11 Reasons to consume kefir, a tasty health drink
05/14/2021 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
11 Reasons to consume kefir, a tasty health drink

Kefir is a fermented beverage with amazing health benefits, like boosting your digestive health.

How is kefir made?

Kefir requires a starter material to undergo fermentation, the process where bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms break down glucose molecules (sugar).

Kefir “grains” are the primary ingredient needed to make kefir. But these grains don’t come from cereals or pseudocereals.

Kefir grains include a mixture of yeast and bacteria that’s bound together with milk proteins and complex sugars called polysaccharides. The grains are added to milk and the mixture is set aside for 18 to 24 hours to ferment.

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When the mixture is fermented, the kefir grains are removed from the liquid so they can be reused to make another batch. The leftover liquid is the kefir.

Traditionally, kefir uses a milk base but it can also be made using water. Water kefir is made using kefir grains with coconut water or plain water and added sugar instead of milk.

A one-cup serving of kefir contains the following nutrients:

  • Calcium – 20 percent
  • Calories – 104 Kcal
  • Carbohydrates – 7 g
  • Fat – 6 g
  • Magnesium – 5 percent
  • Phosphorus – 20 percent
  • Protein – 6 g
  • Riboflavin – 19 percent
  • Vitamin B12 – 14 percent

11 Health benefits of kefir

Drinking fermented milk might sound strange, but here are 11 reasons to start enjoying kefir.

Kefir is full of beneficial probiotics

You need nutrients and probiotics to maintain your overall well-being. Your body uses the nutrients you obtain from the food you eat for different bodily processes.

Meanwhile, probiotics, which are microorganisms that perform various body functions, have a role in maintaining gut health and boosting your immune health.

According to research, the probiotics in kefir can help prevent the symptoms caused by infectious bacteria. If you already eat yogurt, you can replace it with kefir because the latter contains at least 40 bacteria strains and six yeast strains.

Yogurt contains both components but in relatively less quantity.

Kefir can help prevent cancer

Cancer is a fatal disease spread by the uncontrollable growth of cancerous cells and tumors. Some studies suggest that the good bacteria in kefir can help prevent tumor development.

Kefir probiotics can help slow down the conversion of specific components into carcinogens in the body. Experts say that kefir also functions as an antioxidant and that it helps boost your immune system.

Kefir can help prevent osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects your bones, making them weak and increasing your risk of fractures. At least 200 million people suffer from osteoporosis annually.

Health experts warn that calcium and vitamin D deficiencies are linked to osteoporosis. One of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis is to increase your intake of calcium to strengthen your bones. You can do this by consuming kefir, which is full of calcium.

Nutritionists recommend consuming at least two to three servings of kefir for stronger bones.

Kefir can boost your digestive health

Fermented dairy products like kefir help promote gut health and improve digestion.

You can also consume kefir if you have diarrhea. Nutrients in kefir will help regulate irregular bowel movements and even boost your energy levels.

Kefir can help treat lactose intolerance

If you are lactose intolerant, you can’t digest specific milk sugars.

You can treat lactose intolerance by gradually introducing kefir into your regular diet. This can help break down milk sugar, effectively converting it to lactic acid that your body needs.

Kefir contains less lactose than milk and the enzymes in the superfood is believed to help your body process milk sugar further.

Kefir can help relieve allergic reactions

Did you know that you can consume kefir to address allergic reactions?

Research shows that kefir has an anti-inflammatory effect that can prevent symptoms caused by allergies. Nutritionists also suggest that asthma, which is triggered by allergens and inflammation, can be managed by consuming kefir.

Kefir can help prevent infection

Viral infections and infectious bacteria cause health problems like diarrhea, fever and the flu. If you’re prone to a cold or the flu, eat more kefir to fight disease-causing bacteria.

Consuming kefir can help boost your health and eliminate the need for antibiotics, which are linked to many negative side effects and can eliminate good bacteria along with the bad.

Consume kefir regularly to protect yourself from bacteria and viral infections.

Kefir can be used to treat food poisoning

Dangerous pathogens like E. coli and salmonella can cause food poisoning, and some say kefir can be used to treat the condition. This may be possible since kefir has antibacterial properties.

Kefir is a natural detoxifier

Detoxifying your body regularly helps eliminate toxins, chemicals and poisonous waste that comes from consuming junk food or exposure to pollution.

One study suggests that the superfood kefir can act as a detoxifier because it is full of nutrients. Consume kefir regularly to eliminate toxins and strengthen your body.

Kefir can boost skin health 

Free radicals cause oxidative stress and can also destroy your skin cells, which results in fine lines, wrinkles and saggy skin. Kefir contains lactic acid that’s very good for your skin. Lactic acid helps rejuvenates cells and tissues exposed to free radical damage.

Get enough sleep every night, follow a balanced diet and consume kefir to boost your nutrient intake and keep your skin smooth and healthy.

Kefir can help heal wounds

Kefir has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that help heal and soothe wounds. The superfood even contains components that can stop the spread of infection in the affected area.

Note that you should refrain from self-medication if your condition is too severe for home remedies.

Incorporating kefir into a healthy diet

You can drink kefir as is, but here are other ways to make the tasty drink a part of your daily routine.

  • Use kefir to make ranch dressing with fewer calories.
  • Make potato salad with kefir if you want to mask its flavor.
  • Make kefir cottage cheese.
  • Use kefir to make chocolate ice cream or chia pudding.
  • Make overnight parfaits using kefir.

Kefir is a versatile superfood with many health benefits. Enjoy kefir plain, or make kefir-based dishes to boost your digestive health.

Sources:

NaturalFoodseries.com

Healthline.com

ProbioticsCouncil.org

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