Kefir water, yogurt, and probiotic drinks have started hitting your natural food store shelves. You may have heard of it before but why is it gaining popularity now?And should you be eating it?
Kefir is a cultured, fermented food that tastes like if yogurt was a drink. It is made using “starter” grains, yeasts, milk proteins, and bacteria. But you’ll find vegan alternatives on the market made from coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk. It has the same piquant and creamy flavour of yogurt and since it’s a fermented food it’s packed with probiotics.
It was first invented in West Asia but as awareness around gut health continues to grow as well as the good bacteria in our system, so has our demand for fermented and gut-friendly foods. It’s probably why you’re seeing more Kefir products in your grocery store.
Like yogurt, Kefir is rich in calcium, protein, and amino acids but the exact nutritional content is going to vary depending on the type of milk used. And although Kefir is thinner in consistency it does have a higher fat content and higher probiotic count.
Studies on the health benefits of Kefir have been promising showing that it can lower inflammation and promote healing within the body, and that it has a promising antimicrobial effect on the body. This is good news for anyone suffering from a leaky gut. A side benefit is that its anti-inflammatory properties can actually relieve allergy symptoms as well!
It’s also been shown to give our immune system because of the presence of Lactobacillus Kefiri, a probiotic that helps our body defend itself against E. Coli. It’s can be recommended for those suffering from Osteoporosis because of its high calcium content scientists are beginning to think it could possibly be a cancer- fighting food as well.
Like almost any healthy fermented food, it can have a positive effect on our digestive system, particularly for those suffering from IBS. Kefir made with milk from goats or non-dairy sources has also been recommended for those that have mild dairy intolerances, as it is easier to digest.
If you’re convinced you need to try Kefir but aren’t sure how to use it, add it in a smoothie, freeze it and eat it like ice cream, or use it in your baking instead of traditional milk!
Want to read more about gut health? Read our post on So You Have a Leaky Gut next!