What Is Kefir? The Gut Healing Superfood

I’ve told a number of people before that the future of medicine lies is bacteria – the estimated 100 trillion bacteria that live in our bodies, that is. For example, here’s some of the latest research:

Probiotics are amazing for healing the gut, but there are also ways to get the beneficial bacteria through food. So for today’s post, I want to introduce to you kefir, an amazing gut healing superfood.

What Is Kefir?

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that actually originates in the Caucasus Mountains, bordering Russia and Georgia. It’s becoming more and more main stream here in North America. It’s rich in probiotics

Kefir is typically made from adding kefir ‘grains’, which are not actually grains and are instead bacteria and yeast, to cow’s milk, though it can be made in a non-dairy way too with coconut milk, coconut water or just water. The kefir ‘grains’ ferment the sugar (lactose) in the milk, making it taste quite sour or more like yogurt.

But, It’s Dairy Based?

Yes, most kefir is cow’s dairy based.

Here’s what to remember:

  • If you are intolerant to cow’s dairy, you would still want to stay away from milk based kefir.  With that being said, because much of the lactose is fermented, it is more tolerated for people who are lactose intolerant.
  • If you can find kefir made from raw milk, that’s even better as it still contains the enzymes to help you digest it. Note: This is unlikely unless you’re getting it from a farm.
  • If you can tolerate cow’s dairy, because the lactose has been fermented, the nutrient and good bacteria density is actually very high, so it’s worth consuming! Look for milk from grass fed cows, and hormone free, if you are in the US.
  • You can also make kefir from cow or sheep dairy, or coconut milk/water.

Why Should You Be Eating It?

Kefir is worth the hype!

Studies have shown that kefir may actually inhibit IgE production, therefore reducing allergic responses in the body. In another study, the kefir had anti-tumour effects, by inhibiting tumour growth in mice.

If you have taken antibiotics or the birth control pill, this can alter the natural gut flora in your body. This can lead to constipation, food intolerances, gas, bloating or general indigestion. When you add in more of the good bacteria it rebuilds your gut health, helping alleviate these symptoms.

How Do You Make It?

As with most fermented foods, making kefir is actually super easy and way less intimidating than you would think!

Here are a couple of blog posts to get you going:

Traditional Kefir:

Coconut Kefir:

You can buy the kefir ‘grains’ here.

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