Start with the Gut

Posted on: July 25th 2018

On occasion, I like to write up what I call a Consumer Report. I’m not talking about cars or computers here, but instead goodies like coconut and cocoa.

Like you, I can easily get caught out-and-about and also just appreciate being able to buy a pre-packaged thing or two that meets my exacting standards. I especially love to get my hands on a product that simultaneously passes the grade and is gratifying to the taste buds.

That’s what these Consumer Report emails are all about!

Today I raise a glass to KeVita, my go-to drink on-the-go.

KeVita is a cultured probiotic beverage—perfect for a hot summer day and even more fitting for the efforts of our Summer Cleanse that gets underway next week.

Just what does it mean for a drink to be a probiotic?
It means that it’s a thirst quenching way to boost the good bacteria or flora in your gut. Probiotic means “for life.” To the good life!

What’s so good about the favorable flora?
It’s no longer a mystery that ample good bacteria in your gut or small intestine is the foundation for resolving many health issues—from allergies to anger, and asthma to anxiety. Those good guys will turn your emotional and immune Blahs into spirited Ahas.

Probiotic drinks are one way to invite improved digestion, enhanced detoxification, support for relief of sugar cravings, plus provide a boost of energy. KeVita contains a strain of probiotics from non-dairy kefir cultures. Those are the cultures that have been prized for thousands of years for improving beneficial digestive flora.

Do you need more good bacteria?
You bet! Contemporary culture has done a number on both the balance and bounty of our good guys. There are several key factors that deplete and distort our gut flora populations. These include:

  • immunizations
  • antibiotics
  • pharmaceuticals
  • birth control pills
  • environmental toxins
  • consumption of animals and dairy exposed to antibiotics
  • genetically modified foods
  • and the everyday interactions of the food we consume with our unique microbiome

Why is there a rush of probiotic foods and supplements on the market?
Not only are we more depleted than our ancestors, but traditional cultures regularly consumed cultured, fermented or probiotic-rich foods such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso. We seem to have strayed from this habit and the market is responding to our physiological need and heightened awareness.

If I’m taking a probiotic supplement do I still need to consume fermented foods and beverages?
It’s great to do both! It’s difficult to know if your probiotic pills are active after they pass through the digestive terrain. When probiotics are consumed through food and drink they’re more readily absorbed and utilized by your body. PLUS, you’re likely getting different strains from different foods and supplements. Tending to your healthy gut is not a one-stop-shopping affair.

Is KeVita sugar, gluten and dairy free?
Yes with a caveat. Some of their current flavors do contain cane sugar. I choose to stay away from those. They have a bounty of flavors that are sweetened with stevia. My personal favorites are Mojito Lime Mint Coconut and Lemon Cayenne. And I may use one of the fruity flavors, on occasion, to make “ice cream floats” with homemade or coconut based ice cream or sorbet. Is your mouth watering yet?!

KeVita or Kombucha?
Well, according to KeVita, their product packs a more potent punch of probiotics due to the fact that the cultures don’t have to eat the sugar and caffeine typically used in traditional kombucha creation. Recently, KeVita started making kombucha as well, so you can certainly give them both a go.

What about other purposes, besides drinking it straight-up?
Sure. You can use the KeVita for a number of things. Try it in smoothies. Use the plain to soak grains before cooking. Consume it after a workout to receive the benefits of the good cultures along with the great electrolytes provided by the coconut water. Or make a “float” like I mentioned above!

Where can I get KeVita?
Nearly all Whole Foods and most health food stores carry it now. Here in PDX we can also get it at our local co-ops, like People’s Co-Op, and at New Seasons Market.

What about other coconut probiotic kefirs I see at the store?
I love Inner Eco’s Coconut Probiotic Kefir. The difference here is that you don’t drink the whole bottle (that would be a very expensive drink!). Inner Eco’s is more like a supplemental dose of probiotics. In fact we often introduce this product for clients who need an alternative or additional probiotic supplement source.

If you’re lucky enough, you may also be able to get your hands on other brands or locally made versions of this healing tonic. Body Ecology has a therapeutic coconut kefir, and Tonix, Quo and Moon Juice are just some of the brands that I’ve encountered in my travels throughout the states. (Yes, I check the local markets for their elixirs and indulge when I can!)

Curious to learn how we help address digestive issues in our clinic?
As you likely know, I’m passionate about backing it up to digestive health, no matter the health complaint, and helping you understand, “what’s going on in there”. My signature Summer Cleanse brings focus to your digestive health.

We begin our small intestine summer lovin’ next week with the Summer Cleanse and there’s still time for you to join.

Your Action Steps today?
Pour yourself a glass of KeVita and consider if your digestive system is in need of a Summer Cleanse!