Cheap and easy ways to improve your health.  – Kefir

Kefir is a popular cost effective healthy probiotic that is known for its gut loving properties and aiding in general health.  Kefir is filled with valuable enzymes beneficial acids, vitamins, minerals and easily digested sugars that helps to limit the growth of pathogens while encouraging the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract and the best thing is that you can easily make this affordable remarkable food at home with very little effort.

2 types of Kefir

There is 2 different types of Kefir, water and milk.  Water kefir is a general probiotic beverage (similar to kombucha in a way) and milk kefir which is the fermented milk beverage with a consistency comparable to drinking yogurt.  The kefir grains behave similarly by both fermenting a sugary liquid into a probiotic beverage.  However, they are different cultures, and are not the same as one another.  Although they share some common types of bacteria and yeast, they also have many unique bacteria and yeasts, too.

How to take Kefir

2 cups of Kefir taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is the recommended daily amount to drink, it is safe for most people to consume daily and has very few side effects. Studies have shown it is full of vitamins and probiotics which helps create and maintain a healthy balance of good gut bacteria in multiple systems to keep your body healthy.

2 weeks after starting drinking kefir daily, all the uncomfortable symptoms you may have felt should have settled and you will be starting to look and feel the positive healthy benefits in your gut, colon and general vitality.

What does Kefir Look and Taste like

Kefir grains on a wooden spoon

Kefir grains on a wooden spoon above a jar of milk kefir

The tiny crystal like Kefir grains resemble a cauliflower in appearance, they are not cereal grains, but grain-like colonies of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that grow and multiply as you feed them. Water kefir cultures typically contain nearly 60 strains of lactobacillus bacteria, yeasts and other microbes. That’s more than yogurt, but less than milk kefir. Water kefir is a slightly tart, effervescent drink which is a dairy-free probiotic that is gluten-free, and naturally fizzy, making it a great choice for those who choose to avoid dairy and is vegan friendly. Water Kefir is simple to make. It is fermented at room temperature with kefir grains, water, sugar and dried fruit for about 24-48 hours.  You can even combine the benefits of water kefir grains and coconut water to make delicious coconut water kefir.

Even though water kefir grains are “fed” with sugar, but very little sugar ends up in the finished product as the grains actually metabolize (consume) most of the sugar.  Water kefir is also a lighter beverage and can be flavoured any number of ways with fruit or fruit juice, making it easier to drink in large quantities and is great for hydration.

Milk kefir is similar to water kefir in that it is a probiotic-rich beverage, it is traditionally made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk. It is made by adding kefir grains to milk.  It typically has more fat than yogurt, but it also has more protein and more probiotics.  Best as a drink, you can use kefir as a substitute for buttermilk or yoghurt in baked goods.

Reported Health Benefits of Kefir

Kefir has a myriad of possible health benefits, and those will be individual for everyone:

  • kefir is considered a food because it offers enzymes, pre digested nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, calories/energy and billions of probiotics.
  • alleviate constipation by increasing stool frequency, improve stool consistency and helping reduce intestinal transit time to speed up bowel movements
  • boosts your immune system, keep the digestive tract healthy, aids in digestive problems easing IBS symptoms such as bloating and digestive distress in some people.
  • improves the digestive system by inhibiting pathogens and increased healthy bacteria production, may prove helpful in combating gastrointestinal distress caused by infections from bacillus cereus, salmonella, e-coli and helictobacter pylori.
  • it may be anti-mutagenic and help manage free radicals in the body.
  • improves bone health and may help reduce the degree of joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis
  • probiotics possess colon cancer protective effects by altering the growth process of tumour cells by inhibiting DNA mutations that lead to tumour growth
  • affect the quality and looks of your skin, reduces inflammation making skin clearer and boosting your body’s overall immunity.
  • Prevention of excessive hair loss, promotes growth, adds volume, sheen, hydrates the scalp and eliminate split ends to hair
  • It is rich in amino acids, vitamins, pre digested protein, minerals, and enzymes Kefir Is a more powerful Probiotic Than Yogurt
  • micro-organisms may influence weight management and mental health
  • prevent the occurrence of inflammation, which is the root cause of many skin diseases including acne.
  • a new study suggests kefir could help to reduce kidney inflammation in women with lupus.
  • Fermented tonics help support oral health too.
  • Kefir significantly improved the energy expenditure, body weight and basal metabolic rate in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • regular consumption of kefir has been associated with benefits for hypertension, cholesterol balance and blood sugar management.
  • drinking kefir before bedtime to prevent night time reflux for those with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • Kefir also contains a chemical called tryptophan which helps you to be more relaxed and get a better night’s sleep

Where to buy Kefir

The grains for both water and milk kefir can be bought from ebay or gumtree, recipes and directions will come with the grains or youtube for video instructions are also available. For people looking to improve their health, particularly their gut health, Kefir may be the affordable, effortless addition you have been looking for. Interested in other cows milk alternatives? Have a look at Almond Milk


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