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What is Kefir?
Kefir is a very popular fermented yogurt drink that originated in Armenia. It’s pronounced KEH-fur or keh-FEER and is a very nutritious drink high in protein, calcium, Vitamin B, and lots of probiotics. It has more gut beneficial strains of live cultures than any yogurt – 61 different strains!
But why is it so popular? In addition to having more beneficial bacteria than yogurt, the lactic acid has been predigested as part of the fermenting process because kefir is fermented. That means that it’s low in lactose! People with lactose intolerance can drink kefir when they can’t tolerate other dairy products.
Kefir provides many other scientifically-proven benefits. It can help soften stool if you are constipated. Kefir can alleviate symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Probiotic and pre-biotic foods are encouraged for people with many chronic conditions like Crohn’s. Kefir also provides support for the antibiotic treatments used for h.pylori, and it is known to help reduce the symptoms of menopause.
However, not everyone tolerates fermented foods well. If you suffer from nausea, cramps, gas, bloating, or diarrhea after eating fermented foods, then you might want to find another way, such as regular yogurt, to enjoy probiotic foods. Food intolerance can cause more damage to your system than healthy food can do good.
Kefir is super easy to make at home. You only need a few things – a big jar, some cheesecloth, some milk, and some kefir grains. You pour the milk into the jar and stir in the grains. Let it sit, covered in the cheesecloth, for 24 hours. After it’s rested for a day, you can go ahead and strain it, then enjoy it. Make sure that you don’t use metal anything when making the kefir. The metal can affect how everything pulls together.
You can drink your kefir straight, add it to smoothies, or use it as a replacement in any recipe that calls for buttermilk.