Milk kefir and water kefir are essentially very similar. Both exist in the form of small crystalline grains which can be brewed into drinks and both confer huge health benefits to the people that include them in their diet. The main difference between them – and the reason why many people prefer water kefir – is the difference in versatility between them.
Milk kefir grains
Milk kefir grains were the first kind of grains used to brew drinks. Since they have been around a lot longer, they have had more time to become widespread popularity and are currently well known throughout Russia and Eastern Europe (which is a pretty wide area).
They are also popular in the west, although not yet to the same extent. One of the great limiting factors on milk kefir popularity is the fact that there are many people out there who do not enjoy “milky foods”, or simply cannot digest them.
Water kefir grains
Water kefir grains provide all of the same health benefits as milk kefir, whilst being much more versatile! It is fun to experiment with them and see just how much they can do. Many water kefir enthusiasts also enjoy brewing their grains with grape juice or coconut water, since it opens up whole new avenues of recipes that can be made with the finished drinks.
Many probiotics – the types of foods that, like kefir, contain helpful bacteria – are made from milk products. Pro-biotic yoghurts are great, but not if you don’t like yoghurt!
Water kefir grains allow you to make probiotic foods without always having to involve dairy, which is something milk kefir grains cannot achieve. They can be brewed into drinks (starting with almost any sugary liquid) or simply eaten (see also: how to eat 1000 calories a day), and can benefit almost anyone.
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