Everyone craves for a healthy and fit body, isn’t it? But are you aware that a healthy body is the result of a healthy gut? You take good care of your stomach, and it will take care of you in return. Statistics tell us that about 70 million people in the US itself combat digestive diseases annually. It can get managed by incorporating kefir in your diet as it is the most probiotic-rich food on earth. Consuming kefir benefits your body and all over health in several ways. Read to know how.
What is Kefir?
Kefir is a drink that has a sour taste and made by fermenting yeast and bacteria in cow’s milk. Kefir grains form by combining yeast and bacteria. Unlike other grains, such as wheat and rice kefir grains are gluten-free. It is added to milk and kept in a warm place to culture. The result is kefir beverage or milk kefir. Water kefir is made of sweet coconut water. Most kefir benefits are due to its unbelievable probiotic content.
Kefir Nutritional Facts
Nutritional info for one cup of cow’s milk kefir (no added sugar)
- Protein- 11 grams
- Fat- 2 grams
- Carbohydrates- 12 grams
- Sugar- 12 grams
- Calcium- 390 milligrams
- Vitamin A- 90 micrograms
How Kefir benefits the Overall Health?
Just like any other probiotic food, kefir also has many health benefits. Kefir benefits range from systemic to topical and can affect your daily life as well as health positively. Some top kefir benefits are as follows:
1. Boosts Immunity
Biotin and folate contained in Kefir boost your immune system and protects the body cells. It contains probiotics in massive amounts that are the special forces of the world of microbes. One such microbe, specific to kefir is Lactobacillus Kefir which safeguards the body against harmful bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella. This bacterial strain and some others help to aid in modulating the immune system and hampering the growth of many predatory bacteria.
2. Kefir Benefits in Weight Loss
Kefir weight loss diet includes low-fat kefir which can be part of any weight loss program. Kefir helps in lowering body mass index, waist circumference as well as body fat. The main reason behind it is the high protein content of kefir, rich protein diet is very filling and can last for more extended periods as compared to carb-rich diet. Kefir calories are very less. One cup whole fat cow milk kefir contains 150 calories.
3. Builds Bone Strength
In today’s world Osteoporosis has become a significant concern for most people. The systems do not get sufficient calcium which is vital for bone health. Whole fat dairy kefir has a high level of calcium. Kefir also contains bioactive compounds that aid in the absorption of calcium into the body and curbs bone degeneration. The Vitamin K2 in Kefir is imperative for improving bone health, bone density and absorption of calcium in the bones. Kefir probiotics enhance nutrient absorption, and the dairy in itself is rich in nutrients that improve bone density.
4. Kefir Benefits Digestion and Fights IBS
Maintaining a balance of healthy bacteria in the gut is a tricky business. You can restore this balance by including organic kefir milk and kefir yogurt in your diet. They help combat gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Kefir, rich in antibiotics soothes the gut after taking antibiotics, and its probiotic compounds restore the flora that combats pathogens. The probiotics also fight against a large number of gastrointestinal side effects caused by medicines.
5. Fights Cancer
Cancer has become an epidemic in today’s world. Kefir benefits our body by fighting this vicious disease. It can act as an effective weapon in the fight with these dangerous and multiplying cells. Kefir probiotics tend to make the cancer cells in the stomach self-destructing. Kefir plays a robust anti-carcinogenic role within the body. It is capable of slowing down the growth of tumors in their initial stage and stops them from converting into malignant tumors.
How to Use Kefir?
Kefir has lots of gut-friendly bacteria that keep the intestine happy. You can enjoy it by including it in various everyday recipes. Some ideas are listed here:
- Blend kefir with fruits of your choice to form delicious smoothies.
- Kefir can replace yogurt, cream or buttermilk in creamy dressings.
- You can also cut down on calories and please your tummy with the probiotic goodness by using kefir in place of mayo in summer salads.
- Replace milk with kefir in homemade ice creams and yogurts for a delectable, tangy treat. Compliment this with delicious fruits like bananas and strawberries.
- Homemade kefir is simple to make and original with immense benefits. The best version is the one made from goat’s milk.
Kefir water Recipe
Water Kefir has a very subtle taste and a light texture and gets made from fruit juice or sugar water. It is easy to make and is full of kefir benefits.
- Rehydrated water kefir grains
- ¼ cup sugar for every quart of water
- Pour ¼ cup sugar in a jar with ½ cup hot water. Swirl until the sugar dissolves.
- To this add three cups of water at room temperature or cold water.
- Check the temperature of the liquid to ensure that it is at room temperature.
- To this add water Kefir grains. Cover and store in a warm place to culture for 24 hours. Use organic kefir for best results.
- Once the culturing gets done, prepare another batch of sugar repeating step 1-3.
- Separate the kefir grains from the prepared water kefir and place them in the new sugar mixture.
- The water kefir is ready to be consumed.
Kefir Side Effects
Kefir is usually considered safe and has minimal side effects. Kefir benefits the body’s immune system and makes it easier for it to recover from many ailments. If your system is exhausted, every compromised or is not habitual of having bacterial strains and yeast in it; you might face a few initial problems which include-
- Intestinal cramping
Kefir vs. Yogurt
The most significant disparity is the type of probiotic that both contain. Kefir has 10-34 types of good bacteria strains along with the benefits of the yeast strain. On the other hand, yogurt has only 2-7 types of good bacteria strain.
Yogurt has transient bacteria that are good for cleaning up the gut and also offer food to good bacteria. These bacteria do not stay within the intestine. Alternatively, kefir bacteria colonize in the gut walls, stay there and control the gut. They also combat all the bad bacteria and pathogens in your stomach.
Kefir is a healthy probiotic drink with a consistency similar to drinkable yogurt. Traditionally it is made from dairy, but there are several non-dairy options available as well. Studies suggest that kefir benefits the body in several ways. It boosts the immune system, improves bone health and helps resolve digestive issues to mention a few. So, kick start your kefir journey to make the most of this deliciously sour drink.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it safe to drink kefir every day?
Yes, you can consume Kefir daily as it is safe.
2. Can Kefir raise Blood Pressure?
Drinking kefir might have a positive impact on the blood pressure as it increases communication between the brain and the gut.
3. How does Kefir taste?
Kefir has a very distinct taste, somewhat sour, refreshing and deliciously creamy. It is nearly similar to greek yogurt.