Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
Kefir has recently become popular because of reports that the natural probiotics in this cultured milk drink help people digest their food more efficiently. It is high in minerals and probiotics and helps improve digestion, plus it’s excellent for gut health!
Kefir is a fermented dairy product many people believes contains more probiotics than yogurt. The probiotics in kefir are thought to be higher because the bacteria and yeast are allowed to ferment for longer. Kefir is also a functional food because it contains nutrients that can help you stay healthy.
So what are some of the kefir’s benefits? Keep reading to find out!
What Is Kefir?
Kefir is a healthy fermented milk drink originating in Russia’s Caucasus Region. Today, it’s enjoyed throughout many countries. Kefir is made from cow’s or goat’s milk, water, and kefir grains. The grains are a combination of bacteria and yeast strains that form together into a gelatinous mass.
Like liquid yogurt, Kefir tastes sour and salty, and it’s thick. Kefir gets its slightly carbonated flavor from the fermentation process. Microorganisms produce gases as they break down the carbohydrates in the milk, which causes this effect.
Surprising Health Benefits of Kefir
Kefir has a lot of health benefits. It’s rich in probiotics, beneficial bacteria that help support digestion and the immune system. They also aid with nutrient absorption and can help prevent yeast infections. Here are some more benefits of kefir:
Kefir Is An Excellent Source Of Numerous Nutrients
This fermented beverage is traditionally produced using cow’s or goat’s milk. It is prepared by combining milk with kefir grains. These are not cereal grains but cauliflower-like yeast colonies and lactic acid bacteria. The bacteria in the kefir grains proliferate and ferment the carbohydrates in the milk for around 24 hours, converting it to kefir. The grains are then taken from the liquid and can be reused.
In other words, kefir is the beverage, but kefir grains are the starter culture required to make it. Lactic acid bacteria in the grains convert lactose in milk to lactic acid. This gives kefir its sour flavor and thinner consistency, akin to yogurt.
A cup of low-fat kefir has the following ingredients:
- Protein: 9 grams
- Calcium: 24% of the daily value (DV)
- Phosphorus: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin B12: 29% of the DV
- Riboflavin (B2): 25% of the DV
- Magnesium: 7% of the DV
- Vitamin D: 12% of the DV
Furthermore, depending on the type of milk used, kefir has approximately 104 calories, 11.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 2-3 grams of fat. Kefir also includes numerous bioactive substances, such as organic acids and peptides, which contribute to its health advantages.
Kefir without dairy can be produced with coconut water, coconut milk, or other sweet liquids. These will lack the nutritious profile of dairy-based kefir.
Kefir Contains Powerful Antimicrobial Capabilities
Kefir contains probiotics that are thought to defend against illnesses. This includes the kefir-specific probiotic Lactobacillus kefir. This probiotic has been shown in studies to suppress the growth of various dangerous bacteria, including Salmonella, Helicobacter pylori, and E. coli. Kefiran, a type of carbohydrate found in kefir, is also antimicrobial.
Kefir Has More Probiotics Than Yogurt
When consumed, some microbes can be good for one’s health. Probiotics are microorganisms that may benefit health in various ways, including digestion, weight control, and mental wellness. Although yogurt is the most well-known probiotic meal in the Western diet, kefir is a considerably more effective source.
Kefir grains can contain up to 61 different types of bacteria and yeasts, making them an extremely rich and diverse probiotic source, though this diversity varies. Other fermented dairy products include no yeasts and are manufactured from significantly fewer strains.
Kefir May Be Cancer-Protective
Cancer ranks high among the leading causes of death in the world. It happens when your body’s aberrant cells grow uncontrollably, such as in a tumor. Probiotics in fermented dairy products inhibit tumor growth by boosting your immune system. As a result, it is possible that kefir can help fight cancer.
Several test-tube experiments have demonstrated this protective role. According to one study, kefir extract reduced the number of human breast cancer cells by 56%, while yogurt extract only reduced the number by 14%. Remember that human research is required before reaching definitive results.
Kefir Contains Little Lactose
Lactose is a natural sugar found in most dairy products. To this day, many people, especially adults, still have trouble digesting lactose. One name for this issue is lactose intolerance. Lactic acid bacteria in fermented dairy foods, such as kefir and yogurt, convert lactose to lactic acid, making these meals substantially lower in lactose than milk.
They also include enzymes that can aid in the further breakdown of lactose. As a result, compared to ordinary milk, kefir is often well-accepted by persons with lactose sensitivity. Remember that you can prepare lactose-free kefir by using coconut water, fruit juice, or another non-dairy beverage.
Kefir Has The Potential To Alleviate Allergy And Asthma Symptoms
Allergic reactions are the result of inflammatory responses to specific foods or chemicals. Individuals with hypersensitive immune systems are more prone to allergies, which can lead to asthma-related illnesses.
Kefir has been found in animal experiments to decrease inflammatory reactions associated with allergies and asthma. Human research is required to properly understand these impacts.
Amount Of Probiotics In Kefir
Yogurt is widely recognized as one of the greatest probiotic sources because of its natural composition. However, the amount of probiotics in kefir far outweighs that in yogurt.
Although yogurt may include up to 50 million colony-forming units (CFUs) of probiotics, the kefir plant can have as many as 10 billion CFUs.=
While this varies based on the type of kefir, the average kefir plant includes approximately 60 beneficial bacteria and yeast types. Having a variety of probiotics provides extra advantages.
Kefir is a healthy fermented food that has the consistency of drinkable yogurt and is made from milk. It contains live, active probiotics (good bacteria) and yeast. If you feel your diet does not provide enough probiotic strains essential to good health, it is possible to take probiotic supplements instead. The best probiotic supplements will contain several strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast, which helps encourage a healthy gut.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.