7 Health benefits Of Kefir You Never Knew
‘Kefir’- you must have heard about it if you are a natural health enthusiast. It is has high nutrient and probiotic content. It is really good for digestion and gut health. People also consider it to be a healthier and powerful version of yoghurt.
What is kefir?
Kefir is basically a fermented drink that is traditionally made out of cow’s or goat’s milk. It is made by adding ‘kefir grains’ in milk that are basically yeast and lactic acid cultures.
It takes around 24 hours for the microorganisms in the kefir grains to ferment the sugars present in the milk and turn it into kefir. The kefir grains can be used again for making more kefir. The lactic acid bacteria turn the lactose present in the milk into lactic acid and this is why kefir tastes like yoghurt but is of a thinner consistency.
Kefir originated from Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe.
Have a look at its benefits:
1) Kefir has a lot of nutrients
Kefir is really nutritious as a 175 ml serving of kefir has –
- 6 gms of protein
- 20% of the RDA of calcium
- 14% of the RDA of vitamin B12
- 19% of the RDA of vitamin B2
- 5% of the RDA of magnesium
- Sufficient amount of vitamin D.
All the above comes with 100 calories, 7 to 8 gms of carbs, 3 to 6 gms of fat, depending of the milk type used to make the kefir. There are also several bioactive compounds in it.
Even diary free versions of kefir are there. Kefir can be made with coconut water or coconut milk. However the nutrient profile will not be the same as that of dairy based kefir.
2) It is a more powerful probiotic when compared to yoghurt
When compared to the highly consumed yoghurt, kefir is a much more powerful probiotic food. Kefir grains are known to contain around 30 strains of bacteria and yeast. This makes it a very diverse probiotic source when compared to other fermented dairy products.
3) Kefir is antibacterial in nature
Some of the probiotics in kefir are known to protect against infections. There is a unique probiotic in kefir that is known to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Kefir also has a carbohydrate in it that possesses antibacterial properties.
4) Kefir is good for bone health and it lowers the risk of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, which involves deterioration of the bone tissue, is a huge problem for the elderly and that too for women. It increases their chances of fractures.
The best way to improve bone health and slow down the progression of osteoporosis is by ensuring proper calcium intake.
Kefir that is made from full-fat milk is not just rich in calcium but also in vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is known to play a central role in the metabolism of calcium. By taking it as a supplement, you can reduce the risk of fractures by about 81%.
5) Kefir can protect against cancer
The friendly bacteria in fermented dairy products are found to be able to inhibit the growth of tumour by reducing the formation of carcinogens and by stimulating the immune system. However, these tests have not been done on humans so nothing can be said conclusively about the effect of kefir on cancer prevention.
6) It helps treat digestive problems
The probiotics in fermented dairy products like kefir help in restoring the balance of the gut bacteria (friendly)
Scientific evidence says that probiotic foods help sort out all kinds of digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and many others. So, kefir will be useful for you if you have digestive problems.
7) Kefir suits those who are lactose intolerant
People who are lactose intolerant are unable to digest the lactose present in dairy products. In foods like kefir and yoghurt, the lactose gets turned into lactic acid. So, these foods have lower lactose content than milk. You can even make it 100% lactose free by using coconut water or any other non-dairy fluid.
Hope you will try it after knowing the 7 Health benefits Of Kefir!
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