Kefir: What is it and how can it help your health?

July 12th, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Kefir; Sounds weird, and the history of the drink lives up to the bizarre sounding name.

Kefir is a fermented milk drink. Traditionally it was kept in skin bags and hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed. During fermentation lactose, the natural sugar in milk, is broken down to mostly lactic acid. So, even though Kefir is a milk based drink it ends up having very little lactose in it which is great for lactose intolerant individuals!

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Health Benefits of Kefir:

  • 2-3x’s the probiotics in yogurt (probiotics = naturally found in our digestive tracks and help stem growth of harmful bacteria and support our immune system)
  • 175 grams of Kefir provides 20% of your daily recommended amount of calcium
  • Contains trace amounts of tryptophan – the same ‘feel good sleepy awesome’ chemical found in Turkey
  • 100 calories of plain, non-fat Kefir has over 10 grams of protein in it
  • A good source of B-Vitamins, biotin and phosphorous

So, what does it taste like? It’s often compared to a drinkable yogurt and I can definitely say that is accurate! It’s a bit smoother/thinner then yogurt so imagine being able to drink yogurt out of a straw. It has TWICE as many probiotics as yogurt though! Probiotics are critical in my diet as I have IBS and I’ve found that a low-dairy diet, combined with taking probiotics, has virtually eliminated all of my symptoms. I also try to load up on probiotics whenever I take any antibiotics so that my tummy stays happy and in balance!

I picked up two of the smoothie flavors while in Winn-Dixie earlier this week. After hearing about Kefir for years I was excited to finally have an opportunity to try them!

Top Shelf in Dairy Section

They tasted exactly as I anticipated. The raspberry was sweet and tart, like a greek yogurt, and the plain was just that – plain! I’d love to use the plain in recipes or smoothies I make at home. There are TONS of delicious #KefirCreations you can browse through on Lifeway’s website. I found some yummy looking desserts made with Kefir that would be perfect for Summer BBQ’s.

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Berry Shortcake in a Jar from Saving Said Simply

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Maple Grilled Peaches from Huppie Mama

Don’t both of those look divine? You can use Kefir in place of lots of things when baking, mayo, sour cream, regular yogurt … I can’t wait to start experimenting with it!

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Sources:
Kefir on Wikipedia

Frequently Asked Questions on Lifeway Keifer

12 Things to Know about Kefir on Huffington Post

Have you ever tried Kefir? You can get a coupon to try Lifeway Kefir!

Do you take probiotics regularly, or eat foods that have them in it naturally?

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