What Is Kefir And Its Amazing Health Benefits
Kefir is a traditional fermented milk beverage, as well as a living superfood that can greatly improve your health. It is a cultured and microbial rich food that helps restore the inner ecology.
Kefir is by far the most powerful and healing of all fermented foods. Homemade kefir made with kefir grains and raw organic pastured milk contain up to 56 types of probiotics. It is much better than yogurt.
Kefir is normally made from dairy but can also be made from raw coconut water or fresh coconut milk.
It contains strains of beneficial yeast and beneficial bacteria – in a symbiotic relationship – that give kefir antibiotic properties. A natural antibiotic – and it is made from milk!
In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals, valuable B vitamins and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body.
Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.
Like any fermented food, homemade milk kefir is designed to support healthy digestion first of all.
Kefir may be safely enjoyed by individuals who are lactose intolerant since it contains friendly bacteria and yeast that have consumed most of the lactose found in dairy.
The fermentation process is also enzyme-rich. Difficult proteins like milk casein are pre-digested. Individuals sensitive to milk casein may also be able to enjoy homemade milk kefir after restoring their inner ecosystem.
Kefir has a more tart, refreshing taste than yogurt and contains completely different microorganisms. When used regularly, the naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir help balance your intestinal flora and support your immune system.
Kefir Health Benefits
- Good bacteria actively fight harmful bacteria by making their own natural antibiotics.
- The bacteria in kefir produce a structural sugar called kefiran – has the ability to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Kefiran has such a profound anti-inflammatory effect that it could even prevent atherosclerosis.
- Kefir can inhibit the growth of dangerous bacteria like Salmonella and Escherichia coli.
- Kefir can help to control Candida overgrowth.
- Good bacteria found specifically in kefir can cleanse the toxins that are released by harmful bacteria, like Clostridium difficile.
- Kefir also has been found to control the production of aflatoxin – is a toxin produced by the Aspergillus fungus. It is common in peanut butter.
- The beneficial yeast in kefir — like Kluyveromyces marxianus and Saccaromyces — are able to shut down inflammation in the intestinal tract.
- The good bacteria in kefir have the ability to detoxify poisons that are known to cause cancer. One study published in 2011 showed that kefir may reduce damage to the DNA in colon cells — reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Another study found that kefir can trigger cancer cells in the stomach to self-destruct.
How is Kefir Made?
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 ferment the milk, incorporating their friendly organisms to create the cultured product. The grains are then removed with a strainer before consumption of the kefir and added to a new batch of milk. The process continues indefinitely.
- Kefir is simple and inexpensive to make at home.
- It is used to restore the inner eco-system after antibiotic therapy.
- Kefir can be made into a delicious smoothie that kids love.
- It is excellent nourishment for those with compromised immunity.
In my next post about kefir (part 2), I will write How To Make Kefir Using Kefir Grains.
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