Whether you’re suffering from acne, allergies, constipation or other digestive issues, Candida, weight gain, brittle bones or poor immune function, kefir’s got your back to help you feel your best. Although taking probiotics can be helpful, kefir provides a delicious solution for repopulating gut flora for better health.
The word “kefir” is derived from the Turkish word “keif”, which translates to the “good feeling” one has after drinking this probiotic-rich milk. This fermented superfood is prepared by mixing milk with kefir grains (not actual grains, but a grain-like mixture of proteins, lipids, and sugars that feed the good bacteria). The result is a sour, creamy beverage that tastes like a drinkable version of yogurt.
Probiotics and Beneficial Yeast
Kefir is one of the most nutritious and beneficial foods on the planet. It’s actually a much better source of probiotics than yogurt. Yogurt only has about 2-5 strains of beneficial bacteria, which only temporarily impact your gut health. In contrast, kefir has about 30 beneficial strains of bacteria and yeast that work together to repopulate the good flora in your gut, while destroying the bad flora and harmful yeasts.
Protein, Vitamins and Minerals
In addition to packing in probiotics and beneficial yeast, kefir is an excellent source of easily digested protein, vitamins, and minerals. Rich in B vitamins, such as thiamin, B12, folate and biotin, kefir actually helps your body assimilate other B vitamins better. The high calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin K2 content are especially beneficial for bone health, as well as carb, fat and protein metabolism.
Kefir also has powerful antibacterial, anti fungal, anti tumor and healing properties that protect against digestive problems (colitis, IBS, leaky gut, etc.), cancer, immune dysfunction, and allergies. Certain compounds in kefir may play a role in regulating immune function, allergic response, and inflammation.
Always keep it raw. Never cook with it or expose it to heat as that will kill the beneficial bacteria.
Slowly work your way up to a full serving. For example, start with a small amount, such as 1/4 cup daily for 7 days, 1/2 a cup daily for 7 days and then the full serving of 1 cup daily for at least 7 days.
For maximum nutrients, make kefir at home using fresh, organic, raw milk from grass-fed cows.
For buying, look for organic, full-fat, plain kefir made from cow, goat, or sheep milk with minimal additives and extra ingredients. NEVER buy sweetened kefir as it contains shockingly high amounts of sugar. Top brand: Redwood Hill Farm’s Goat Kefir. Coconut milk and coconut water kefir are good dairy-free options.
Kefir can be quite sour tasting enjoyed plain. For sweetness, try stirring in some cinnamon and stevia. You can also substitute kefir for yogurt in this Yogurt Medley or this Yogurt Parfait. You can even use kefir in shakes, green drinks, chocolate chia pudding, and salad dressings, such as this Ripe Avocado Ranch.
Got Dairy Problems?
Don’t worry kefir is low in lactose and has been show to actually improve lactose digestion and tolerance. If you find you can’t tolerate it, then try kefir made from goat milk, raw milk and/or coconut milk.