Kefir: The Curative Grain
Kefir originated centuries ago in the Caucasus mountains. The word “kefir” is derived from the Turkish word “keif,” which literally translates to the “good feeling” one has upon drinking it!
So what exactly is it? Kefir is a complex symbiosis of more than 30 microflora that form a grain-like structure of proteins, lipids and sugars.
Kefir is enjoyed as a fermented milk product by many different cultures worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia. It has a slightly sour and carbonated flavor, due to the fermentation activity of bacteria and yeast culture colonies. Let’s take a look at some more interesting facts about this curative grain!
The following information highlights data taken from the YourKefirSource.com infographic, which can be found below.
Types of Kefir
There are two types of kefir:
1. Water Kefir
- consists of small, transparent grains
- made with fermented sugar water, coconut water and/or fruit juice
2. Milk Kefir
- consists of white/cream-colored grains
- made with fermented milk of cow, goat, sheep
- and/or milk substitutes (ie. coconut, soy, rice milk)
Kefir has an incredible array of health benefits.
- serves as a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes
- contains highly beneficial bacteria and yeasts
The various types of beneficial microbiota found in kefir are considered to be some of the most potent probiotics available!
While yogurt contains beneficial bacteria, they are transient (ie. they must be replenished by continuing to eat yogurt.) The beneficial bacteria found in kefir actually colonizes the intestinal tract, which is a benefit that yogurt cannot provide.
Kefir also contains additional friendly bacteria not found in yogurt, such as:
- Lactobacillus Caucasus
Kefir also contains beneficial species of yeast such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which can help to control the harmful yeast that can fester in the body.
- produces its own antibiotics
- eliminates “bad” bacteria
- rebalances intestinal flora and stomach acid
- regulates metabolism through improved digestion
- promotes blood circulation and normal blood pressure levels
- regulates bile to improve liver/gall bladder functions
- produces anti-cancer compounds and prevents metastasis
- has antifungal properties to promote healing of various skin disorders
- has a positive effect on nervous system
- reduces anxiety and depression
- increases energy and elevates mood
- Studies have shown that milk cultured for 24 hours with live kefir grains can reduce cholesterol up to 63%!
- Of 200 subjects with Type 2 Diabetes, an incredible 85% of them achieved normalized glucose levels after a month of drinking 3 cups of kefir a day.
- The many beneficial enzymes and bacteria in kefir aid in the digestion of lactose.
- By aiding in digestion and helping the body to detox, it is helpful with weight-loss in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise.
Kefir has been scientifically researched and investigated over the last 100 years, starting with Nobel Prize winner, Elie Metchnikoff, who demonstrated that regular use of kefir can:
- alleviate intestinal disorders
- promote bowel movement
- create a healthier digestive system
- restore immune system
Kefir is often referred to as a “miracle milk,” in light of its optimal health properties. To get more information on this “good feeling” elixir, visit http://www.yourkefirsource.com/ and stay updated on kefir trends, smoothie blends and periodic blog updates! Like us on Facebook, too!
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