More on Parasites

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Did you know that there is actually a very good chance that you could have a yeast or parasite infestation?

The human body is literally crawling with hundreds of strains of yeasts and bacteria. The digestive track alone holds more than three pounds of bacteria. In the right balance, these bacteria are necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in the gut, are a form of bacteria, though they have a tremendous positive impact on our health.

When these beneficial bacteria in the digestive track get out of balance, problems begin. A large number of factors can facilitate the disruption of this balance of bacteria, including diet, certain medications, stress, contact with infected sources, and others.

The body is also host to yeast, which is naturally occurring and not specifically dangerous in proper amounts. Yeast overgrowth, on the other hand, which is rampant in today’s world, can have a tremendous negative impact on overall health and fertility. Many people are (unfortunately) familiar with vaginal yeast infections, but these infections are often symptomatic of a much larger body-wide infection.

The most disturbing invaders to our bodies, in my opinion, are parasites, though sadly, most people carry these guys around too. Studies have found that most people, especially those with chronic diseases and cancer, are host to at least one kind or parasite.

Parasites can range from tiny organisms, visible only by microscope to long tapeworms (several feet long).  They can enter the body through food, drink, contact with animals or infected person, or even just skin contact, and parasite infections can last for years.

How Do We Get Yeast and Parasites?

Yeast and parasites can enter the body a variety of ways, depending on the type. Candida Albicanis, the most common and difficult to remove type of yeast, occurs naturally in the body in small amounts.

When a person eats lots of glucose and fructose (remember the body turns all sugars, starches, grains, and even fruit into glucose for digestion), it feeds the normally occurring yeasts and parasites and allows them to multiply abundantly. Some pharmaceuticals, and especially hormonal birth control and antibiotics, can deplete the digestive track of the beneficial bacteria needed to keep yeast and parasites in check, and lead to an overgrowth or infestation.

Yeast especially, can multiply rapidly in the presence of any high carbon substances like sugar. Yeasts are also able to convert sugar into alcohol in the body, just as it does in the beer and wine fermentation process. This is one reason that people with severe yeast overgrowth experience symptoms like brain fog, lightheadedness, and nausea.

Treating yeasts, parasites, and other fungi in the body is a three step process. First, the invaders themselves must be killed, then they (and the toxins they created) must be flushed from the body, and finally, the body must be supported in healing and regenerating itself.

How to Tell If You Have Yeast or Parasites

There are many symptoms directly or indirectly associated with yeast and parasite overgrowth. If you have several of these symptoms, there is a really good chance that you have an infestation or overgrowth.

Symptoms of Yeast and Parasite Overgrowth:

  • Lowered immune system and constant illness
  • Rectal itching, especially at night
  • More than one vaginal yeast infection
  • Sores on the mouth or lips or white spots inside mouth
  • Constant tiredness
  • Difficulty sleeping and waking up
  • Toe fungus or athletes foot
  • Bloating and gas
  • Allergies
  • Sensitivity to food or chemicals
  • Sensitivity to the smell of strong perfumes or cigarette smoke
  • Rashes or itching around genitals in men or women
  • Recurrent bladder infections
  • Food cravings, especially for sweet or starchy foods
  • Intestinal cramps
  • Endometriosis
  • Psoriasis or eczema
  • History of antibiotic use
  • History of steroid use including inhalant or asthma medication
  • History of contraceptive use
  • Brain fog or mental fuzziness
  • Menstrual irregularities including irregular periods, heavy bleeding, cramps, PMS, or anovulation
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Floaters or spots in the eyes
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Previous or current cigarette smoking
  • Use of fluoride or consumption of fluoridated water
  • History of high sugar/carbohydrate consumption

If left untreated, Candida, yeast, and parasite overgrowth have been linked to a plethora of chronic conditions. Yeast and Parasites are often found in people with the following conditions:

  • Infertility or permanent fertility damage
  • Cancer
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Kidney Stones
  • Chron’s Disease
  • Skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Digestive problems of all kinds

Natural Remedies for Yeast and Parasite Infestation

The good news is that there are some natural treatments that are effective at helping the body kill and remove yeast and parasites. If you suspect that you have an overgrowth, you might consider some of the treatments below:

Dietary Adjustments- If you do have yeast or parasites, any sugars at all can feed an infestation and make removal very uncomfortable. If you are embarking on a natural treatment for Candida, fungi or parasites, remove all sources of natural sugar from you diet, including sources like honey and fruits. Some Stevia is ok once in a while, but avoid anything that gives the body a sugar source and feeds yeast or parasites. Consider also avoiding dairy for 1-2 weeks to give you body a boost.

Sweat- As your body kills off parasites and yeast, their by-products must be removed from the body, along with the toxins that they might have bound to. Some of these are best removed through the sweat glands, so let your body sweat by exercising, taking cayenne supplements and getting in hot tubs or saunas during the healing process.

Diatomaceous Earth- This is a naturally occurring substance that has amazing ability to kill parasites, yeast and parasite eggs. It is naturally high in silica, which is necessary for hair, nail and skin growth, and has other trace minerals as well. It can also help restore body tissue and improve digestion. If you decide to take this supplementally, start with 1 tsp per day in 8 ounces of water and work up to 1-2 TBSP a day until yeast symptoms disappear. Read info below on Herxheimers reaction! Also, make sure to use food grade Diatomaceous earth! More info here.

Apple Cider Vinegar- Another easy and effective remedy for Candida and parasites. Apple Cider Vinegar is high in B-vitamins and very nourishing to the body. It help the body’s pH neutralize and improves digestion. It is well known for killing yeast and improving skin condition. Some people are leery of vinegar, as a fermented product, when they have a yeast infection. While some fermented products like beer and wine can feed yeast, Apple Cider Vinegar undergoes a much different fermentation process and produces a completely different reaction in the body. It tastes awful, but after taking it for a while, you will become more tolerant of the taste, and your body will start to crave it. Start with 1 tsp up to 3 times a day about 30 minutes before each meal (some people can’t handle it before breakfast!). If you handle this well, this dosage can be increased to a tablespoon.

Probiotics- Probiotics restore the helpful gut bacteria that is wiped out by yeast or parasites (or antibiotic or oral contraceptive use). Probiotics are necessary to restore proper intestinal flora, even after yeast and parasites have been removed. A high quality probiotic supplement should be included, taken according to product instruction. Do not take probiotics within an hour of Apple Cider Vinegar or Diatomaceous Earth! You might also consider drinks like Kombucha and Water Kefir to help build up probiotic levels, or whole plain full-fat yogurt.

Cinnamon- Cinnamon is a natural remedy for parasites and fungus. Take ½ tsp of a high quality cinnamon powder in water up to three times a day.

Vitamin C- Besides being an excellent antioxidant and immune support, Vitamin C is helpful in yeast/parasite removal. If you have symptoms of yeast and parasites, take 5,000 mg (5 grams) per day spread out in 2-3 doses. Do not take vitamin C at the same time as calcium/magnesium as they will neutralize each other. High consumption of Vitamin C may cause loose bowel movements, especially when yeast and parasites are being removed. This is not necessarily worrisome, but if it bothers you, adjust the dose down until symptoms go away.

Coconut Oil- Coconut Oil is naturally anti fungal and very nourishing to the body. Hopefully, you are using it in your cooking by now, but consider taking several tablespoons a day additional as an antifungal support. This will also help support the hormones and reproductive system. To make it easier to take, dissolve a couple tablespoons in a hot tea of choice and drink. The first couple sips will be coconut oil, and then you will just taste the tea.

Garlic- To help remove yeast and parasites, finely mince 1-2 cloves and drink in a cup of water before meals.

Olive Oil- Also an antifungal that supports removal of parasite and yeast waste. Add 1-2 TBSP or more to salads or veggies, or take supplementally.

Other Herbs known to help with yeast and parasites: Oregano Oil, Thyme, Peppermint, Rosemary, Olive Leaf Extract and Grapefruit Seed Extract.  If you have a severe case of yeast or parasites, consider using on of these potent herbs, but do your research first!

Herxheimer’s Reaction

I mentioned above that removal of yeast and parasites can be uncomfortable at times. This reaction, named after the German dermatologist who discovered it, is basically the discomfort caused by the die off of yeast and parasites and the body’s attempt to remove them. The faster you attempt to treat symptoms and the more potent remedies you take, the higher your chance of experiencing this reaction.

It is best to be on an anti yeast/parasite diet for several weeks before starting supplements to help minimize this reaction.  Starting with small doses of Apple Cider Vinegar and Diatomaceous Earth and then working up will also help keep die off symptoms at bay.

You may even find that you “catch a cold” a week or so after starting to treat your yeast and parasite symptoms. This is actually a mild Herxheimer reaction, and backing down supplements and drinking more water should help it pass quickly.

Other Important Notes

Removing yeast and parasites is a difficult job for your body. During this process, it is highly important that you support your body as much as possible with regular exercise, good diet, adequate sleep, and limiting exposure to toxins.

Soaking in an Epsom salt bath (1/2 cup Epsom salts in hot bath water) will also help remove toxins through the skin. Drinking enough water will help flush die off toxins out faster, and adequate sleep will give the body enough time to regenerate.

During this time, it is also vitally important that you do not consume sugar or carbs, as this will make the process much slower and much more uncomfortable. Consuming enough raw vegetables during this time will also help keep your energy levels up and clean the body faster. If you can stomach it, this is a veggie smoothie I drink daily.

A grain-free and sugar-free diet is vital in removing yeast and parasites from the body.

http://wellnessmama.com/1969/bugs-in-your-belly/

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Parasites

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Having a parasite can be a scary thought, but you’re not alone; parasites are far more common than you think. It’s a myth that parasites only exist in underdeveloped countries. In fact, the majority of the patients I see in my clinic have a parasite. As you will see, parasites can causing a myriad of symptoms, only a few of which are actually digestive in nature.

What is a parasite?

A parasite is any organism that lives and feeds off of another organism. When I refer to intestinal parasites, I’m referring to tiny organisms, usually worms, that feed off of your nutrition.

Some examples of parasites include roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms, whipworms, hookworms, and more. Because parasites come in so many different shapes and sizes, they can cause a very wide range of problems. Some consume your food, leaving you hungry after every meal and unable to gain weight. Others feed off of your red blood cells, causing anemia. Some lay eggs that can cause itching, irritability, and even insomnia. If you have tried countless approaches to heal your gut and relieve your symptoms without any success, a parasite could be the underlying cause for many of your unexplained and unresolved symptoms.

How do you get parasites?

There are a number of ways to contract a parasite. First, parasites can enter your body through contaminated food and water. Undercooked meat is a common place for parasites to hide, as well as contaminated water from underdeveloped countries, lakes, ponds, or creeks. However, meat is the not the only culprit. Unclean or contaminated fruits and vegetables can also harbor parasites. Some parasites can even enter the body by traveling through the bottom of your foot.

Once a person is infected with a parasite, it’s very easy to pass it along. If you have a parasite and don’t wash your hands after using the restroom, you can easily pass microscopic parasite eggs onto anything you touch — the door handle, the salt shaker, your phone, or anyone you touch. It’s also very easy to contract a parasite when handling animals. Hand washing is a major opportunity to prevent parasite contamination and transmission. Traveling overseas is another way that foreign parasites can be introduced to your system. If you consumed any contaminated water during your travels, you may have acquired a parasite of some kind.

10 Signs You May Have a Parasite

  1. You have an explained constipation, diarrhea, gas, or other symptoms of IBS
  2. You traveled internationally and remember getting traveler’s diarrhea while abroad
  3. You have a history of food poisoning and your digestion has not been the same since.
  4. You have trouble falling asleep, or you wake up multiple times during the night.
  5. You get skin irritations or unexplained rashes, hives, rosacea or eczema.
  6. You grind your teeth in your sleep.
  7. You have pain or aching in your muscles or joints.
  8. You experience fatigue, exhaustion, depression, or frequent feelings of apathy.
  9. You never feel satisfied or full after your meals.
  10. You’ve been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia.

The signs of a parasite can often appear unrelated and unexplained. As I mentioned previously, there are MANY different types of parasites that we are exposed to in our environments. I typically see parasites causing more constipation in patients than diarrhea, but some parasites are capable of changing the fluid balance in your gut and causing diarrhea. Trouble sleeping, skin irritations, mood changes, and muscle pain can all be caused by the toxins that parasites release into the bloodstream. These toxins often cause anxiety, which can manifest itself in different ways. For instance, waking up in the middle of the night or grinding your teeth in your sleep are signs that your body is experiencing anxiety while you rest. When these toxins interact with your neurotransmitters or blood cells, they can cause mood swings or skin irritation.

How to Test for Parasites

The best way to test for a parasite is to get a stool test. Most doctors will run a conventional stool test if they suspect a parasite, however these are not as accurate as the comprehensive stool tests that we use in functional medicine.

Conventional Ova and Parasite Stool Test

Conventional stool tests can identify parasites or parasite eggs in your stool, yet this test comes with many limitations. The problem with this test is that it is only conditionally successful. This test requires three separate stool samples that must be sent to the lab for a pathologist to view under a microscope. Parasites have a very unique life cycle that allows them to rotate between dormant and alive. In order to identify them in this conventional test, the stool sample must contain a live parasite, the parasite must remain alive as the sample ships to the lab, and the pathologist must be able to see the live parasite swimming across the slide. While these can certainly be useful tests for some people, they are unable to identify dormant parasites, and therefore I often see a high number of false negatives with this type of stool test.

Functional Medicine Comprehensive Stool Test

In my practice, I use a comprehensive stool test on all of my patients. The comprehensive test is much more sensitive than the conventional stool test because it uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology to amplify the DNA of the parasite if there is one. This means that the parasite can actually be dead or in its dormant phase and it will be detected on this test. Because this test utilizes PCR technology, it isn’t reliant on a pathologist seeing a live parasite swimming on the slide. I frequently diagnose parasites in my patients that were missed on conventional stool tests.

How to Treat Parasites

The comprehensive stool test is able to identify 17 different parasites, so when I know which parasite my patient has, I use prescription medications that target specific species of parasites. If, however, the parasite cannot be identified, I usually use a blend of herbs, including magnesium caprylate, berberine, and extracts from tribulus, sweet wormwood, grapefruit , barberry, bearberry, and black walnut. You can typically find an herbal combination at a compounding pharmacy or though my website. In general, these herbal formulas provide a broad spectrum of activity against the most common pathogens present in the human GI tract, while sparing the beneficial gut bacteria. Before starting an anti-parasite herbal supplement, I recommend you consult your physician and have your liver enzymes checked if you have a history of liver disease, heavy alcohol use or previous history of elevated liver enzymes.

If you think you might have a parasite, I encourage you find a functional medicine physician in your area so that they can order a comprehensive stool test for you. My motto is, It all starts in your gut and your gut is the gateway to health. A healthy gut makes a healthy person.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11321/10-signs-you-may-have-a-parasite.html


Common Parasites

Here are the signs and symptoms of four common parasitic infections:

Trichinella: Infection with the microscopic parasite Trichinella leads to trichinellosis, also known as trichinosis. People contract the parasite by eating raw or undercooked meat from infected animals. Initial signs and symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal cramping. As the infection progresses over the course of about a week, symptoms may become more severe and include high fever, muscle pain and tenderness, swelling of the eyelids or face, weakness, headache, light sensitivity and pink eye (conjunctivitis).

Hookworm: Hookworm infects an estimated 576 to 740 million people worldwide and was once a common infection in the U.S., particularly in the southeast. Fortunately, the number of infections has dropped thanks to improved living conditions. Hookworms are a type of helminth, or parasitic worm, that you can get by walking barefoot on contaminated soil. Most people with a hookworm infection have no symptoms, but because the worm’s larvae can penetrate skin, an early sign of infection could be an itchy rash at the site of exposure. Digestive complaints may follow, with nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain that is worse after eating and increased flatulence. If infection persists, anemia and nutrient deficiencies may result.

Dientamoeba Fragilis: This parasite is one of the smaller parasites that can live in the large intestine. How it spreads is unclear, but is likely related to oral contact with infected fecal material (yet another reason to wash your hands before eating). In the acute infection, diarrhea and abdominal pain are the most common symptoms, with diarrhea being more predominant, lasting for one to two weeks. Stools tend to be greenish brown and watery or sticky. In chronic infection, abdominal pain is usually the dominant symptom, but people may also have loss of appetite, weight, nausea, vomiting, bloating or flatulence.

Pinworm: Pinworms are small, thin, white worms that most commonly infect children but are also contagious and may affect adults. The worm’s eggs may be carried to surfaces including hands, toys, bedding, clothing and toilet seats and must be ingested to cause infection. After an incubation period of at least one to two months, the main symptom is itching around the anus, which may be particularly bad at night. Disturbed sleep or abdominal pain may also result.

Natural Parasite Remedies

There are some natural remedies that may help you kick out the invaders as well. Keep reading to see if they could be right for you.

Garlic: Garlic has been shown to have antiparasitic and antihelminthic activity against a variety of different infections. In studies, garlic oil and garlic extract promoted immune defenses against parasites, and also helped to inhibit parasite function. Some experts suggest that two cloves of fresh garlic a day may help you fight off parasites, especially if you are traveling to countries where parasites are common. Anyone with a garlic allergy should not take garlic.

Wormwood tea: Studies suggest wormwood tea may also be effective against certain parasites, possibly by paralyzing or killing them. Some experts suggest that drinking wormwood tea three times a day for no more than 10 days may help with a parasitic infection. However, because wormwood is related to absinthe, make sure it is labeled “thujone-free” and be careful not to overuse it. It should also be used with caution in people with certain medical conditions. People with an allergy to wormwood, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take wormwood. Always consult your doctor before beginning use.

Black walnut: Black walnut extract may contain pigments that are toxic to parasites, and it may also soothe diarrhea and constipation. Some experts suggest that 1000 mg of black walnut extract taken three times a day with water for no longer than six weeks may help people suffering from parasites. However, those who are allergic and pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it. People with certain medical conditions, including kidney or liver disease, should use it cautiously, and long term use may be unsafe. Always talk to your doctor before beginning use of a new supplement or alternative treatment.

RECIPE: Jello / Gelatin Goodies

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I’ve been doing some research, and omg the possibilities…

Coconut Water Jello – Subbing fresh coconut water

Coconut Water Gummie

Ingredients:

3 cups coconut water

4 tbsp grass fed gelatin

1/2 tsp stevia powder extract

or 1 Tbsp honey

Directions:

Mix the coconut water and gelatin in a saucepan away from heat.

Turn on a burner to medium then place the pan over it.

Add the sweetener and stir the mixture for 5 minutes.

Pour into and 8×8 pan and refrigerated for two hours.

http://www.grassfedgirl.com/coconut-water-gummie-stars-low-carb-paleo-gluten-free-natural-gelatin-shapes/

Green Juice Detox Paleo Gelatin Gummies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup boiling water

4 tbsp grass fed gelatin

2 tbsp raw organic honey OR

1/2 tsp stevia powder extract

16 oz green juice (make your own or use store bought with low sugar)

(You can also mix a few scoops of this green powder with 2 cups of water)

Directions:

Mix the boiling water with the gelatin and sweetener in a large bowl until dissolved.

Slowly mix in the green juice to the dissolved gelatin.

Pour the mixture into a greased 8×8 glass dish and refrigerate for 1-2 hours ( or 30 min. in the freezer speeds it up)

http://www.grassfedgirl.com/green-juice-detox-gelatin-gummies-gluten-free-dairy-free-low-carb-paleo/

Paleo Egg Nog Gelatin Pudding

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 Tbsp grass fed gelatin, rounded

1 13 oz can coconut milk (about 2 cups)

3/4 tsp stevia powder extract

(Or 2 Tbsp honey for a higher carb version)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp gluten free vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix the water and gelatin together.

Pour the gelatin mixture into a saucepan with the the rest of the ingredients.

Heat the coconut mixture until it is hot then pour into pudding cups.

Refrigerate for one hour or until set.

http://www.grassfedgirl.com/egg-nog-gelatin-pudding-paleo-low-carb-gluten-and-grain-free/


Great Lakes Gelatin – Recipes

Grass Fed Girl – Gelatin Recipes

Food.com – Gelatin Recipes

60 Gelatin Recipes

Non-traditional Gelatin Recipes:

No Bake Egg Free Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Strawberry Banana Dessert Recipe

Jello Cookies

Easy Chocolate Keto Paleo Gelatin Pudding

Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome

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Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome

1. To re-balance gut bacteria, eliminate beans, grains, and sugars, including most fruit. Eat

primarily soups, (bone broths are ideal), fermented dairy (yogurt and kefir), free range eggs,

grass fed meats from organic grass-fed livestock and all the green vegetables you like.

2. Fermented Foods are a great way to re-populate the gut bacteria. Miso, kimchi, kombucha,

yogurt, kefir.

3. Take 1Tbsp organic raw tahini daily

4. Take 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil daily

5. Follow recipe below for real “Gell-O”. Eat several squares daily.

Real “GELL-O” Heals

Real ”Gell-O” made from protein collagen gelatin is incredibly healing to the lining of the gut. It

helps form collagen and contains the major amino acids lycine, glycine and proline shown to repair

the nervous system, the gut, hair, skin and nails. Gelatin can rehabilitate the gut by helping the body

make its own digestive enzymes—a crucial step in absorbing proteins, vitamins and minerals from

your food—and is very soothing to an agitated digestive tract.

The following recipe uses collagen protein gelatin from 100% organic, non-GMO grass fed cows.

Helps the body utilize proteins from other foods more fully

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

• One canister of Great Lakes unflavored Beef Gelatin (100% organic, non-GMO, grass-fed)

• Water

• Organic Stevia

• Herbal Tea Bags (your preference—some options are: herbal peach tea, black cherry,

tangerine, hibiscus, etc)

HOW TO MAKE GELL-O:

1) Boil 4 cups of water.

2) Add 3-4 tea bags; let tea bags steep for 4-5 minutes.

3) Take pot off burner and add one dropper full of stevia.

4) Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of gelatin (the container says 1 tbsp. per 2 cups of water)

5) Let it dissolve a little, then stir it. A frother may work well to mix it better.

TIPS AND IDEAS:

– Eat a few squares per day.

– Freeze to make Gell-O Pops

– Put Gell-O in smoothies

– Mix in Yogurts, Applesauce for kids


Great Lakes Unflavored Beef Gelatin

Leaky Gut

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4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease

Leaky gut syndrome is a rapidly growing condition that millions of people are struggling with and don’t even know it.  From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut syndrome only affects the digestive system but in reality it can lead to many other health conditions.

According to research, leaky gut could be the cause of your food allergies, low energy, joint pain, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions and slow metabolism.

In this article I will outline specifically how you can heal leaky gut syndrome and breakthrough the health problems you’ve been struggling with.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Think of the lining of your digestive tract like a net with extremely small holes in it that only allow specific substances to pass through.  Your gut lining works as a barrier keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system.

When someone has leaky gut (often referred to as increased intestinal permeability) the “net” in your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even bigger holes to develop in your net, so things that normally can’t pass through, are now be able to. Some of the things that can now pass through include proteins like glutenbad bacteria and undigested foods particlesToxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your blood stream causing an immune reaction.

This leads to inflammation throughout your system and can cause symptoms, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Food sensitivities
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Skin issues like rosacea and acne
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight gain
  • Syndrome X

Continue reading

Cultured Coconut Water/Keifer

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Coconut water kefir is a fantastic alternative to milk kefir for dairy-intolerant folks.  It is loaded with minerals and assists in healing the digestive system and the liver.  All in all, it’s a wonderful way to build up the immune system.

There are two ways to make coconut water kefir: 1) with a starter culture like Body Ecology or 2) with water kefir grains.  If you are immune compromised, I highly recommend starting your water kefir journey with a starter culture and then moving to grains once you get stronger.  Check out Young Coconut Kefir andYoung Coconut Kefir 2.0 for recipes using a starter culture.

If you are generally healthy or are budget conscious, making water kefir with grains is the way to go.

Supplies Needed:

  • 8 cups coconut water
    • Budget conscious option #1: water from 2 young coconuts + 1 L tetra pack of coconut water
    • Budget conscious option #2: 1-12 oz bottle of raw coconut water (Harmless Harvest or Exotic Superfoods) + 1 L tetra pack of coconut water
    • Budget conscious option #3: Buy a case of coconuts from your local Asian market.  My neighbors buy an entire case for $9.99!
    • Best quality: 8 cups Harmless Harvest or Exotic Superfoods raw coconut water

*I don’t recommend using all boxed coconut water because you will be missing out on all of the valuable enzymes found in raw coconut water.  Make sure at least 20% of your batch is raw.

Notes:

  • If you are using fresh coconuts, try to have them opened in the store to save yourself time.  Our local Whole Foods does this no problem.
  • You can use all fresh coconut or a combination of fresh and boxed coconut water.  When I was really sick, I used all Harmless Harvest or Exotic Superfoods coconut water because it’s the best quality and bottled super fresh.  Now, I use two fresh coconuts and then make up the difference with a 1-L bottle of boxed coconut water because it’s more budget-friendly.
  • Save the meat from your fresh coconuts to make yogurt!

Coconut-water-collage

Instructions:

Add 8 cups of coconut water to your 1/2 gallon jar.  When using fresh coconuts, always pour the water out of each coconut into a glass measuring cup before adding it into the fermentation jar to make sure it’s not pink.  If it’s pink, it’s not safe for fermenting.  Return it if you can!

Add 6 TBSP water kefir grains to the jar and cover it with a dishtowel.  Secure the dishtowel with a  rubber band and let it sit at room temperature for up to 48 hours.  Taste test it every 12 hours, because the fermentation time will depend on the temperature of your kitchen.

When it’s done, it will turn from clear to cloudy and be slightly effervescent.
At this point, you need to strain out the grains.  Place your wide mouth funnel on top of a clean 1/2 gallon mason jar and set your fine mesh strainer on top of the funnel.  Pour the finished kefir through the strainer to catch the grains.  Store the grains in the fridge in sugar water until you need them again.  I only do one batch a week, so mine hang out in the fridge the rest of the time.

Update: I am no longer putting them in the fridge between uses.  They were doing fine for a long time, but suddenly stopped growing.  It seems they don’t like being put into cold storage too frequently.  So, I have started making regular water kefir in between batches of coconut water kefir.  I use the regular water kefir to make my husband kefir soda.  He’s so happy I am making it again! I’ll post about that soon.

Secure your mason jar with a tight-fitting lid and transfer it to the refrigerator.  It is delicious served with a squeeze of lemon juice or a drop of lemon essential oil.*You can do a second ferment to flavor your kefir and add more carbonation, but my little one prefers hers plain, so I skip this step for now! No sense making extra work for myself.  Delicious options for second ferments include fresh strawberries or strawberry puree, lemon juice & fresh ginger, dried fruits such as raisins or cherries, and pomegranate concentrate.  I’ll have to share about second ferments in a future post!

http://www.thishouseofjoy.com/2014/04/24/how-to-make-coconut-water-kefir/


Cultured Coconut

For those who are dairy intolerant, cultured dairy products like yogurt and kefir must be avoided. However, many cultured products can be made with coconut milk or coconut water, to fit a variety of diets or dietary restrictions.

Coconut Water Kefir

Coconut water kefir can be made from either fresh coconut water from a young coconut or pasteurized coconut water found in aseptic containers from a health food store. Use Water Kefir Grains or a powdered Kefir Starter to culture coconut water.

NOTE: If culturing coconut water kefir using water kefir grains, the grains must first be activated and well-established using sugar water. Once the grains are making good water kefir alternate with batches of sugar water and coconut water, to keep the grains healthy.

If using fresh coconut water, choose young coconuts that are light in color rather than the older brown, fuzzy coconuts. Hold the coconut down firmly, pointy end facing your dominant hand and your other hand holding the coconut on its side. Use a serrated knife to saw off the husky at the pointy end until a couple of square inch area is removed or until the inner light brown husk is showing.

Very carefully saw off the top half inch which should create a lid revealing a 1-2 inch hole with the white inner meat exposed. When halfway into cutting off the lid, turn the coconut so that the lid faces upward, to keep the coconut water from spilling out.

Coconut Milk Kefir

If you desire a more milk-like cultured product, cultured coconut milk kefirmay be the answer. Use canned or boxed coconut milk, or make your ownhomemade coconut milk.

Coconut milk kefir is a bit thinner than yogurt and can be drunk plain or used in smoothies, parfaits, or desserts.

Coconut Milk Yogurt

Finally, you can make non-dairy yogurt using coconut milk and a variety of starter cultures. Non-dary milk requires a thickener to set into a spoonable yogurt. Try these recipes to get started, or choose a thickener that works for you:

Coconut Milk Yogurt using Gelatin as Thickener

Coconut Milk Yogurt using Pectin as Thickener

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/coconut-water-kefir-recipe/

The natural goodness of coconut water is further enhanced with the addition of probiotics from the water kefir culture.

Ingredients

  • 1 quart coconut water
  • 3 tablespoons water kefir grains
  • Optional flavoring: 1 cup fresh fruit (mixtures of berries, lemon, etc. work best)

Instructions

  1. Activate dehdyrated grains first using sugar water. Once the grains are making good water kefir using sugar water, they are ready to use with coconut water.
  2. Place the water kefir grains in the coconut water. Cover the jar loosely and allow the kefir grains to culture the coconut water for 24 to 48 hours. Once the culturing process is complete, remove the kefir grains.
  3. To add fruit flavoring, puree together the coconut water kefir and the fruit.
  4. Note: Ideally water kefir grains should be cultured in sugar water (1/4 cup sugar and 1 quart water) for 24 to 48 hours between batches of making coconut water kefir. The sugar water will feed and refresh the kefir grains keeping them healthy for the long term.

Culturing Coconut

Coconut can be cultured and fermented in many different ways and at different stages of life. Coconut Milk and Coconut Milk Yogurt are made from the familiar hairy, brown, mature coconuts. Coconut water kefir and cultured coconut pudding, however, are made from young coconuts.

Instead of appearing hairy and brown, a young coconut, like all things in their youth, is green and smooth. Often the green outer shells are cut off before they are shipped to U.S. markets. Look for either the green shell or a cylindrical white “husk” if the outer shell has been removed.

You may not see them in the produce section of your big-chain supermarket, but they are readily available in Asian, Latino, and other ethnic or farmers’ markets. Many health food stores will carry them upon request.

Young coconut water is best fermented by adding either water kefir grains or a prepared kefir powder to it. Kefir (pronounced kuh-FEER) is a unique combination of probiotic bacteria and healthy yeast which consume the sugars in the coconut water, making the drink bubbly and delicious—like soda, but without all the chemicals and sugar.

Many people find kefir significantly more effective than probiotic supplements at dealing with digestive issues and candida overgrowth. Babyzilla and I rely on coconut water kefir and other fermented foods to help heal our leaky gut issues and food sensitivities.

And since Babyzilla and I cannot eat dairy products (even raw ones, darn it!), we eat a few coconut products in their place. Coconut water kefir is one of them.

The other benefit to drinking kefir is actually in the coconut water itself. Coconut water is a nutrient-dense beverage filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, and growth factors, and it also has only a fifth of the sugar found in most fresh fruit juices. Fermenting it reduces the sugar even further and makes all of these nutrients even more available to your body.

If you make coconut kefir out of water kefir grains, you only have a one time cost of buying them, so they are much cheaper in the long run. You can also use the grains for fermenting other things as well. (Do not make coconut water kefir from dairy kefir grains; it will not ferment well, and the grains will quickly die without real milk to consume.)

If you make coconut kefir from powdered kefir packets, you can save a little portion of your batch and then add it to a new jar of coconut kefir. You can keep repeating this process of saving a bit from one batch and adding it to the next until it loses it’s fermenting power. So while the packets are a bit expensive, you can stretch them out over a couple of batches.

Coconut Water Kefir

(Makes about 1 quart)

Tools

  • 1 quart latch-lid or mason jar
  • Candy thermometer
  • Wooden spoons
  • Clean kitchen towel
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Sterilize all your equipment, especially your jars.
  2. Carefully open coconuts using a cleaver or hatchet, conserving the water. (How-to video here)
  3. Conserve the young coconut spoonmeat inside and use for Cultured Coconut Pudding (recipe below), smoothies or desserts.
  4. Heat the coconut water to about 90 degrees.
  5. Add 1 packet of kefir culture starter and stir until completely dissolved. If using kefir grains, just stir in thoroughly; they won’t dissolve.
  6. Pour the inoculated water into a closeable, sterile jar.
  7. Ferment at 72-75 degrees F for 36-48 hours. In the summer, this could mean your countertop. In winter, the top of the fridge. Avoid agitating the jar.
  8. The water will get milky white and usually a bit of bubbles will form on top. The taste should be slightly tart and tangy with only a little of the original sweetness.
  9. Refrigerate after fermentation. It will continue to ferment, but the process will be much slower. Will last about a week.
  10. Save 1/4 cup from each batch (including the kefir grains, if using) to inoculate the next quart of kefir, instead of using a new packet. (Or save 1/2 cup to make 1/2 gallon, or 1 cup to make 1 gallon)
  11. This procedure can be repeated up to 7 times. Inoculate a new batch within 3 days of removing culture from the previous batch.
  12. Stir in crushed fruit if you wish, and enjoy with meals and before bed to restore your digestive health.

Cultured Coconut Pudding

Tools

  • Blender
  • Glass or ceramic container with lid
Ingredients
  • Meat from 3-4 young coconuts
  • 1 Tbsp. water kefir grains or 1/2 kefir packet (where to find kefir grains and kefir powders)
  • Pure water or coconut water
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom, cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Fresh fruit (optional)
Directions
  1. Open the young coconuts and conserve most of the the water for Coconut Water Kefir (recipe above). The meat should be white. If it is pink or gray, it should be discarded.
  2. Scoop the meat out with a strong spoon or spatula.
  3. Rinse any brown skin off the meat.
  4. Put the coconut meat in a blender and purée with just enough water to create a pudding-like consistency.
  5. Add half a packet of kefir starter culture or a teaspoon of kefir grains. Pulse to incorporate.
  6. Transfer the pudding to a glass or ceramic container, making sure there are a few inches of room on the top for the pudding to expand.
  7. Cover the container and let it ferment on your countertop or on top of your fridge at about 72-75 degrees for 7-10 hours.
  8. After fermentation, add cardamom or cinnamon and nutmeg and stir in.
  9. Refrigerate. It will last about 3 days.
  10. Enjoy for dessert with fresh strawberries or other toppings.

Original article at: http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/coconut-water-kefir#ixzz3IV7SWAQP

http://www.youngandraw.com/how-to-make-coconut-water-kefir-1/