Kefir: All The Nutritional Facts & Health Benefits
From the Caucasus Mountains located in the Eastern part of Europe, is where the ‘kefir grains’ are first originated. Kefir, is taken from there and used to make a drink that is popular throughout eastern Europe, Southwest Asia, and Russia.
This popular drink is being cultured from the ‘kefir grains’. Which are added to the base mixture to ferment. The base of the culture is made with the milk from soybeans, animals, and coconuts, and other ingredients in the base include: fruit juices, and a solution that is made from sugar and molasses. Once fermenting is completed, the grains get strained, and the drink is then packaged for selling.
Working at the Stony Brook University’s cancer center, one of their registered oncology dietitians, Jennifer Fitzgibbon, had this to say, “The grains, are the type of grains one would think of when talking of grains, such as grains of sand, instead they are merely cultures consisting of yeast and bacteria of lactic acid, which looks similar to a cauliflower visually.”
Nutritional information and kefir’s benefits
The reasons for drinking Kefir has been publicized, and the main reasons to drink Kefir would be because it consists of probiotics and prebiotics. “It is a lot more potent than other forms of fermented dairy products, having at least thirty different microorganisms,” Fitzgibbon stated.
According to what the mayo Clinic had to say, “probiotics are microorganisms, which are helpful with the digestive system, helping to protect the body from bacteria that could other wise be harmful.” They also sated that “prebiotics are carbohydrates that fuel the probiotics.” Luckily, both of these come with Kefir. Furthermore, Kefir also contains protein, calcium, and vitamin-B.
Why is it healthy?
May studies have been performed on Kefir, and how it benefits in the aid of human health. For instance, it has been found that there is a topical jel that is made from Kefir, which helped the wounds in rats heal faster. It is said by the researchers from the University of Bucharest that “ Kefir also has anti-bacterial properties.”
Researchers from Turkey performed another study and had this to say, “when Kefir is consumed, it possibly gives the immune system a boost.” The researchers from Japan said that “it is feasible that the drink has anti-tumor properties.”
Dr. Jennifer Jackson is an internist at Ascension Via Christi Health, and she had this to say, “during a study that was performed recently, the fermented probiotic made from kefir grains with a base made with milk can reduce inflammation, obesity, and markers of pre diabetes.”
There have been other studies as well, like the one performed by researchers from Brazil, and also one that was published in an European Journal of Nutrition backing up the ideas of Kefir possibly an anti-inflammatory.
What is kefir made from?
Even though Kefir comes from a form of yeast, it is possible that it can help to fight other yeast conditions that may be harmful to humans. Dr. Vincent Pedre, who wrote the book ‘Happy Gut’ and is also an internist out of New York City, had this to say, “Kefir can be used for fighting excessive yeast build-up in the body, and that homemade Kefir would work the best for this.
Kefir can be made by anyone that has the kefir grains and these can easily be bought online, or even at a health food store in your local area. Women sometimes suffer from yeast infections, they may be reoccurring ones, or they may be from taking an antibiotic, Kefir can help to get back their proper balance of the good bacteria that should be inside the guts.” Plain homemade Kefir made with one of the following: goat’s milk, coconut mild, or organic dairy works the best.”
If someone cannot drink regular milk without having problems with digesting it, they may be able to get relief from drinking Kefir. According to Fitzgibbon, who stated that “Kefir’s lactose has already been pre-digested by the lactic acid bacteria, making it possible for those that are lactose intolerance to eat Kefir with no issues.”