Kefir has become big in the natural health community, and who can blame them? A healthy gut leads to a healthier you, and this fermented milk beverage is more than qualified to do just that. Kefir (pronounced “Kuh-feer”) is dense with nutrients and probiotics — live bacteria that keep our digestive systems running at top condition. Whether you’ve got a gut problem or just want to live healthier, kefir is a drink you have to stock in your home. After all, the name does come from the Turkish word “keif”, which means “good feeling”.
What makes kefir great
Yogurt has been touted as a powerful probiotic source, but kefir is more potent and diverse with over 30 different microorganisms. These include Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, Saccharomyces kefir, and Torula kefir. These microorganisms do the body good by supporting digestive health and assisting in the production of vitamins originating from our intestines. Even better is that some of these probiotics are blessed with antibacterial properties, meaning kefir can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria like Salmonella. According to Health.com, probiotics may also be connected to one’s mental well-being, and cab help reduce social anxiety. (Related: Kefir is a great natural source of probiotics and protein)
In addition to probiotics, kefir is rich in vital nutrients like protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B2. The protein and calcium content of kefir is so great that a six-ounce serving contains six grams of protein and 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium. In fact, the high amounts of calcium and vitamin K2 have made kefir excellent at maintaining healthy bones and lowering the risk of osteoporosis.
Though it’s usually made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk, the fermentation process used to create kefir effectively makes it almost free of lactose. People suffering from lactose intolerance are actually able to tolerate kefir well, especially in comparison to conventional milk.
How to enjoy and make kefir
Simply put, kefir is a versatile drink that can be taken in a number of ways. You can down this tart beverage as is, or you can blend it in with other nutritious ingredients to whip up a fantastic smoothie. Kefir can even be turned into a sweet dessert by mixing in toppings like honey and dark chocolate chips.
You don’t need to search high and low for kefir, however. In fact, you could simply make it in the comfort of your own home. Some supermarkets and health food stores sell kefir grains. Combine these with your favorite milk and soon enough you’ll be enjoying a nice glass of this Eurasian health beverage. Here’s what you need to make one serving of kefir, courtesy of AuthorityNutrition.com. You would need one to two tablespoons Kefir grains and two cups of milk.
- Place the kefir grains in a small jar that can hold up to two cups of fluids.
- Add the milk, making sure to leave one inch of room between the milk and the top of the jar. If you want to thicken your kefir then feel free to add some full fat cream.
- Put the lid and set the jar aside for 12 to 36 hours.
- You’ll know it’s ready when the kefir begins to look clumpy. Strain out the liquid to separate it from the grains.
That’s all there is to it. If milk is still too rich for you, then you can swap out the milk with another liquid of your choice. Coconut milk, coconut water, and even plain old water have all been used to make different varieties of kefir.
Feel free to visit Superfoods.news and see what other nutrient-heavy health foods can do for your body.