What is kefir?
A milk/yogurt product that contains beneficial gut bacteria. It’s more liquidy than regular or Greek yogurt.
What do you mean kefir has ‘beneficial gut bacteria’?
There are good and bad bacterias in your gut (intestines) at any given point. Greek, regular yogurt and kefir all contain good bacterias. However, where the bacterias in yogurts just pass through the intestines, keeping the digestive tract clean and providing food for the friendly bacteria, the bacterias in kefir actually colonize in the intestinal tract. This means they live and grow; dominating, controlling and eliminating destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body.
How is kefir made?
It can be made from any type of milk: cow, goat, sheep, coconut, rice or soy. “Grains”, a combination of yeasts and bacteria clumped together with casein (milk proteins) and complex sugars, are added to the milk to ferment it. This incorporates its friendly organisms to create the cultured product. The grains are then removed with a strainer before consumption of the kefir.
What kind of kefir should I buy?
A plain, full-fat version, although sometimes full-fat is hard to find. The only ingredients should be pasteurized cultured milk, lactase enzyme and vitamin A. By buying the plain version, you’re able to control your sugar by adding your own fruit, honey, or maple syrup. I typically buy goat’s milk kefir.
How do I use kefir?
You eat it just like regular yogurt. You can mix it with fresh fruit and/or granola, you can pour it over cereal or even add it to smoothies.
People with mild lactose intolerance can usually consume kefir without issue because the abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which helps aid in lactose digestion.