Why Kefir Is Much Better Than Yogurt
It may seem that kefir is the same with yogurt. Yes, they are similar but not totally the same. The biggest reason of all to ferment kefir instead of yogurt is due to the differences in the bacterial cultures each contain.
Homemade kefir made with kefir grains and raw organic pastured milk contain up to 56 strains of beneficial bacteria, called probiotics, as well as beneficial yeasts which combat Candida problem.
Yogurt only contains 2-7 strains of beneficial bacteria and contains no beneficial yeasts.
Here is a list of the typical strains of probiotics and beneficial yeasts in properly fermented kefir, according to the Journal Food Microbiology:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus brevis
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
- Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii
- Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis
- Lactobacillus helveticus
- Lactobacillus keﬁranofaciens subsp. keﬁranofaciens
- Lactobacillus keﬁri
- Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus sake
- Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
- Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
- Lactococcus lactis
- Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
- Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. dextranicum
- Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides
- Pseudomonas fluorescens
- Pseudomonas putida
- Streptococcus thermophilus
- Candida humilis (yeast)
- Kazachstania unispora (yeast)
- Kazachstania exigua (yeast)
- Kluyveromyces siamensis (yeast)
- Kluyveromyces lactis (yeast)
- Kluyveromyces marxianus (yeast)
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast)
- Saccharomyces martiniae (yeast)
- Saccharomyces unisporus (yeast)
Kefir is by far the most powerful and healing of all fermented foods, and has amazing health benefits, but yogurt has its benefits too.
Probiotics contained in kefir attach themselves to the colon, sweeps away all the harmful substances and colonizes the intestines. It has been said that antibiotics cannot kill kefir bacteria– it is that strong.
On the other hand, yogurt cleans the digestive system and provides food for the friendly bacteria that inhabitants our intestines. Yogurt makes sure that these bacteria grow and remains stable.
However, the probiotic strains in yogurt lasts only for 24 hours while probiotic strains in kefir lasts forever.
The probiotic strains in yogurt do not colonize the gut themselves, and just pass through which requires a constant infusion to maintain the same health benefit.
Kefir is 99% lactose free. Even lactose-intolerant individuals can tolerate kefir, because the good bacteria have digested the lactose in the milk.
The other great thing about kefir is the amount of good yeasts. There is not much said about yeasts but they are extremely important. It is the good yeasts that put the fizz in kefir. They kill and control pathogens in the gut. They clean house and strengthen the gut, making it harder for pathogens to dominate and parasites to exist.
Milk Kefir is mesophilic which means they thrive best at room temperature, around 70 – 77F / 21 – 25C. Meanwhile, yogurt is both mesophilic and thermophilic. They can be grown either at room temperature or at extremely high temperature around 110 F / 43 C.
The consistency of kefir is a little bit yeasty due to the beneficial yeast contained in the culture. It also tastes sourer when compared with yogurt.
Both kefir and yogurt can be drained to produce cheese. Draining whey from yogurt or kefir makes thick yogurt or cheese.
And, while kefir definitely has a stronger, more sour taste than the milder tasting yogurt, you are guaranteed to not notice the difference if your primary use is for smoothies!
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