Kefir is a delicious fermented drink originally from the Caucasus countries. Similar to yogurt, kefir is excellent for treating various digestive problems, improving bone health and fighting bacterial infections in a completely natural way. It is also a great option for lactose intolerant people. Next, we know what it really is, what its secret properties are and how we can make it at home with a simple and simple recipe.
What is Kefir?
Kefir is native to eastern Europe and southwest Asia and its name comes from the Turkish word keyif, which means “feeling good” after eating. Kefir is the name by which both the group of microorganisms that is used to make the kefir and its drink itself is designated. Its grains, formed by yeast cultures and lactic bacteria, are white grains that look similar to cauliflower. An adding these grains to milk cow or goat, microorganisms ferments the milk sugars resulting drink. The estimated fermentation time is 24 hours. Once the process is finished, it is possible to remove the grains to use them again and get more kefir.
What does Kefir Taste Like?
Kefir has a flavor similar to yogurt, but with a more liquid consistency.
Note: This can be made with milk, water and even tea.
175 ml of kefir made with milk contain:
- Calcium: 20% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
- Phosphorus: 20% of the CDR.
- Vitamin B2: 19% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B12: 14% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 5% of the CDR.
- Carbohydrates:8 grams.
- Protein: 6 grams.
- Fat: 3-6 grams (depending on the type of milk).
- Vitamin D.
- 100 calories
- Bioactive compounds: organic acids and peptides
What Benefits Does Kefir Offer You?
Probiotic foods, like this, contain live microorganisms that lodge in the intestine and help maintain the balance of intestinal bacteria. The best known source of probiotics is yogurt. However, it contains even more probiotics than yogurt: about 30 different microorganisms.
For this Reason:
Kefir may be effective in combating some digestive problems such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), infections caused by various bacteria, etc.
Osteoporosis and Bone Health:
Osteoporosis, a widespread disease in western countries, is characterized by deterioration of bone tissue and is very common in older women.
How does Kefir Work to Improve Osteoporosis?
It is made from high-fat milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin K2, both essential nutrients to maintain optimal bone health and delay the development of osteoporosis. Also, recent animal studies have revealed that it can increase calcium absorption from bone cells, which increases bone density and helps prevent fractures
Thanks to its high and broad content of probiotics, kefir can protect you against some infections caused by bacteria. Furthermore, a single probiotic and Lactobacillus kefiri , is capable of preventing the growth of harmful bacteria such as H. Pylori, Salmonella and E. coli
“Finally, kefir also contains a carbohydrate known for its antibacterial properties: kefiran”.
Asthma and Allergy:
Allergic reactions are caused by inflammatory responses that occur against harmless environmental substances. According to several animal studies, kefir could eliminate these anti-inflammatory responses and, therefore, improve allergy and asthma symptoms. However, it is still necessary to carry out studies in humans to determine if the effects of it on allergy and asthma are the same.
Good news for people who don’t tolerate lactose! People with lactose intolerance are unable to break down and properly digest the lactose contained in conventional dairy products. But what about the kefir? It contains lactic acid bacteria that convert lactose into lactic acid. In addition, they also contain enzymes that contribute to the breakdown of lactose.
For this Reason:
People who are lactose intolerant do not usually have problems tolerating this. On the other hand, and as I mentioned earlier, it is possible to make kefir with liquids other than milk (fruit juice, tea, coconut water …), so there is also the possibility of taking 100% lactose-free kefir.
Some studies with test tubes have shown that kefir can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
How does Kefir Work Against Cancer?
The probiotics present in kefir can reduce the formation of carcinogenic compounds and thus inhibit the growth of tumors. According to one study, this extract reduced the number of breast cancer cells by 56%, compared with 14% of yogurt extract. However, it is still necessary to conduct studies in humans to determine if this is really effective against cancer.
Preparation at Home:
What is kefir and what benefits does it give you? After knowing the main virtues of this, you are already leaving home to buy it, right? Usually, you can find quality of this in supermarkets and other food stores, but there are people who prefer to make it at home and thus make sure what they really drink (there is nothing better than homemade). Do you feel like trying?
You Just Need:
- 1 or 2 tablespoons kefir grains
- A container with a lid
- 2 cups of milk (the more natural and pure the better)
- Put the kefir grains in the bowl and add the milk. Try not to fill the container to the top; leave 2-3 cm free.
- If you want it to be thicker, add fat-rich cream.
- Cover it and let it sit for 12 to 36 hours at room temperature.
- When it begins to have a lumpy consistency, strain the liquid to separate the kefir grains from the drink.
And that’s it! You already have your homemade kefir drink ready to drink. And if you feel like taking it fresh, leave it in the fridge for a while to cool and serve later. Simple, delicious and super nutritious.