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Health Benefits of Kefir


Kefir is a cultured creamy milk product that is similar to yogurt which is popular in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia and parts of the Mediterranean. It is made by inoculating milk with kefir grains. These grains are a combination of yeasts and bacteria which grow and increase as the milk undergoes fermentation. This self replicating fermentation process makes the milk sour slightly, producing a drink which is almost similar to fizzy yogurt.

Traditional kefir is prepared from camel’s milk. However milk from other animals can be used too. It has a tangy, rich flavor which can be consumed plain or may be altered with the addition of ingredients like sweeteners and pureed fruits.

Kefir naturally contains useful yeast with the friendly bacteria as found in yogurt that provide superior health benefits. These are some of the known health benefits:

- Helps lactose digestion

Kefir can be a healthy choice to replace milk and yogurt for people who have lack natural lactose enzyme. It contains a number of good bacteria that are working to break down lactose in the stomach.

- Rich in vitamins

It is rich vitamins including vitamin B, vitamin K, and important minerals such as magnesium and calcium. These vitamins and minerals help to control almost every organ in your body.

- Promotes immune function

There is a study published in a journal in year 2006 showed that kefir has the potential to positively modulate immunity in rats. The result shows that it is effective at destroying viruses and bacteria in the rats as well as destroys tumor cells. Although this study still needs to be confirmed in humans, the potential for it to be useful in maintaining a healthy immune system seems possible.

- Helps digestive function

Research advice that a good digestion system will keep you from getting sick and a bad one will cause allergies and disease. Kefir is rich with healthy microorganisms known as pro-biotic. These microorganisms help to keep normal digestive function. They are very helpful in treating traveler’s diarrhea and also reduce gas formation by promoting healthy digestive function. They also used during antibiotic treatment to cut down on the diarrhea.

- prevents breast cancer

There is a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods in 2007 explained that kefir extracts have components that particularly set and stop the growth of breast cancer cells. For this clarification, many women who have been analyzed with breast cancer are consuming it as an option to milk.

The health benefits of kefir are still being explored. However it is a simple way to add vitamins, minerals and good bacteria to your diet. If you are not familiar with kefir, it is recommended to try cow's milk kefir to start. It has a mild and creamy flavor. Non-dairy kefir is also available, for people who want to benefit from it with not using animal products.

If want to your own kefir, try this simple recipe:

1) milk
2) kefir grains.

Put the kefir grains in a glass jar with milk, do not airtight. Leave it around until it is all set. Keep it in the fridge until you want to use it.
When you want to use it, pour the kefir with a spoon through a sieve to take out the grains. Wash the grains under running cold water and place them in a clean jar with fresh milk. Now you can drink the kefir.

Enjoy your kefir and their benefits!

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