What is Kefir? (Keh-fear).
Kefir is a zingy fresh fermented milk drink. Tasting like natural yoghurt when it is unflavoured. Cultured in Cornwall makes its Kefir from non-homogenised milk from pasture fed cows. The milk is fermented with live Kefir grains, a symbiotic colony of good bacteria and yeasts. Fermenting milk with Kefir makes a drink full of naturally occurring probiotics which your tummy and overall well-being will love. It is a rich source of Calcium, Protein and B Vitamins and Minerals.
Where does it come from?
Kefir originated from parts of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia. The name is derived from the Turkish word keyif, which means “feeling good” after eating. Kefir has contributed to overall health and healing for centuries, as a live and tasty food, it is genuinely a superfood.
Drinking Kefir daily contributes to better physical and mental health. The microorganisms that make the kefir alive introduce beneficial bacteria to our digestive tract. Introducing different kinds of bacteria improves nutrient absorption and immune function. Immunity is helped because balanced flora in your gut aids the lymphatic cells present to kill any pathogens we might have ingested with our food. If the acid in our stomach hasn’t killed them they go further into the body or begin to grow in our gut, we need an abundance of healthy flora to outweigh the bad bacteria.
The link between Digestion and Mental Health
Mental health and Kefir go hand in hand. There has been more and more research on the link between depression and gut health. One reason you feel so good after drinking Kefir is that most of the feel good chemical serotonin travels to the lining of the intestine and stomach and is released there. We need a healthy gut in order to keep our serotonin levels high, if we have too little serotonin this can cause issues for the digestive and nervous system. Kefir is a real food, a nutritious and enjoyable food to add to your diet, it has to be worth a try to see if you experience the amazing health benefits found by so many people who eat Kefir as part of their daily diet.
How does it ferment?
Kefir are cultures of yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The bacteria feed on the lactose in the milk turning it into lactic acid which is the reason for the sour taste. Organic acids and peptides are created during this fermentation process which contribute to the health benefits. A modern diet with processed and refined foods contain little of the necessary peptides, acids and probiotics required for a healthy gut. Most of the lactose is used by the Kefir cultures so you will find many who are lactose intolerant can drink Kefir.
General stats (not including probiotics and yeast).
A 175 ml serving of milk Kefir contains approximately;
Protein: 6 grams.
Calcium: 20% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 20% of the RDA.
Vitamin B12: 14% of the RDA.
Riboflavin (B2): 19% of the RDA.
Magnesium: 5% of the RDA.
A decent amount of vitamin D.
This is coming with about 100 calories, 7-8 grams of carbs and 3-6 grams of fat, depending on the type of milk that is used.
Kefir contains anywhere from 30+ probiotics. We don’t test our individual batches but as a comparison yoghurt contains from 2 to 10 strains. Supermarket yoghurt containing sometimes only one.
Specific Health Benefits.
Kefir has many health benefits attributed to it, you only need to google to find a wealth of information. Evidence-based research has confirmed many of its uses to be true, some of these are;
- Kefir contains a wide variety of bioactive compounds, including organic acids and peptides that contribute to its health benefits.
- Kefir is a more powerful probiotic than yoghurt.
- Kefir has potent antibacterial properties, certain probiotics in Kefir are believed to protect against infections. Studies show that the probiotic Lactobacillus Kefiri, unique to Kefir inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria including Salmonella, Helicobacter Pylori and E. coli.
- Kefir can promote bone health and lower the risk of Osteoporosis. Kefir made from full fat dairy is a great source of Calcium and Vitamin K2 essential for maintaining good bone health.
- Probiotics help with digestive problems. From ulcers, colitis, diarrhea and many more digestive issues due to the balancing of friendly gut bacteria.
- Kefir helps improve the symptoms of allergies and asthma. Allergies and asthma are an inflammatory response against harmless environmental substances. Kefir has been shown to repress inflammatory responses in people with an over active immune system.