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Kefir Health Benefits

Chandramita Bora Oct 14, 2018
Kefir is a popular drink prepared by fermenting milk with live kefir grains, which contains helpful bacteria, proteins, lipids etc. Let's see its health benefits and why it is called a miracle drink.
Kefir, the fermented milk drink, is a super drink, which is packed with probiotics, minerals, and vitamins. It is said to have originated in the Caucasus region. The word, 'kefir', however, came from two Persian words, 'kef ', which meas 'foam', and 'shir ', which means 'milk'.
According to some, the word must have originated from the Turkish word 'keif', which means 'good feeling.' Kefir grains are used in the preparation of this fermented milk drink. It contains a mixture of helpful bacteria or microorganisms, yeasts, polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids.
Kefir grains closely resemble the shape of a cauliflower, and are considered as an excellent source of beneficial bacteria or probiotics. Due to its numerous health benefits, and unique microbiology, this fermented milk drink is considered as a miracle drink.

How to Make Kefir

Its production requires adding live kefir grains into the milk. While fermenting the milk, the grains grow and propagate new grains. Usually, milk of cow, sheep, and goat are used to make kefir. However, cow milk can be replaced by coconut milk, rice milk, and soy milk.
The grains can also ferment fruit juice, coconut water, and beer wort. Traditionally, the drink is prepared in a skin bag, which is stirred from time to time to ensure that the milk and the grains mix properly.
Fermentation of milk or its substitute ultimately produces a yogurt-like, sour, and slightly alcoholic beverage. The fermented liquid is then separated from the grains, with the help of a strainer.

Advantages of Drinking Kefir

♦ The health benefits of kefir are numerous which can be mainly attributed to large number of beneficial microorganisms found in kefir grains. These beneficial microorganisms can play a vital role in improving general health and well-being of an individual, by promoting digestive health. The health drink also provides some important vitamins and amino acids.
♦ It exhibits antibiotic and antifungal properties. It can prove helpful in conditions like, candidiasis (yeast infection), heart disease, and HIV/ AIDS.
♦ It contains the beneficial microorganisms that improve our digestion. It can help alleviate some common digestive problems like gas, bloating, indigestion, etc. It can ensure regular bowel movement to cure constipation. The enzymes found in it can be especially beneficial for the people with lactose intolerance.
♦ It can provide many essential vitamins and minerals. It is a rich source of vitamin A, B2, B12, K, and D. The most important minerals found in kefir are, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
♦ It can cleanse the colon and address any kind of intestinal problem. It can provide relief in inflammatory bowel disease as well.
♦ It can treat a number of health conditions like gastritis, pancreatitis, eczema, stomach ulcers, psoriasis, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, osteoporosis, anemia, and leaky gut syndrome, to name a few.
♦ It has a stimulating effect on the immune system, and hence, can improve the disease fighting capacity of an individual.
♦ It can reduce the risk for certain cancers including colon cancer, by preventing the growth of cancerous cells.
♦ It can also calm the nerves. Thus, it helps maintain a healthy nervous system. This property is due to the presence of the amino acid, 'tryptophan'.
♦ It exhibits antioxidant and anti-aging properties. It can neutralize the free radicals that damage the body cells and tissues by oxidizing them. By reducing the impact of free radical damage, it can slow down the aging process.
♦ Other kefir health benefits include curing or controlling acne, sleep disorders, depression, asthma, bronchitis, hypertension, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, colitis, diarrhea, etc.
The drink is quite easily digestible, and can be taken by children as well. It is a complete source of protein, with so many essential amino acids. To sum up, it is a great food that can detoxify the body, and improve the functions of the different body systems. Thus it promotes health and vigor.
It can also help in losing weight. Considering all these points, it can be concluded that introducing kefir to our diet is an excellent idea to live a healthy life.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is only for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.