Trawling the Internet for research purposes, I came across something called Kefir and was immediately intrigued as I had never heard of this before.
Kefir (also known as kephir or búlgaros), is defined by Wikipedia as:
“…a fermented milk drink that originated in the north Caucasus Mountains made with kefir “grains”, a yeast/bacterial fermentation starter. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains.”
The bacterial strains present in Kefir include:
Various strains of yeast are also present.
Readymade Kefir is available in most supermarkets, or you can make your own using kefir grains.
What are Kefir Grains?
Kefir grains are living organisms and they survive by eating lactose, so as a starter Kefir is excellent for those who are lactose intolerant.
They will also multiply each time you use them so a one-time purchase can result in an ever expanding stock of Kefir grains!
There are two types of Kefir grains, water and milk. In this post I am only talking about milk Kefir. I have yet to experiment with water Kefir grains but when I do I will add a post for those too.
Benefits of Adding Kefir to Your Diet
Kefir is a much more potent probiotic drink than Yogurt! It has at least 30 different probiotics compared to less than 6 in yoghurt.
Improves Bone Health
It can improve bone health. It contains bioactive compounds that help absorb calcium into the body and stop bone degeneration, plus vitamin K2 for improved bone health, density and calcium absorption.
The compounds found in Kefir have actually been shown to make cancer cells in the stomach self-destruct. It can also slow the growth of early tumours.
Improves Digestion and IBS
Helps with Allergies
Fights against allergies -The live microorganisms help the immune system to suppress allergic reactions. Current research on mice could lead to help for asthma sufferers.
Is effective in improving skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, reactive skin rashes and eczema. Kefiran, a carbohydrate found in kefir, has been successful in speeding up healing of the skin and in protecting connective tissue
Helps with Constipation
Helps with Lactose Intolerance
A good source of calcium and beneficial bacteria for many of those who are lactose intolerant.
Decreases Blood Glucose levels
Where to Buy Kefir Grains
Milk Kefir grains can be purchased on Amazon (either fresh or dried) or from your local health food shop. You can make milk Kefir with all types of milk, including goat, sheep, cow, soy, rice, almond or coconut.
I would reccomend buying organic live grains.
More posts on Kefir…..
Dehydrating Kefir for Powder
How to Make Milk Kefir
Kefir Cream Cheese