Kefir is a unique fermented drink that was traditionally made from cow or goat’s milk. While Yogurt is made by the fermentation of bacteria, Kefir is derived from the fermentation of bacteria and Yeast. Its nutritional value changes depending on the type of milk used to make it. Let’s see the extraordinary health benefits of kefir. But before that get to know what is kefir, its types, and nutritional value.
There are people who can’t tolerate dairy products. For them, Kefir acts as a powerful pro-biotic drink that comes loaded with tons of nutritional benefits. There are basically 2 types of Kefir available.
- Milk Kefir and Water Kefir
Milk Kefir is prepared using the milk from cow, goat or sheep. While the water kefir is prepared using the sugary water or using coconut water ( These are not dairy products)
Water Kefir Vs Milk Kefir Health Benefits
- Water Kefir is a great alternative the high sugar and acidic frizzy drinks. But one of the drawbacks of water kefir is “it still has sugar so it is not recommended for the one with diabetic or the one who face Candida issues.
- Water kefir does not contain very high in minerals, calcium, and magnesium as milk kefir. And as with milk, it is not being a source to many Probiotics.
- Water kefir when served as a juice, it may contain alcohol whereas, in milk kefir, there is no alcohol.
It’s the reason why Milk kefir health benefits are always higher than the Water kefir Health benefits.
How To Prepare Kefir At Home?
Kefir can be easily prepared at home. All you need is some ingredients and a clean environment to prepare a healthy Kefir. Take a glass jar and mix one glass of milk and 1Tbps of Kefir grains. Cover this jar using paper coffee filters and use a rubber band to securely close the jar. Now keep this jar under 70°F for 12-48 hours. Now taste the milk. If the taste is tangy sweet, strain the Kefir and store it in a container. This homemade can be consumed for up to 1 week.
Nutrition Facts of Kefir
Kefir is one of the best sources of many nutrients. Its nutritional value changes depending on the type and flavor of milk used to make it.
1 Cup of low-fat cow-milk Kefir (no added sugar) contains
Protein: 11 g (22 % of daily value, or DV)
Fat: 2 g fat (3 % of DV)
Carbohydrates: 12g (4% of DV)
Calcium 390mg (30 % DV)
Vitamin A 90mg (10 % DV)
- Yogurt is a probiotic food mostly consumed as a part of the western diet. Kefir, on the other hand, is more of a potential source of nutrients.
- Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria that are known to keep your digestion clean. Kefir colonizes the Intestinal tract and contains some of the major bacteria including Lactobacillus Caucasus, Acetobacter species, Leuconostoc, and Streptococcus species that are quite hard to find in Yogurt.
16 Extraordinary Health Benefits Of Kefir
Kefir is a fermented milk drink originally derived from the mountains between Asia and Europe. It is almost similar to Yogurt but has tons of health benefits. We have done some research work and compiled a list of benefits that everyone should consider once:
1.Maintains The Sugar Level
A study was done in the year 2015 compared the positive and negative effects of consuming Kefir in people dealing with diabetes. It was found that people consuming Kefir had lower fasting Blood sugar level when compared to people drinking fermented people. Not only this, it was found that diabetic people consuming kefir had managed consistent and controlled blood sugar level for the last 3 months.
2.Act As Powerful Probiotics
There are so many micro-organisms that come pre-loaded with so many health benefits when ingested in the human body. These microorganisms called probiotics benefit health in a number of ways. Water kefir health benefits do not include this Probiotics but it’s found in milk kefir. Helping in digestion-related problems, weight-loss management, heart-friendly ambiance, controlled cholesterol level, and other. Yogurt is especially consumed as a part of the Western diet, but kefir is more of a nutritional source of a diet mainly consumed for its so many health benefits’ reasons. Do you know,Kefir grains contain more than 60 strains of bacteria and yeasts? Yes, you read it right. This composition makes Kefir, a very rich source of probiotic diet
3.Lowers Bad Cholesterol
A study was done in 2017 compared the cholesterol levels of the women drinking low-fat milk and Kefir. All of the participant women drank 2cups of low-fat milk, 4 cups of low-fat milk, or 4 cups a day of kefir. After 8 weeks of test, it was found that women consuming kefir had decreased bad cholesterol level in their body as compared to the women drinking low-fat milk. The probiotics present in Kefir plays a crucial role in deciding how much cholesterol, a human body should absorb from the food?
4.Kefir’s Antibacterial Properties
Its antibacterial properties are known to kill the harmful bacteria. It also has the good bacteria friendly ‘Probiotics’ .Probiotics known as’ Lactobacillus kefir’ which fight against the body’s infections and these are very unique and available in kefir alone. According to the latest study, Lactobacillus kefir can stop the growth of so many harmful bacteria (Salmonella, Helicobacter pylori and E. coli) responsible for the damage of the human body. Kefirancarbohydrate present in kefir comes loaded with anti-bacterial properties that give power to the human body to fight against the bad bacteria.
5. Improves The Bone Health
Bone Health is the main concern of people that don’t get enough calcium. Health benefits of kefir include recovery from Osteoporosis too. Osteoporosis is the major problem for many people these days. Calcium is important for bone health. Kefir that is made from whole-fat milk has high-calcium content. It also contains a bioactive compound that helps the human body to absorb the calcium into its body and fight against bone degeneration. Kefir vitamin K2 that is known for improving bone health, bone density, and calcium-absorbing power. Lack of vitamin K in the human body often results in bone issues. Kefir probiotics improve absorption and since it is a dairy product itself, it contains most of the nutrients (phosphorus, Magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and K2)that are required for improving bone health density.
6.Boost The Immune System
Kefir fermented milk drink contains biotin and folate that are responsible for improving your immune system and protecting cells. Kefir is known to contain a large number of probiotics, the special agents that transform the microbial world. One of the main nutrients of Kefir is called Lactobacillus Kefiri that helps the human body to fight against harmful bacteria for example salmonella and E. Coli. The bacteria in Kefir manage the immune system and improve the growth of many predatory bacteria that boost the immunity system.
The best thing about Kefir is that it contains a powerful compound that can be found only in this drink, kefiran, an insoluble polysaccharide containing antimicrobial properties to fight against candida. This compound lowers cholesterol level and stabilizes blood pressure as well.
7.Lowers The Lactose
Kefir contains bacteria that reduce the Lactose content in your body. If any person is intolerant to lactose, kefir drink helps him or her to consume it without facing any symptoms. A leading brand manufacturing kefir in the U.S. claimed that it is producing Kefir that is 99% free from lactose. A study done by researchers proved that consuming Kefir gives the human body, the strength to consume lactose over a period in time. That means, consuming Kefir for some time will help a person get rid of lactose intolerance problem as well.
8.Protective Against Cancer
Cancer is one of the dreadful diseases of the world that is one of the main reasons for causing death amongst thousands of thousands of people who die every
Cancer grows when abnormal cells of your body start growing uncontrolled and aren’t able to control at any cost. The Tumor is one form of cancer that takes away the life. Kefir probiotic fermented drink is one such dairy product that is known to reduce the growth of uncontrolled cell controlling the tumor growth. It stabilizes your immunity system and hence helps you to deal with Cancer.
9. Can Help Improve The Digestive Problems
Kefir is probiotic milk or water-based drink that can help the consumer in maintaining the balance of friendly bacteria in its gut. This is the main reason why Kefir is used for treating many forms of issues like diarrhea. Probiotics and food containing probiotic are often related to reducing many digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and many others.
10.Fights Tooth Decay
Kefir is fermented tangy taste drink that comes loaded nutrients. It’s, of course, one of the extraordinary health benefits of kefir. It can be addressed as a powerhouse for tooth health. Kefir contains a fatty acid, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2. This is a perfect mixture to get healthy nutrients for teeth. As we said earlier, Kefir contains lactic acid bacteria and yeasts, it helps controls your immunity and manages bleeding gums.
11.May Reduce Allergy & Asthma Symptoms
Consuming certain food or substance may show some allergic reactions in some people. These allergic reactions are caused by strange responses of the body against those foods or substances. So many people with the over-sensitive immune system are vulnerable to allergies and are more prone to conditions like asthma. Kefir is known to reduce the strange responses of the consumer and hence reduces allergy and asthma problems.
12.Help In Weight Loss
Obesity is a serious problem that is often linked to an imbalance in the gut bacteria. Which strain of bacteria is responsible for obesity is still not clear? According to a study, Lactobacillus species, or LAB that is commonly found in kefir has associated properties that can bring a considerable change in weight.
Scientists are researching on this benefit and hopefully, we look forward to getting more details on losing weight by consuming Kefir soon.
Inflammation is as complex as its name itself. It invites a large number of diseases including inflammatory bowel or rheumatoid arthritis. Kefir probiotic contains anti-inflammatory properties that help the human body to fight against Inflammation-related problems.
14.Improves Skin Health
When your body isn’t maintained properly, your gut sends a signal to your skin and it gets easily affected by problems like acne, rashes, psoriasis, and eczema. Kefir helps your body to bring back good bacteria to the front and balance the homeostasis for your skin. Not only it helps to deal with skin issues, but kefir helps to get rid of skin issues like burn and rashes. Kefir contains kefiran carbohydrate that is known to improve the skin quality and add wound healing properties to the body.
15. Kefir Fights Allergies
So many inflammatory issues are linked to allergies and asthma in a human body. A recent study has proved that kefir reduces inflammatory cells that are responsible for damaging the lungs and air passages. The microorganism present in kefir improves immune system and hence helps the human body to fight with
Allergic reactions and helps the body in responding to changes due to allergies that may impact the body. Allergic reactions in a body happen due to the scarcity of good bacteria in the gut. Kefir helps the body to fight effectively.
16.Friendly With Heart
Kefir is a probiotic drink that produces vitamin K2 as one of its by-products after its fermentation process is complete. Low level of K2 is directly linked to all heart-related diseases like heart disease, cancer, and many more. Since Kefir contains optimal vitamin K2, a person consuming it has higher chances of living a healthier life.
How To Add Kefir In Your Diet?
Now we see all the health benefits of kefir. Now let’s see how can you include Kefir in your diet. Just like we consume milk and Yogurt, Kefir can be made a part of regular diet without any hassle. It can be consumed as a beverage, as the blending liquid while preparing a smoothie, or decorated over cereal. It can be added to baked goods, semi-liquid soups, salads, and many more. Heating it might decrease its probiotic concentration so it is advised to consume it in its original form only.
Kefir is safe for regular consumption but certain side effects must be considered before including it in your diet. People allergic to milk must avoid Milk Kefir as it can have an allergic reaction. Kefir with added sugar must not be consumed by diabetic patients. Many commercial brands of Kefir contain alcohol so you can look for alcohol-free Kefir, if interested.
Kefir is a healthy fermented drink as compared to the Yogurt. Traditionally, it was made from milk but nowadays, seeing its demand, non-diary variants are also available in the market. Also if you see the water kefir vs milk kefir health benefits, milk takes the place by pulling water kefir aside. Recent studies prove that milk Kefir improves your immune system, helps in solving digestion-related problems, improves the health of your bones and may help to get rid of cancer as well. To experience all these extraordinary health benefits of kefir, start adding it in your diet today.