most people find the taste and texture easy to tolerate.
The Kefir Company makes the drinks in Auckland, fermenting raw unpasteurised coconut water with a kefir starter that’s full of microflora to ‘eat up’ the sugar during the fermentation process, leaving only good bacteria to grow.
Available in four flavours (original, pineapple, lime and watermelon), the kefir, which has a slightly fizzy taste, can be taken ‘straight up’ or mixed with a smoothie. It’s recommended that adults begin by taking 30ml a day and work their way up to 60 to 80ml daily for women and 100ml daily for men. Coconut water kefir is also suitable for children - it’s one of the natural therapies Anita and Terry use to manage their children’s autism and Anita says it can help with gut issues, allergies, eczema and constipation, even in very young children. The dosage is much smaller - babies would have an eye-dropper of kefir each day, building to 10mls a day for a one-year-old.
The Kefir Company kefir is available in a 300ml bottle (RRP$17) and a 500ml bottle (RRP$26). For more information or to find a stockist near you, head to thekefircompany.co.nz
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