Kefir – translated from Turkish it means “good feelings”, probably referring to the amazing effects it has on the body when consumed. What is kefir exactly? Well, it is a drink that is usually made from cow, goat or sheep milk. It becomes this weird looking fermentation – which to no surprise, is great for your health.It can be a little intimidating or strange to someone who is new to kefir. Why? It’s because it tastes like tangy sour milk, or cream. Fermentation is occurred by adding kefir powder or grains, which contain armies of yeasts and good bacteria, to milk and leaving it for 24 hours at room temperature, allowing the microorganisms to multiply and ferment the lactose in the milk to lactic acid. Then boom: you’ve got yourself some DIY kefir.
There are tons of kefir’s health benefits – they are mainly attributed to its high probiotics content. Probiotics are good bacteria, and are living organisms that can help to maintain good bowel movements, treat constipation and boost the immune system.
Even if you are vegetarian or lactose intolerant, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what kefir has to offer. You can totally swap out regular milk for almond or soy milk and it’ll still have the same fermentation effect!
Registered nutritionist, Jenna Hope, talks about how kefir benefits our health.
Aids Digestive Health
Our digestive tract has both good and bad bacteria and it’s important to maintain the balance between them to keep it healthy.
Probiotics resemble the good bacteria that are found naturally in the digestive tract and may help to maintain a healthy balance.
Kefir contains powerful probiotic properties and over 30 strains of good bacteria and yeasts. This helps with gut health and hence, improving digestion for many people. “Now well-known as a superfood, kefir contains probiotics and fibre, which are both known to contribute toward a healthy gut,” Jenna Hope says.
Boosts Your Immune System
Kefir contains healthy bacteria, yeasts and enzymes. It also contains 3 times more probiotics than yogurt, making it a probiotic heaven. Probiotics are crucial as they help to stop the growth of bacteria and give our immune system a good boost.
Kefir has high amounts of calcium and can improve bone density to prevent fractures. Calcium has been widely known to promote the development of strong healthy bones and also to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Reduces Stomach Bloating
Again, kefir carry tons of probiotics and are beneficial for our intestines. Taking probiotics regularly will help to regulate the bacteria in the colon that produces gas and cause stomach bloating.
Studies have shown that people who ate three or more servings of low-fat dairy products were more likely to maintain their weight over those who ate less than three servings.
High Source of Protein
Containing protein and amino acids’,
Kefir helps our muscles to grow and repair itself. 1 cup of kefir contains 10g of protein, some athletes have even swapped their coconut water for a kefir drink.
Kefir can be applied as a face mask at night due to its blend of organic acids, antioxidants and proteins. These can help the skin preserve moisture, minimize redness and inflammation, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The high probiotics content of kefir can also help to rid the skin of harmful toxins that can stress damaged skin and assist the body in absorbing more vitamins and minerals more effectively – helping the skin attain a youthful glow.
It doesn’t take much to care for your body and health, and for many, the perfect way to start is with a bowl of kefir yogurt!