Kefir is a fermented drink made from milk or water. It’s high in probiotics and beneficial acids and it has a mild, pleasantly sour, yogurt-like taste.
It’s great for digestive and immune system health and for balancing the gut microbiome — and due to the fermentation process, the nutrients in kefir are highly bioavailable.
Kefir for Digestive Health
Kefir has an abundance of probiotics, which populate the gut to help with the digestion of foods.
Probiotics have a positive effect on the gut’s microbiome by increasing the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria. It can also increase your tolerance to lactose, a milk sugar that many individuals have difficulty digesting properly, which can cause nausea, stomach aches, and gas.
Kefir for Immune Health
Studies have shown that some compounds in kefir can help with cancer, increasing expression of genes that fight cancer and down-regulating ones that promote it.
The compounds also have antifungal properties and help with allergies and infections; in other words, they can fight bad bacteria like Listeria innocua and infections like Salmonella typhimurium and E. coli.
Kefir for Metabolic Benefits
This fermented drink can also normalize your blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. Kefir made with milk is high in tummy-filling protein that is easy to digest due to the probiotic content.
The fermentation and storage process of milk kefir reduces the level of cholesterol and saturated fat and increases monounsaturated fat. In a study with type 2 diabetic patients, milk kefir was shown to reduce levels of fasting blood sugar.
Kefir for Bone Health
Milk kefir is high in protein, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which promote bone health. The kefir culture breaks down the milk proteins throughout the fermentation process and can help with osteoporosis.
A study of 40 patients showed that kefir helped to increase hip bone density in a period of 6 with calcium absorption, which is essential for healthy bone density.
How to Eat Kefir
Kefir is easy to add to a meal or snack — you can enjoy it in your smoothie or oatmeal, or just serve it cold by itself.
You can also use kefir as a milk substitute, and replace milk in bread, muffin, ice cream, and pancake recipes. A modern-day lifestyle based on a refined foods diet can be detrimental to your overall well-being. Incorporating traditional fermented foods like kefir into your daily diet can help maintain your health.
Let us know which foods we should try with kefir!