Kefir is a drink which helps to nourish the digestion system and it is also an alkaline forming beverage which provides a gentle covering of good mucus on the internal lining of the digestive tract. Milk Kefir made from dairy milk which is a thick and looks like yogurt cultured drink. It can also be made from coconut milk or assorted nut milk varieties.
Milk Kefir is sour in taste but refreshing that is made from fermented food inoculated with valuable bacteria and yeast which break down the lactose in milk into lactic acid and propionic acid and other sugar founds in vegan milk also break down into lactic acid and propionic acid.
As kefir ferments, it greatly improves the health of the colon and entire gastrointestinal tract as well as boost immune functions by developing a complex matrix of beneficial microorganisms. It also provides natural probiotic properties which can be extremely helpful for re-establishing healthy gut flora.
In the digestive tract and intestines, these beneficial bacteria can further incubate and colonize and regular or periodic consumption coats the lining of the digestive tract and intestines. Drinking kefir a glass in the morning on an empty stomach is especially recommended for those who have a past history of antibiotic use as these drugs tend to kill all friendly microflora in the body, leaving yeast strains to dominate.
As per Donna Gates: “Kefir drink has enormous healing ability and with its laxative effects, it helps clean the colon. Pathogenic yeast has been controlled by its beneficial bacteria and yeast and also repopulate the colon with a favorable and start new life force.”
How To Make Kefir At Home
It is easy to make homemade kefir as it essentially only takes 2 ingredients, milk, and your grains and/or starter. Typically you would use about 1 tablespoon grains or 1 quart of milk. The process from start to finish is about 24 hours to get a perfectly tangy gelatinized dairy and vegan milk drink.
These versions of kefir are always considered as best in place of commercial varieties. Kefir, pronounced “kee-fir”, is traditionally made from cow or goats milk but one of the advantages of making your own homemade style is that you can use vegan milk options instead of consuming animal products.
A thick creamy kefir can be achieved by using a combination of coconut meat and coconut water as well as homemade nut milk blends.
- 1 Quart Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Grains
Kefir Vs Yogurt
Kefir is not yogurt and although they are both cultured, each contains entirely different types of beneficial bacteria. As we all know, the process of making yogurt uses primarily strains of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus bacteria whereas kefir grains contain lots of different strains of Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, Pseudomonas, Acetobacter and streptococcus and also various kinds of yeast species such as Saccharomyces, Kluyveromyces, Torula, and Kazachstania.
More therapeutically nourishing than yogurt, the microbial activity in kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract while yogurt acts more like a prebiotic feeding any friendly flora that may be present.
Traditional and Historical Use
The use of Kefir is thought to have originated from Russian descent but it is also known to have come from somewhere in the Caucasus Mountain Region, specifically Armenia, Turkey, Germany, and Iran where it has been as a sacred cultured food for centuries.
Kefir word is obtained from the word “keif” from the Turkish language that means “to feel good”. Kefir traditionally was prepared by culturing goat or sheep milk and then it is fermented in hide-skin bags. Kefir was handled by the people who pass the bags to continually mix the grains with the milk.
As legends speak, the first original grains are said to have been passed down from the prophet Muhammad and held in high regard as a sacred food to be shared only with close friends and family members, passed down through the generations.
In the late 1800s, which is when the word “kefir” first existed in the Russian language, a Caucasus was tricked into giving the grain starter to a seductive Russian female acquaintance who then took them back to her country as a cherished drink that still exists today throughout that region.
There is also a “Tara” grains which are used by the Tibetan peoples that is almost identical to kefir grains, have provided them with a similar fermented drink for centuries.
Kefir expert Dominic Anfiteatro says that Each and every batch of kefir grains was found in the region of the Caucasus Mountains. Now, Kefir grains found anywhere today which originates from the Caucasus Mountains.
Types of Kefir Grains
There are two types of grains which are used to make kefir drinks that is:
Milk Kefir Grains
Milk Grains are especially used for milk that has fat and protein content. They are opaque with an off-white color. Water Grains are transparent with a different texture in comparison with the milk grains.
Water Kefir Grains
Water Kefir Grains, also called “tibicos”, are made up of the polysaccharide called dextran and are used exclusively used to ferment coconut water or any kind of sugar water or fruit juice. Tibicos are not originated in the same place as the milk grains. There are lots of various strains are used worldwide to make different cultured drinks.
Many people are now into making water kefir’s these days as they don’t involve dairy or heavier nut-based milk and are significantly lower in calories than milk based versions. Water kefir variations such as coconut are most useful for those individuals have candida overgrowth or those ones who want to reduce the number of calories which they are consuming all over the day.
Water Kefir is made in the same way that you make milk kefirs and requires the same amount of time to ferment. The Body Ecology Kefir Strater powder is used to make both milk kefir in addition to water based varieties and can be used interchangeably.
Benefits of Kefir
Here are amazing benefits your body receives when you include kefir in your diet.
Helps to Reestablish Gut Flora
According to the most of the health experts, for maintaining the health of the entire body, organs and systems, we extremely need a healthy balance of gut flora or gut microbiota in the digestive tract and especially in the intestines. Thats why the microorganisms which are often referred to as “friendly flora” must be produced about 80% of the intestinal tract. While the remaining 20% is the “fungal” acidic microbes “such as candida” which are beneficial in smaller amounts.
When this level achieved, these bacteria or microbiotas performed their task properly and regulating the metabolism. They are also helpful in producing and synthesizing various hormones, vitamins and minerals, digestive waste material, preventing the growth of harmful pathogens and sustaining immune functions.
However, when the “unfriendly” microorganisms take over we become more susceptible to disease and yeast functions. This type of overgrowth situation occurs when we commonly use antibiotics (against-life) which kill the friendly bacteria and cause the fungal group to dominate.
Due to this condition, some of the symptoms appear in the body including frequent headaches, flu’s, cloudy thinking, food allergies, rashes and lots of serious health issues. In addition, unbeneficial yeast overgrowth’s can also occur from the frequent consumption of low-quality foods, stress, diabetes as well as a number of prescribed medications.
There are almost one hundred trillion microorganisms present in the human intestines, which is the ten times the total amount of cells in the body and these microorganisms are between 400-500 different species. All of the metabolic activities doing by these bacteria is totally dependent upon an organ. Because gut flora is fed through dietary foods which we eat. Eating dietry foods can be extremely helpful for your health and enhanced immunity and lifestyle. Having dietary foods promote a balanced microbial environment.
Kefir drink is full of nutrients with these beneficial microbes and also called a living drink. As a liquid cultured food, it contains billions of probiotic organisms that can proliferate and promote a healthier inner body ecology.
Improves Digestive Health
Like other enzymatically active fermented foods miso and sauerkraut, kefir breaks down undigested waste material in the gastrointestinal tract and naturally improves digestive functions. This procedure helps to prevent from constipation and it also has a laxative effect on the bowels and encourages regular bowel movements.
As we all know culturing foods contain lots of nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals which is one of the great benefits and making them more bioavailable when consumed. The nutritional composition found in most kefir’s is largely dependant on what type of milk is used.
When dairy-based, they are especially rich in tryptophan which works with the milk kefirs abundant minerals, namely calcium and magnesium to relax and calm the nerves. Tryptophan also converts into the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is extremely beneficial for elevating mood and getting a good night’s sleep.
Milk and other vegan based kefirs are helpful to provide vitamin B such as folic acid, thiamin and biotin. Appropriate absorption of vitamin K and vitamin B are fundamentally reliant on sufficient levels of friendly flora in the intestines.
Biotin is a necessary component for the synthesis of essential fatty acids, protein and other vitamin B like B12. Biotin is generally produced from healthy intestinal bacteria but mostly absent in those people who have candida overgrowth.
Powerful Probiotic than Yogurt
There are some microorganisms which have beneficial effects on health which is known as probiotics and these microorganisms can affect health in many ways such as digestion, weight management, and mental health. Yogurt is the best-known food in the western diet, but kefir is actually a much more potent source. Kefir grains a very rich and diverse probiotic source and it contains about 30 strains of bacteria and yeasts.
Improve Bone health and lowers risk of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis (porous bones) is characterized by the deterioration of bones of bone tissues and is a massive problem in western countries. An adequate amount of calcium consumption can improve bone health and slow the progression of osteoporosis. Kefir is a rich source of calcium and Vitamin K2 because kefir made from full-fat dairy products. This nutrient plays a central role in calcium metabolism, and supplementing with it has been shown to reduce the risk of fractures as much as 80%.
Protective against Cancer
Cancer is one of the worlds leading causes of death. It occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body, called a tumor. Probiotics in Kefir helps to reduce the formation of carcinogenic compounds and also stimulate the immune system which leads to stopping the growth of the tumor.
Does Kefir contain B12?
Raw milk and other vegan homemade grain-based kefirs are known to contain Vitamin B12. B12 comes from bacteria or molds. Therefore, the grains used to produce kefir can provide for increased amounts of B12 in your final ferment. Because these grains contain specific propionic acid bacteria and helpful for B12 production. Vitamin B12 is a very important nutritional component for normal functioning of brain and nervous system function and also helpful for blood cell formation.
How to Use Kefir
Kefir must be consumed an empty stomach on early morning and should be first thing in the morning. Kefir especially consumed when you have major health issues and problems. You can also add probiotic supplement powders at the same time which are helpful and increase uptake potential. Choosing the variety of kefir is totally depend upon your unique situation and may be more appropriate over others.
The variation of kefirs is by using raw milk, vegan milk or water-based kefir’s. For additional probiotic effects in your body, you can also use small amounts of kefir in protein shakes or green smoothies.
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