Kefir is a fermented milk drink believed to have originated in the Caucasus Mountains. The word Kefir comes from the Turkish word keyif, which means “good feeling”, due to the good feeling kefir gives you. Kefir has a similar consistency to yogurt, except thinner. Kefir is a quirky drink with a slight fizz and a tart taste. The degree of fizz and sourness depends on the length of fermentation. Being a fermented drink, kefir is a rich source of beneficial bacteria.
Here are 10 health benefits you can get from drinking kefir.
- Kefir is a Potential Source of Probiotics
Kefir is fermented with a combination of bacteria and yeast called water kefir grains. This makes kefir a good source of probiotics. One study identified the different strains of beneficial yeasts in kefir and their survival through the gastrointestinal system. This study showed that kefir has good potential as a functional food.
- Source of Many Nutrients
Not only is kefir a good source of beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir is also a source of protein, calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and magnesium.
- Could Boost Immune Function
Regular consumption of kefir is sown to boost the immune system.
- Kefir May Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Kefir shows benefits in helping to reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body (). It may also have effects on how the body processes and uses cholesterol. This may help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
- Kefir May Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Those with diabetes have shown reduced levels of blood sugar after consuming kefir in one small study.
- Kefir Has Potent Antibacterial Properties
One study has demonstrated that kefir has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Particularly against Candida, Saccharomyces, Rhodotorula, Microsporum, Torulopsis and Trichopyton species.
- Improves Bone Health and Lowers the Risk of Osteoporosis
Kefir may play a role in bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Kefir is a good source of calcium, and also vitamin K2 which plays an important role in calcium metabolism.
- Protective Against Cancer
Some research has shown that kefir may play a role in cancer prevention. One study using mice has shown that kefir may have anti-tumour effects.
- Kefir May Improve Allergy and Asthma Symptoms
Kefir has displayed anti inflammatory and anti-allergic effects in mice models. This shows promising results for those suffering from allergies and asthma.
- Kefir Is Low in Lactose
One of the great things about kefir is that many of those who are lactose intolerant may tolerate it. This is due to the bacteria present that breakdown lactose and convert it into lactic acid. This makes kefir lower in lactose than regular dairy milk.
Kefir is simple to make at home, for an easy recipe. For those who don’t tolerate dairy, kefir can be made with a number of different non-dairy milks. You can even make water kefir. For more information about kefir and its benefits, or to buy kefir grains, visit Nourish Me Organics.