Kefir – a Miraculous Beverage
Kefir is a beverage full of flavor, such as yogurt, made through fermentation of milk with kefir grains. It features a creamy texture, a specific tart flavor and sparkling notes. Because of its high nutritional value, it is widely used as a supplement in order to preserve health, but it should be remembered that the benefits listed here are valid for kefir, which is derived from milk of animal origin. Kefir’s nutritional profile made from vegetable milk (such as coconut) will vary, although it maintains a favorable effect on overall health.
According to a conducted research, it’s proven that it contains between 7-10 billion units – colonies of beneficial bacteria. Some of these bacteria, such as Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Toru kefir and kefir Saccharomyces, can’t be found in yogurt, but it is precisely these bacteria that make this beverage more powerful than the yogurt. These important microorganisms can improve the balance of the digestive tract, by preventing colonization of intestinal harmful bacteria by preventing their growth. In addition, this culture can help produce vitamin B12 and vitamin K.
Because fermented, kefir is almost without lactose, and can be used by people with lactose intolerance. It can reduce many of the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance, such as abdominal bloating, diarrhea and meteorism (gas).
It is also an excellent source of protein. One cup of kefir, made from whole milk, contains about 10 grams of protein, including all eight essential amino acids. For this reason, many bodybuilders include this beverage in their pre-workout meal.
Like milk, kefir is positioned low on the glycemic index (16) and thereby regulates the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas. Moreover, foods like this lead to a feeling of fullness and may be of use to people who want to lose weight.
Although it is primarily consumed because of probiotics or protein in the composition, it is also prized for its abundance in vitamins and minerals. One cup of this beverage, for example, contains 10 percent of our recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A, 25 percent of the RDI of vitamin D, 30 percent of the RDI of calcium and 8 grams of fat (of which 5 g saturated). Kefir also contains varying amounts of phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and copper. Consequently, long-term consumption of this healthy beverage has been associated with improved quality of skin and hair, promote cardiovascular health and immunity, treatment of constipation and eliminating unhealthy eating habits.
Because it is a nutritious and well-balanced composition, it is advised for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes (as a result of a low immune system), and certain types of cancer and HIV infection. It has a calming effect on the nervous system and is useful for people with sleep disorders, depression and ADHD (hyperactivity syndrome). It contains significant amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and sleep, which makes it a good choice for those who have a problem with sleep.
As with milk, its content depends on the manufacture. Pasteurized, low fat kefir, which can be found in most supermarkets will not be nutritious as kefir made from raw milk. Fortunately, kefir is really easy and cheap to be prepared at home. All you need are grains of kefir, a large jar and quality milk.