The origins of this wonder drink can be traced back to Caucasus Mountains in Eurasia. The Caucasians shepherds were the first known people to make Kefir, who carried milk stored in goat skin leather bag where it would ferment in a creamy, sour beverage.
What is the difference between Kefir and yogurt?
Kefir and yogurt might look the same, but what sets them apart is the way it is cultured. Kefir is made from Kefir culture , which can be cultured at room temperature, has yeast and bacteria whereas yogurt cultures has only bacteria and needs a certain temperature to be cultured. Yogurt is made by mixing a spoonful of old batch of yogurt to fresh milk whereas Kefir is made with the grains that multiply with every batch you make. Kefir has twice the variety of bacteria than the yogurt and contains yeast which is absent in yogurt. This combination of yeast and bacteria colonize the intestinal trac which means, if you stop drinking kefir , this combination of yeast and bacteria will still keep working in your gut, helping with digestion and keeping away the harmful bacteria. The same cannot be said about yogurt because once you stop eating yogurt, the benefits end.
Good News for people with lactose intolerance!
Even though Kefir is made with milk, it is 99.99% lactose free. The reason for this is that, the bacteria and yeast feed on the lactose in the milk and break it down into simple sugars and the enzyme lactase which further helps the digestion process are easy to digest for the people who are lactose intolerant.
Why does your body need probiotics?
Our stomach lining has about 400 kinds of probiotic bacteria. These bacteria are necessary for digestive and intestinal health. Without these good bacteria we would be the target of many diseases ranging from ulcer to various infections. Probiotics are the modern-day functional food. Functional foods are the foods with added health benefits. These foods are good for the immune system as they ward off infections and build immunity.
What are the health benefits of Kefir?
- Kefir has good bacteria and can be used instead of a probiotic supplement.
- Helps people who have IBS, Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, ulcers, gastritis and constipation by improving the gut flora.
- Is very high in the enzyme lactase making it easy for people with lactose intolerance or sensitivities to consume kefir.
- High in vitamin B12, B1, biotin, K, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus which helps boost the immune system, relives skin disorders like eczema and acne.
- Enriched Kefir Reduces LDL cholesterol because it has the plant-based compounds phytosterol and stanol which blocks the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream which helps prevent heart disease.
- Improving the gut flora with probiotics in the kefir can also help other conditions in kids like ADD, low immunity due to frequent colds, allergies. It is specially helpful for people taking antibiotics.
- Has an amino acids called tryptophan, calcium and magnesium which has soothing effect on the nervous system, people with sleep disorders, anxiety and depression.
- Calcium in kefir is beneficial for people with osteoporosis, arthritis and atherosclerosis.
- Improves kidney and liver function.
- It also has antibacterial, anti-tumor, anti carcinogenic properties.
- Helps cure yeast infections and fungal infections like candida.
- Helps people with sluggish metabolism who are struggling to lose weight . The probiotic in kefir speeds up your metabolism which helps burn more fat and calories.
How do you make Kefir?
Kefir can be made at home by buying the kefir grains online. Add one tbsp of grains to two cups of milk. Let it stand at room temperature from 12 to 36 hours. Longer it stands, more tangy it tastes. Strain it with a cheese cloth and your kefir is ready. The stained grain can be reused to make the kefir.
Looking at the benefits it has to offer make a choice to be healthy and make Kefir a part of your diet.
DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informative purposes only. Do not make any changes to your diet, lifestyle, or treatment plan before contacting your physician or health care provider.