Normally I am not a huge fan of cows milk for a multitude of reasons. But mostly because so many people have an allergy or intolerance and don’t even know it. This begins to wreck havoc on our bodies in a multitude of ways, inflammation to name one. Hence where Kefir (pronounced kee-fur) comes in. It is the holy-grail of dairy. The lone dairy superfood perhaps. This dairy product (I guess I should clarify that it doesn’t have to be made strictly from cows milk, more on this in a bit) offers a wide range of vitamins, minerals, probiotics and many healing qualities.
What is Kefir you ask?
Kefir is a fermented milk product made from a colony of healthy bacteria and yeast. This healthy bacteria and yeast make up the “grains” that are used to culture the milk. They are not actual grains, but a matrix of proteins, lipids and sugars. Kefir can be made from the milk of any ruminant animal, such as a cow, goat, or sheep. It is slightly sour and carbonated due to the fermentation activity.
Kefir is loaded with beneficial bacteria and yeasts as well as a rich source of many different vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that promote healing, repair and just good maintenance of health.
The complete proteins in kefir are already partially digested and are therefore more easily utilized by the body. It is a great source of minerals including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus which help our body to utilize carbohydrates, fats and proteins all needed for a ‘healthy metabolism.’ The short story, kefir is one of the most potent probiotic foods available.
Here are ten kefir benefits:
1. Protects against gastrointestinal diseases (1)
2. Improve lactose digestion in adults with lactose intolerance (2)
3. Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties in the gut (3)
4. Great source of vitamin K2 (a very important nutrient lacking in the American diet) (4)
5. Help regulate immune function, allergic response and inflammation(5)
6. Some research indicates it may have an anti-tumor effect (6)
7. When applied topically can be good at healing wounds (7)
8. Contains tryptophan, the amino acid that can lead to a relaxing effect (this is the turkey ingredient that puts you to sleep every Thanksgiving) (8)
9. Great source of protein (around 10-11 grams per serving)
10. Contains phosphorus needed to help our bodies use carbohydrates and protein for energy and cell growth (9)
The bonus, you can make it at home using this Kefir recipe! Okay I realize this many not be a bonus to some of you and in that case you can buy it at the store as well! Just make sure if you buy it at the store you watch the sugar content (as everything). Store-bought kefir is known to come with quite the sugar load as well as preservatives and yada yada yada.
But if you choose the other option (which is far less expensive, surprisingly simple and much better for you) you can make your own. First you need to buy kefir “grains” online. You can buy them from Happy Healers on Etsy or from Cultures for Health. If you take care of your “grains”, they should last indefinitely, remember it is a living organism.
It can be made through whole (raw preferably) cows milk, goats milk, coconut milk or just plain-jane sweetened water. These provide many of the same benefits as dairy kefir.
My kefir grains are on their way. Order yours soon and we can do this together! I promise it won’t be a painful process. I will give you a step-by-step tutorial soon. Just be warned, you will be known as one of those crazy people with random jars scattered around your house with your newest health concoction. It’s quite okay, we can be weird together. Fermented foods are the way to go.