Kefir: a superfood

Kefir: a superfood
Yogurt has always been a part of my diet because of its health benefits. Now, I am equally in love with kefir, one of the most nutritious and beneficial foods you can find. This simple cultured milk drink may help power up your immune system and reduce allergic inflammation.

If you’re not drinking kefir, you’re missing out on the beverage’s myriad of nutrients and vitamins, healing properties and beneficial bacteria. The word “kefir” is derived from the Turkish word “keif” which means “good feeling.” Traditional cultures have attributed healing powers to kefir for centuries.

What is kefir?

Kefir is fermented milk. People have been making kefir for centuries from the milk of animals, including cows, sheep and goats. Kefir is slightly sour and carbonated due to the fermentation activity of bacteria and yeast that make up the “grains” used to culture the milk.

Why add kefir to your diet?

•Kefir and yogurt are alike in that they both require fermentation to grow beneficial bacteria but each contains different types of bacteria. The beneficial bacteria found in yogurt help keep the digestive tract clean and provide food for friendly bacteria found in the gut. The bacteria in kefir can colonize the intestinal tract with a wider range of bacteria and yeast.

•Kefir is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that help promote healing and repair and better health. High levels of thiamin, B12, calcium, folates and Vitamin K2 are found in kefir, and its protein is partially broken down and more easily utilized by the body.

•Kefir may reduce allergic reactions in the body as studies have found compounds in the drink may moderate the body’s allergic response.

•Kefir may improve lactose digestion in those with lactose intolerance.

How to add kefir to your diet?

If you are new to kefir, I would recommend buying some to get started.
Look for a high quality kefir, one with minimal additives and extra ingredients. I have tried both Lifeway Organic Low Fat Plain Kefir and Redwood Hill Farm’s Goat Milk Kefir. The Lifeway product is easier to locate and less expensive than the Redwood Hill Farm’s kefir. However, the Redwood Hill Farm’s kefir is so creamy it’s hard to believe it is a health food.

You also can try making your own kefir at home. I have been experimenting with making my own kefir from organic low-fat milk. You will need to buy kefir grains and a starter kit from a site such as

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