There has been a lot of press about Kefir recently and with good reason. A fermented food cultured from dairy, Kefir is one of the richest sources of probiotics- containing far more ‘good’ probiotic bacteria than yogurt or cheese.
We aren’t the first to discover the benefits of Kefir however. The healing qualities of drinking Kefir have been rumoured for centuries – since the origin of the drink in the Caucus mountains that lie between the Black Sea and the Caspian Seas, separating Asia and Europe. The word ‘Kefir’ originates from the Turkish work “keif,” which means “good feeling.” Kefir first got it’s taste of fame in the 1900’s when a Russian scientist and Nobel Prize winner, Ilya Metchnikoff discovered villagers in the Caucasus Mountains were living much longer than the rest of the population- this was put down to their daily consumption of Kefir.
So how does it compare to yogurt?
Kefir tastes a lot like a yogurt, but differs in a number of ways. Kefir is made from special grains that are made up of bacteria, milk proteins and yeast. While it’s most commonly made with cow or goats milk it can also be made with other forms of milk and milk substitutes, such as coconut milk, soy milk and eve sugar water. Due to the fermentation process in making kefir, people who are lactose intolerant can also drink kefir.
If you aren’t already convinced, here are 10 reasons you should add Kefir to your daily diet.
1. Kefir looks after your gut
Drinking kefir daily helps increase the proportion of healthy bacteria in your gut and as a result improves your overall gut health. Combining Kefir with a healthy diet high in fibre has been found to improve digestion, reduce inflammation and symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcers.
2. Kefir reduces cholesterol
Kefir helps lower blood lipid levels and harmful fatty acids which affects cholesterol. Kefir also enriched with the plant-based compounds phytosterol and stanol have been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
3. Kefir= good skin
The probiotic bacteria in Kefir helps to control nasty bacteria and pathogens that cause inflammation and infection in the body that can cause acne, psoriasis, rosecea and eczema,as well as skin allergies and ageing. In addition, Kefir contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid which promotes a healthy youthful complexion. Kefir has even been shown to help wounds heal.
4. Kefir is a natural antibiotic
Lactobacillus kefiri, a unique probiotic found in kefir, has been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria such as salmonella, h-pylori and e-coli – helping to restore the balance of good bacteria, reduce inflammation, the symptoms of leaky gut and auto-immune diseases.
5. Kefir is better than supplements
A glass of Kefir can contain 30 different strains of bacteria and up to 1.5 trillion beneficial bacteria which is more than 100 times as many as you’d find a probiotic supplement.
6. Kefir is richer in probiotics than yogurt
Kefir contains 3 times as many beneficial bacteria and nutrients as yogurt, including probiotic strains and species that are not even present in yogurt.
7. Kefir has essential nutrients
Kefir is loaded with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and a broad spectrum of amino acids, the building blocks of protein that support optimal body functioning.
8. Kefir can improvs bone density
Kefir is rich in phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2 – all of which are necessary for good bone density. Kefir also contains vitamin K2 for bone health and chemical compounds that help the body to absorb calcium, reducing bone degeneration.
9. Kefir is a good source of protein
Kefir improves the protein quality of milk, and enhances absorption and digestion – which in turn helps reduce appetite and build muscle mass. Time to start adding it to those post gym shakes!
10. Kefir improves mood & reduces anxiety
Kefir contains tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps raise the levels of serotonin – the happy hormone in the brain. This means kefir can improve your mood and mental well being.
Original article: http://www.thegoodgut.org/12-reasons-to-drink-kefir/