Benefits of Kefir

The benefits of kefir are a result of the probiotics contained within this tangy, yogurt-like cultured product.

Milk kefir "grains"

What are probiotics?

Firstly, while it is not widely realised,
the word ‘probiotic’ = “for life”.
That is the opposite of ‘antibiotic’ (against life).

Probiotics are the micro-organisms (bacteria & yeast) that are prevalent and thrive in cultured foods and beverages. Probiotics can also be obtained in a variety of supplements, however as with any supplement, are far less beneficial than when found in fermented products.

Researchers suggest a whole range of benefits are provided by probiotics, including;

    Powerful detoxifiers.
    This detoxification allows us to have a healthy liver and is also said to aid cancer prevention.
    NB: Due to their powerful detoxifying effects, people must ensure they keep their water intake up when consuming fermented products, particularly kombucha.

    Improve digestive (gut) health.
    The “living things” (colony of good bacteria and yeast, known as probiotics) that enter our bodies when we consume fermented products, provide us with all kinds of benefits, including improved digestion, helping prevent candida, mental clarity
    and even a “mood booster”.
    The media and some people in the medical industry are touting that “The Gut is the new Brain” – so that’s how important many people view the health of the digestive system!
    And what better way to ensure you have a healthy gut, than through consuming delicious fermented products.

    Decrease desire for alcohol.
    This one is not something that is reported often, but since consuming fermented products on a consistent, daily basis, I have virtually no desire to drink alcohol.
    For anybody that has ever known me, you will know that this is quite unusual.
    I have also seen this effect in friends, family and extended family,
    on various levels.

    This may be scary for some, but go ahead, give it a try and see all the benefits of probiotics for yourself, and let us know what you discover!
    As kefir contains a variety of probiotics, the benefits of kefir are the same as those outlined above.

What exactly is kefir?

Believed to have originated in Eastern Europe, kefir is made from milk (cows, coconut etc) and combined with a “culture” (known as ‘grains’).
These 'grains' undergo a fermentation process
(under ideal conditions, between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius)
to create a probiotic-rich, tangy, yogurt-like substance.
The tangy flavour in kefir is a result of the bacteria, Lactobacillus caucasius which turns the lactose to lactic acid.
The yeasts used are Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which ferment the lactose into a small amount of carbon dioxide and alcohol.
Some of the other strains of bacteria contained in kefir include;

  • Leuconostoc
  • Acetobacter species
  • Streptococcus species

What are the Specific Benefits of Kefir?

Kefir contains a variety of essential nutrients and minerals that are vital for proper functioning of the body.
These include;

  • Proteins
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium

Kefir also contains various beneficial probiotics (mentioned above). These microorganisms assist in maintaining digestive health and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines. Researchers have suggested some other benefits including;

  • Ease of lactose intolerance and allergies
  • Prevent digestive disorders
  • Assist with weight loss
    (due to kefir’s low calorie count and reduced desire for sugary products)
  • Cancer prevention

So why would I consume
Kefir rather than Yogurt?

Great question!

While both provide their own benefits, kefir contains some probiotic strains which cannot be found in yogurts.
Kefir is said to contain 3 times the amount of probiotics that are in yogurt.

Kefir comprises 30 - 40 billion probiotic organisms
per half cup serving.

Click here to discover the benefits of yogurt, because while kefir is my personal preference due to the strains of probiotics it contains,
yogurt is also an excellent source of probiotics with its own benefits!

I love this tangy, delicious cultured product, and when used as part of a balanced and active lifestyle, the benefits of kefir are many and varied.

Have you had yours today?