Most people have never heard of KEFIR, much less ingested it, but I will say that not only is it a nutritional powerhouse but I would drink it as religiously as taking my vitamins. If you’ve never heard of kefir, it is yogurt- like drink that has been used for food and health purposes for thousands of years. You can even make your own Kefir at home, but most of us don’t have enough time to buy it much less culture kefir in our kitchens. Don’t worry, you can get this tasty drink at some grocery stores and certainly in health food stores or WHOLEFOODS.
Kefir can be made of cow, goat, sheep’s milk or even coconut, rice or soy milk. The milk is inoculated with kefir grains which are a combination of bacteria and yeasts. It is a cultured, enzyme rich food that is also high in lactic acid. It is a probiotic which creates the colonization of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract. It is actually more nutrient rich than yogurt because it has more than double the amount of active cultures.
My favorite Kefir brand is LIFEWAY, which offers a huge variety of products. I drink the unsweetened plain Kefir every day. If you like the plain PINKBERRY, you will love this flavor. Of course, try other brands to find your own taste preference.
LIFEWAY yogurt contains 10 strains of friendly bacteria:
I am a big “bang for your buck” eater and buyer, so if your kefir does not contain all of these bacteria, you are not getting the best.
The benefits of this drink are huge. Studies show that Kefir:
1. Stimulates digestion of other foods.
2. Improves immunity by stimulating microphages that fight pathogens.
3. Makes your intestinal tract more resistant to pathogens like e. coli and listeria.
4. Works as a mild laxative and promotes regular bowel movements.
5. More easily digested than other dairy products.
6. As part of your daily dairy intake, it can help with weight loss efforts.
7. Calcium and B-Vitamin rich.
8. Can be consumed by Lactose intolerant persons.
9. May help fight against common cold and improve mood.
10. High in protein and low in fat.