What is Kefir? This Unknown Superfood is Amazing!

Kefir’s tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in yogurt. The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to give superior health benefits when consumed regularly. It is loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins.Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your “inner ecosystem.” More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins.Some people thrive on kefir right from the start and others may need to proceed more slowly. Remember that people with candidiasis lack milk-digesting bacteria, so you may have to build up your “tolerance” of kefir. Start with about four ounces in the morning on an empty stomach. Every second day increase the amount until you are able to drink a full eight ounce glass.

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How is Kefir made?

Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat or sheep, coconut, rice or soy. Although it is slightly mucous forming, the mucous has a “clean” quality to it that creates ideal conditions in the digestive tract for the colonization of friendly bacteria.

Kefir is made from gelatinous white or yellow particles called “grains.” This makes kefir unique, as no other milk culture forms grains. These grains contain the bacteria/yeast mixture clumped together with casein (milk proteins) and complex sugars. They look like pieces of coral or small clumps of cauliflower and range from the size of a grain of wheat to that of a hazelnut. The grains are then removed with a strainer before consumption of the kefir and added to a new batch of milk.

Dairy-free versions of kefir can be made with coconut water, coconut milk or other sweet liquids. These will not have the same nutrient profile as dairy-based kefir.

 

9 proven health benefits of Kefir

1. Kefir is a Fantastic Source of Many Nutrients :

A 175 ml (6 oz) serving of milk kefir contains:

  • Protein: 6 grams.
  • Calcium: 20% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B12: 14% of the RDA.
  • Riboflavin (B2): 19% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 5% of the RDA.
  • A decent amount of vitamin D.

This is coming with about 100 calories, 7-8 grams of carbs and 3-6 grams of fat, depending on the type of milk that is used.Kefir also contains a wide variety of bioactive compounds, including organic acids and peptides that contribute to its health benefits.

2. Kefir is a More Powerful Probiotic Than Yogurt: Yogurt is the best known probiotic food in the Western diet, but kefir is actually a much more potent source.Kefir grains contain about 30 strains of bacteria and yeasts, making it a very rich and diverse probiotic source.

3. Kefir Has Potent Antibacterial Properties: Certain probiotics in kefir are believed to protect against infections.This includes the probiotic Lactobacillus kefiri, which is unique to kefir.Studies show that this probiotic can inhibit the growth of various harmful bacteria, including Salmonella, Helicobacter Pylori and E. coli.Kefiran, a type of carbohydrate present in kefir, also has antibacterial properties.

4. Kefir Can Improve Bone Health and Lower The Risk of Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis (“porous” bones) is characterized by deterioration of bone tissue, and is a massive problem in Western countries. it is especially common among elderly women, and dramatically raises the risk of fractures.Ensuring an adequate calcium intake is one of the most effective ways to improve bone health, and slow the progression of osteoporosis .Kefir made from full-fat dairy is not only a great source of calcium, but also vitamin K2. This nutrient plays a central role in calcium metabolism, and supplementing with it has been shown to reduce the risk of fractures by as much as 81%.

5.Kefir May be Protective Against Cancer: The probiotics in fermented dairy products are believed to inhibit tumor growth by reducing formation of carcinogenic compounds, as well as by stimulating the immune system .This protective role has been demonstrated in several test tube studies .One study found that kefir extract reduced the number of human breast cancer cells by 56%, compared with only 14% for yogurt extract .However, take all of this with a grain of salt, as this is far from being proven in living, breathing humans.

6.The Probiotics in it May Help With Various Digestive Problems: Probiotics such as kefir can help restore the balance of friendly bacteria in the gut.This is why they are highly effective for many forms of diarrhea.There is also a lot of evidence that probiotics and probiotic foods can help with all sorts of digestive problems;This includes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers caused by H. pylori infection, and various others.

7. Kefir is Generally Well Tolerated by People Who Are Lactose Intolerant: The lactic acid bacteria in fermented dairy foods (like kefir and yogurt) turn the lactose into lactic acid, so these foods are much lower in lactose than milk.They also contain enzymes that can help break down the lactose even further.Because of this, kefir is generally well tolerated by people with lactose intolerance, at least when compared to regular milk.Also keep in mind that it is possible to make kefir that is 100% lactose free, by using coconut water, fruit juice or some other non-dairy fluid.

8. Kefir May Improve Symptoms of Allergy and Asthma: People with an over-sensitive immune system are more prone to allergies, which can provoke conditions like asthma.In animal studies, kefir has been shown to suppress inflammatory responses related to allergy and asthma.

9.Kefir is Easy to Make at Home: If you are unsure about the quality of store-bought kefir, then you can easily make it at home yourself.Combined with some fresh fruit, it makes one of the healthiest and tastiest desserts I have ever come across.You can buy kefir grains in some health food stores and supermarkets.




Try These Amazing Kefir Recipes


Orange, Mango, Blueberry Kefir Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

1 orange, juiced

1 mango

1/2 cup vanilla kefir

Directions

Blend until smooth.

 



Homemade Kefir

 

Coconut Water Kefir Recipe

Delicious water kefir made with coconut water for additional electrolytes and nutrients.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup hydrated Water Kefir Grains
  • ¼ cup sugar - organic preferred (optional)
  • 1 quart of coconut water
Instructions
  1. Add ¼ cup of sugar to the jar, if using.
  2. Add coconut water to the jar.
  3. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Add ¼ cup of kefir grains to the sweetened coconut water.
  5. Cover with a plastic lid, cloth cover or Fermentation Cap.
  6. Let sit for 24-48 hours - no longer than 72 hours or the grains will begin to disintegrate.
  7. Coconut water kefir is like tangy coconut water. If the sugar is omitted, taste it after 24 hours. If using the ¼ cup of sugar, allow for 48 hours.Once the grains are removed, you may add flavors for a second fermentation or drink straight.
  8. Repeat & enjoy!
Notes
White sugar and organic evaporated cane juice crystals are the best choices with the coconut water.

 

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References:

http://ecowatch.com/2015/03/27/health-benefits-kefir/

authoritynutrition.com

http://www.kefir.net/kefir-vs-yogurt/

www.all-smoothie-recipes.com

 

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