The name “Kefir” comes from the Turkish word “keif.” It means “good feeling.”
It's one of my favorite drinks because it is super healthy for the gut. The definition fits well because of its life-changing health benefits.
Even if you're vegan, there's a kefir for you so read on to learn why this should always be in your fridge. I'll even show you how to make your own!
What is Kefir anyway?
Kefir is a probiotic drink made from dairy (cow, goat) and non-dairy alternatives.
Kefir starts out with a combination of cultures of yeasts and bacteria. They are otherwise known as starter “grains.” You can find them at any health food store.
When these grains come in contact with a base liquid like milk, it interacts to form a fermented mixture. The resulting drink is sour, fermented, and full of active probiotics.
Here's the best part for some of you:
You can drink kefir even if you have lactose intolerance!Tweet
Top 3 Reasons to Drink Kefir
1. Improves gut health
Kefir has as many as 30 strains of gut-friendly bacteria. It helps promote the growth of good flora in the gut.
Drinking kefir on a regular basis fight conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn's. It helps lower the ill effects of gut disorders and restores the balance of good gut bacteria.
Kefir has 3 times more probiotics than yogurt because of the yeast and bacteria found in kefir grains.
2. Boosts immune system
Lactobacillus kefiri is a strain of bacteria specific to kefir. It helps fights E.coli and salmonella.
Research shows L.kefiri helps defend the body by strengthening the immune system.
Kefir also provides biotin and folate that promote healthy immune function.
3. Good for your bones
The nutrients in Kefir help in better calcium absorption and stop bone loss. Also, it provides vitamin K2, a vital component of the bone-building process.
Vitamin K along with calcium improves bone density and bone health.
Kefir is also known for its anti-cancer effects and ability to lower allergic symptoms.
Where Can You Buy Kefir?
You can buy kefir from your local supermarket or a natural health food store. It's usually in the dairy case near the yogurt.
When shopping for milk kefir, select organic ones to avoid antibiotics and hormones.
Also, opt for plain because the flavored ones have more sugar than you want.
Look out for fillers, thickening agents or other additives. Some stores also sell vegan options from non-dairy sources but Vegan kefir is harder to find. You'll have to check for the coconut kefir in health or specialty food stores.
Making Kefir at Home is Super Easy!
Milk kefir recipe: Cow, goat or sheep milk make the base for making milk kefir.
One quart of Raw whole milk
One tablespoon of Kefir grains
Vegans, and those that want to avoid dairy, here's the perfect alternative:
Coconut-based kefir recipe: Coconut water and coconut milk are perfect for making kefir. Their natural sugar content is ideal for the yeast to begin the process of making good bacteria.
Quarter cup of Kefir grains
One quart of warm coconut milk or coconut water
Directions for Both Recipes
Combine these two ingredients in a glass jar. Give a stir with a wooden spoon. Cover the top of the jar with cheesecloth.
Keep the mixture at room temperature (70 to 85- degree Fahrenheit) for 24 hours and it's ready to enjoy.
Refrigerate your kefir after it has fermented.
Coconut water kefir is fizzy with a mild sweet taste. The interaction of grains with enzymes and probiotics in coconut water gives mild sweetness.
Milk kefir along with the starter grains gives a tart tasting drink after fermentation.
Give it a try and let me know how you liked it. I like to drink it straight but if you aren't a fan of the flavor you can add it to almost any smoothie recipe. You won't even taste it once it's blended into your yummy smoothie.
Another fermented drink that's ideal for promoting healthy gut flora is kombucha. I love to make a toast with this bubbly drink! You'll quickly see why it's all the rage when you take your first sip.
Yours in health and happiness,
P.S. Please help me spread the word about this powerful food by sharing this article. I welcome your comments below. Is kefir in your fridge right now?