Here's good news for soda lovers! You can now enjoy a soda drink that is both healthy and delicious-the roselle kefir.

Most of us are aware of the dangers of drinking soda regularly. A regular 12oz can of soda contains 39g of sugar, which works out to about 10 teaspoons of sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Numerous studies have shown the link between the regular consumption of soda to various modern-day diseases. Diseases such as diabetes, kidney damage, fatty liver, pancreatic cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Diet soda are no better. Using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame may contain no calorie but they certainly do not fare any better. A report published in the journal 'Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism' in 2013 showed that diet soda drinkers suffer the same exact health problems as those who opt for regular soda.

Most people loves soda for its 'fizzy feel' and its taste. Many go for soda when they are thirsty too. They find it to be a refreshing drink. Actually, instead of rehydrating us, drinking soda leaves our body in a more dehydrated condition.

Water kefir soda

An excellent replacement to soda is the water kefir. It is less well-known compared to its cousin, the milk kefir. Yet, it is an antioxidant drink that is probiotic. It contains numerous enzymes, vitamins and minerals unlike soda which contains synthetic caramel coloring (cancer causing substance), phosphoric acid (makes you lose minerals) and caffeine.

Many different water kefir flavors can be made with the usage of various fruit such as oranges, apples, pineapples, berries and so on. One little known water kefir soda that is delicious, refreshing and nutritious is the roselle kefir, accidently discovered by the author.

Beneficial Roselle

Consider the roselle. It is a flower belonging to the hibiscus family. Roselle is used in different parts of the world in alternative healing. In India, Africa and Mexico, all above-ground parts of the roselle plant are valued in native medicine. Infusions made from roselle calyces or seeds are prescribed as a diuretic, to stimulate bile production and to treat fever. In Senegal, roselle extract is recommended for use to lower blood pressure. In East Africa, the calyx infusion, called "Sudan tea", is taken to relieve coughs.

Roselle contains one of the highest content of Vitamin C. It contains 3 times more Vitamin C than blackcurrant and 9 times more than citrus fruit. It is also found to have rich anti-oxidant properties (anthocyanins). The fresh roselle calyx has been found to contain vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B2 Complex, Vitamin A, Niacin and Calcium.

Roselle Kefir

Fermenting roselle juice with water kefir grains make a truly delicious water kefir drink. Even the little juniors love this refreshing drink. I have children as young as the age of 2 asking for more after tasting it for the first time. Another 10-year old was begging me to teach his mom how to make it!

Some comments on the roselle kefir:

"Tastes like sparkling wine!"

"Fizzy carbonated grape juice."

"My children loves it and drinks it like water."

"It's delicious and refreshing especially on a hot day"

"This is something my children would drink"

Get the little ones hook on water kefir soda like roselle kefir before they get hooked to hazardous soft drinks. With water kefir, there is no worry as to how much they consume daily as water kefir aids our digestion and absorption of food as well as strengntens our immune system. In fact, water kefir has been highly recommended as a probiotic source in the popular GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet. This is a special diet targeted at healing the guts for children with autism or related conditions.

Making this probiotic enzyme rich drink is very easy. The basic method is to place some water kefir grains in a glass jar of water with some sugar, cover the jar, leave it for 24 hours, strain it and you are done! The ready-made drink can then be flavored with the addition of some fruit juices and kept in the fridge for a delicious fizzy water kefir soda to be enjoyed by all in the family.

As for roselle kefir, all you need to do is to place the water kefir grains to a jar of roselle juice, leave for 24 hours and strain. Keep it bottled airtight in the fridge for an additional day to increase its fizziness. It certainly is superior to any soda drink both in nutrition and taste! Who needs soda anymore?

Roselle Kefir – A Healthy, Delicious and Probiotic Water Kefir Soda by CY Wong