While Kefir has gained a lot of popularity among modern consumers in the recent decades, but this fermented drink has been consumed by people all around the world for centuries. Some people find it like yogurt in terms of texture and taste but there is a big difference between yogurt and kefir.
Kefir is a probiotic drink that contains a whole lot of beneficial bacteria and yeast. It is made from kefir grains and the taste of the drink is a bit tart and tangy. Kefir milk can be prepared from a wide range of milk including cow milk, sheep milk, goat milk as well as non-dairy milks. Some people also prefer water kefir. Here is a list of some of the most well-known health benefits of regular kefir consumption.
A few research studies have confirmed that kefir helps in maintaining proper blood sugar levels. Some research studies have found that people who consume kefir regularly have lower blood sugar levels as compared to people who consume conventionally fermented milk. In short, it offers many more benefits as compared to traditionally fermented milk.
It also helps in maintaining lower cholesterol levels. Many research studies have confirmed that individuals who consume kefir milk regularly have significant lower levels of total as well as bad cholesterol as compared to people who drink low-fat milk. It is believed that the probiotics in the kefir drink play a role in absorption of cholesterol by the body.
Kefir drink is also a good source of potassium, calcium and protein. Another big benefit of kefir is that it allows people with lactose intolerance to get all the nutrition from milk as they can consume this fermented drink without any problems. This is due to the reason that the bacteria present in kefir grains breakdown the lactose present in the milk and that leads to avoiding the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance. In fact, some people might be able to improve their lactose digestion with the regular consumption of kefir milk.
Since kefir drink is full of beneficial bacteria and yeast, it helps in maintaining good digestion. Several studies have found that kefir milk might have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties though it is still to be confirmed. Kefir has been found to be extremely beneficial for people who suffer from infection of the gastrointestinal tract, especially for those with low gastric acidity. Kefir also helps in boosting immunity levels as many doctors recommend including kefir drink in the daily diet for patients suffering from infections.
While there are a number of benefits of kefir and it has gained a lot of popularity in the recent years, it is important to keep in mind that not all the store bought kefir drinks have the beneficial properties usually associated with kefir drinks. This is due to the reason that store bought kefir drinks typically have a lot of sugar and a ton of preservatives to enhance its shelf life.
The extra sugar and preservatives might destroy the beneficial effects of bacteria and yeast present in the natural kefir drink. Therefore, it is recommended to make your own kefir at home. It doesn’t take too much effort. You just need to source good quality kefir grains and you can easily make any kind of kefir drink at home.
There are hundreds of guides available online in the form of articles as well as videos to help you prepare the kind of kefir drink you want from scratch at home. The only thing you need to worry about is the quality of kefir grains. There are many online shops selling kefir grains. However, not everybody sells high quality grains and therefore, you will need to do some research to make sure you are buying high quality kefir grains.
While kefir is a highly beneficial health drink, it does not mean that it is beneficial for everyone. People who suffer from high stomach acidity should stay away from kefir drink as it can be harmful for them. Also, people suffering from peptic ulcer should not consume kefir drink. It is also not recommended to drink any kind of kefir drink during episodes of diarrhea and stomach bloating.
You also need to keep in mind that sometimes, kefir might act as a sedative and therefore, you should not drink it before your exam or other events where you need to maintain 100% focus. It might reduce the reaction time and ability to concentrate.
If you have milk allergy, you should not consume kefir milk though you can consume water kefir. One of the biggest problems associated with store bought kefir drinks is the high levels of added sugar as that can be harmful for individuals who are trying to lose weight. There are plain varieties available in the market that do not contain any additional sugar.
Overall, kefir is a highly beneficial probiotic drink full of beneficial bacteria and yeast. However, you should stay away from flavored kefir as it has a ton of added sugar and it might do more harm than good in the long run. Read here for more kefir products.