Kefir

Kefir is a drink of fermented cow’s milk. [1]

The fascinating origins of milk kefir grains

Where does milk kefir originated from? To reach us, this well-known fermented milk has actually crossed the ages and many experiences.

The very first traces of kefir

Milk kefir has actually been around for several thousand years. Its earliest traces were discovered in a 4,000-year-old burial place located in the xiohe region of china.

Kefir was therefore consumed in the ancient world! Throughout the ages, kefir has apparently been valued and consumed by numerous cultures around the globe.

Nevertheless, according to numerous historians, milk kefir has reached us today thanks to its terrific significance to individuals of the north caucasus.

More than 2,000 years earlier, this region between russia and georgia was populated by nomadic mountain people, who raised herds of goats and cattle for their milk.

We tend to forget it, but fresh milk has a really short shelf life. Without a fridge, the best method to save it is to ferment it.

The nomads of the caucasus fermented their milk in leather skins with kefir grains.

Kefir was part of their life: when the shepherds took kefir from the bottles, they added new fresh milk to it, to make kefir continually.

This method was passed down from generation to generation. At that time, kefir grains were extremely valuable and part of family heirlooms.

Kefir grains: a magnificent gift?

According to legends, the kefir grains were given as a gift to the karachai people by the prophet muhammad himself. It is no wonder that they are associated a divine origin.

Kefir grains, likewise called “seeds of the prophet”, have practically wonderful powers: they change milk into a healthy, safe and fortifying product that can be kept longer than the original item. Kefir grains hold true magicians!

From a scientific viewpoint, kefir grains are said to have formed from adding and getting rid of milk in bottles of animal skins.

The microbes in raw milk and those in the bottles would, eventually, have actually formed a symbiotic nest of yeast and germs in the form of little gelatinous grains.

Therein lies the magic of kefir grains: nobody through the ages has actually been successful in recreating kefir grains artificially.

To develop kefir grains, you absolutely need … kefir grains! The grains were born from possibility, and then perpetuated through time.

The kefir grains were long concealed by the individuals of the caucasus. According to their beliefs, the grains would lose their “wonderful” powers if their existence were revealed to outsiders.

To discuss it, or even worse, to offer it away, was to devote a religious criminal offense and to risk damaging an ancient custom.

Russia wishes to decipher the trick: espionage and seduction

During the 14th century, russian researchers started to take an interest in the exceptional durability of caucasian mountain people.

Some doctors associated this vigor to kefir, and they obtained it to check on patients. The earliest scientific research studies of the time declared that kefir helped treat numerous diseases such as digestion disorders and tuberculosis.

Nevertheless, it was extremely hard to get kefir, and russian researchers could not reproduce it.

They did not have the “magic” active ingredient: kefir grains. It was difficult to get their hands on it!

A procession of medical professionals entrusted the objective of getting kefir grains to someone– irina sakharova.

This young woman, hardly 20, graduated with full honours from a popular cheese school, and won awards for establishing a distinct technique of making butter.

And as a benefit: she was stunning.

The girl was sent out to spy in the court of prince karachai, bek-mirza barchorov.

Her mission? To beauty the prince, so he would offer her kefir grains and the trick to ferment kefir. Simple, right?

The prince was undoubtedly seduced. During her stay, sakharova received flowers and presents of all kinds, and the prince never ever took his eyes off her during the events.

The young woman took advantage of this attention and firmly insisted that he provide her some precious kefir grains.

Nevertheless, offered the religious restriction on sharing kefir grains with foreigners, barchorov refused to expose his secret. Sakharova returned house empty-handed.

Nevertheless, en route back, she was recorded (!) By the prince’s males and reminded her court.

The prince wanted to wed her.

Sakharova obviously refused the marital relationship. She contacted those who had actually sent her on espionage to attempt to get her out of this mess.

The affair resounded through the course of czar nicholas ii. The turned down prince was required to offer compensation for his actions, risking disturbing relations between the two individuals.

He used jewellery, gold and treasures, however sakharova declined. She had a mission to satisfy, and did not mean to stop working.

Under the order of the czar, and at the sustained needs of sakharova, the prince had to turn over the kefir grains to her.

In 1908, irina sakharova brought the first grains of milk kefir to russia.

After russia, the world!

Kefir rapidly spread in russia. In the beginning, it was used in mental hospitals to treat the sick.

By the 1930s it was marketed on a large scale and rapidly became daily food, as common as eggs or bread.

Now, milk kefir is produced all over the world. It can be found under many names: tibetan mushroom, prophet’s seeds, snow lotus, kewra, talai, galodium, tara, etc.

Many cultures have actually embraced kefir and included it into their diet plans.

In recent years, kefir has actually been found increasingly more on grocery shelves, along with yogurts and other dairy products.

Some artisanal producers still utilize the grains to ferment their kefir. Nevertheless, the majority of industrial manufacturers produce it from selected powdered cultures.

At the same time, kefir grains continued to be given from household to family and friend to pal.

The culture of sharing has been maintained: by sharing our grains, we likewise share the knowledge in order to perpetuate it.

A living custom

The milk kefir grains we have today are direct descendants of those born countless years back into the ancient world.

Our access to it today remains in part thanks to sakharova, however also thanks to the generations of women and males who have actually assisted to propagate the grains through the ages.

Would you like to be part of this lovely tradition? You too can embrace milk kefir grains! [2]

What is kefir?

All the nutritional facts to understand, according to signed up dietitians

Kefir nutrition statistics

Serving size: 1 cup of lifeway plain low-fat kefir.

  • 110 calories
  • 2 g overall fat
  • 10 mg cholesterol
  • 125 mg salt
  • 12 g overall carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 12 g total sugars
  • 0 g sugarcoated
  • 11 g protein
  • 90 mcg vitamin a (10% dv)
  • 5 mcg vitamin d (25% dv)
  • 390 mg calcium (30% dv)
  • 376 mg potassium (8% dv)

Kefir vs. Yogurt vs. Probiotics

Called “the champagne of dairy,” kefir has double or triple the quantity of probiotic pressures that you would discover in the majority of yogurt. “kefir is a cultured probiotic drink that resembles drinkable yogurt in taste and texture, but that is where the resemblance ends,” states margolis.

She adds that kefir is made with 12 live and active probiotic cultures with a longer fermentation process which leads to 25 to 30 billion beneficial cfu (colony forming systems) per 8 oz serving. “it results in a more diverse culture than yogurt with two to three times more probiotics and a mix of both germs and yeast-based cultures, which is special to kefir.”.

Margolis states that the probiotic activity is what produces kefir’s signature fizz and the increased lactic acid, one of the byproducts of fermentation, and offers kefir its distinct taste and bit. “nutrition-wise, kefir is higher in protein when compared to non-greek yogurt,” margolis says. “kefir is also an excellent source of vitamin d, when numerous yogurts are not a source.”.

When it concerns kefir versus probiotics supplements, food always precedes. “one advantage is that the dairy buffers the probiotics from the stomach acid, enabling them to make their method through the digestive track and get to work,” margolis states. Plus, consuming probiotics in whole food type, such as with kefir or yogurt, comes along with a complete bundle of necessary vitamins and minerals also. [3]

10 surprising health advantages of kefir

1. Improves gut health

Kefir is a rich source of probiotics, which assist maintain the gut microbiome. probiotics are healthy bacteria discovered in particular foods that help in digestion. Our gut has a specific germs microbiome that keeps it healthy. However, certain processed foods and lifestyle routines can interrupt this microbiome and cause bloating, indigestion, heartburn and flatulence. Therefore, it is necessary to reintroduce healthy bacteria into the gut. You can easily do that by utilizing probiotics.

2. Improves heart health

One of the leading reasons for heart health problems is lifestyle conditions. Health problems like atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and so on, may damage heart health. The main reason behind these conditions are the high levels of unhealthy fats, called saturated fats, in our body.

Research studies recommend that kefir may lower cholesterol and serum triacylglycerol in the blood. These are unhealthy fats that may collect in the arteries and trigger obstructions. In addition, the probiotic bacteria in kefir can enhance fat metabolism in the body. They help form bile acids, which absorb and metabolise fats. By lowering unhealthy fats in the body, the danger of getting lifestyle-related heart issues lowers.

Kefir can likewise decrease blood pressure or hypertension. The fermented items of the probiotics in kefir can help control blood pressure. For instance, kefir decreases the formation of the hormonal agent aldosterone, which increases blood pressure.

3. Enhances liver health

Kefir can improve your liver health by lowering fatty liver syndrome. Fatty liver syndrome happens when there is a boost in fat build-up in and around the liver.

A study suggests that kefir can minimize fat deposition around the liver. It can also decrease cholesterol and triglyceride deposition in the liver by enhancing lipid metabolism in the body. As a result, it decreases the content of extreme fat deposition throughout the body. It also helps keep organs healthy.

4. Improves kidney health

Kefir can decrease the quantity of uric acid and creatinine in the body. The probiotic population in kefir can take in and deteriorate toxic waste like uric acid and creatinine. As a result, this can be useful for decreasing the kidney’s load.

5. Enhances bone health

Kefir is an outstanding source of calcium and vitamin k2, both required for healthy bones. calcium is basically responsible for our bone health. The lower the calcium levels in our body, the weaker our bones get. Vitamin k2, on the other hand, helps in taking in calcium into our bones. Therefore, we require to have a regular calcium consumption and vitamin k2 to keep our bone health. 100 g of kefir offers 120 mg of calcium, 20% of the suggested day-to-day consumption value.

Regular calcium and vitamin k2 intake can reduce the chances and slow down bone diseases.

Osteoporosis, a bone disease impacting the elderly, triggers pores or cavities in bones. As a result, this can make them very weak and easy to break. Likewise, kefir might assist in preventing fractures and enhancing total bone health.

6. Enhances skin health

Kefir can promote much healthier skin and decrease acnes. It can likewise improve skin problems like scars, burns, and even eczema. The cell membranes, bacterial metabolites and dead bacteria stemmed from the probiotics play a role in enhancing skin health. In addition, these compounds help in enhancing the skin barrier and avoiding the growth of other microbes.

For instance, hyaluronic acid found in probiotics assists in injury recovery. In this case, it might assist recover scars on the skin. As a result, lots of cosmetic products have actually started integrating hyaluronic acid to promote skin healing.

7. Antibacterial homes

Kefir shows anti-bacterial residential or commercial properties versus numerous harmful microorganisms. A research study demonstrates the antibiotic capacity of kefir versus various types of bacteria and yeast. Kefirs antimicrobial effects were comparable to typical antibiotics like ampicillin. Therefore, kefir kills damaging germs, helicobacter pylori, salmonella typhi, escherichia coli, streptococcus aureus.

In addition, there are certain substances called bacteriocins present in kefir which can also stop the growth of harmful bacteria. Bacteriocin is a kind of protein that can assault specific bacterial cell walls and eliminate them.

8. Anti-cancerous residential or commercial properties

A research study shows the effectiveness of kefir against a specific kind of cancer in mice. Furthermore, the research study showcases an immunity boost after the intake of kefir. Moreover, other research studies have actually revealed a decrease in breast cancer due to kefir intake by 56%. Therefore, kefir shows appealing outcomes of kefir against cancer.

Additionally, in kefir, bioactive substances, like proteins and polysaccharides, can directly act on cancer cells. They can disrupt the cell cycle and the growth of cancer cells. By doing so, they activate apoptosis, or the cell-death mechanism, in cancer cells.

9. Anti-inflammatory

Kefir helps provide anti-inflammatory impacts in the body. Specific bioactive compounds present in kefir can decrease the inflammatory cells. Eosinophils are inflammatory cells that cause inflammation and other allergic reactions versus foreign bacteria. For that reason, kefir might be a possible treatment for allergic bronchial asthma.

A study suggests that the wound-healing homes of kefir are due to the probiotics. Likewise, injury healing is due to kefir’s anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is the body’s defence mechanism versus bacteria and other microbes. However, prolonged inflammation can be hazardous to the body and trigger a number of health problems. For example, it can cause diabetes, weight problems, cancer, and other persistent illnesses.

10. Kefir for weight loss

Intake of kefir can result in policy of metabolic process. It is due to the minerals, vitamins, and probiotics present in it. It helps in boosting metabolic process. As a result, there is a reduction in extreme fat deposition in the body. It also helps eliminate damaging chemicals and toxic substances from the body. Moreover, the combined impacts of anti-inflammation, hypercholesterolemia and probiotics discovered in kefir may result in a healthy weight-loss.

Consuming kefir can make you feel satiated. As a result, it reduces the urge to binge eat or eat way too much. In addition, changing processed and sugary foods with kefir can promote weight reduction. It can likewise enhance digestive health by offering an abundant source of probiotics. Therefore, it can assist you preserve a healthy diet strategy.

How to utilize kefir

Take in kefir as a beverage. Drinking kefir is the most typical way to consume it. Also, you can include it to healthy smoothies and specific recipes too. For example, we can use kefir to make probiotic ice cream or include it as a substitute for milk in baked items.

The best time to drink kefir is on an empty stomach at the start of the day. As a result, it improves gut health and digestion. Additionally, you may likewise take it in the evening prior to bed. Kefir includes tryptophan, an amino acid which can promote much better sleep. tryptophan assists increase the levels of the hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle.

You can use kefir as a face mask. It can be used on the skin for 15-20 minutes 2-3 times a week for ideal results. Incorporate extra components like honey, increased water, turmeric, avocado, olive oil, or eggs yolk into the face mask too.

Healthy dishes utilizing kefir

Homemade kefir

  • Serving size: 4
  • Preparation time: 5 mins
  • Ingredients:
  • Milk: 4 cups
  • Kefir grains: 1 tablespoon

Technique:.

  1. Include one tablespoon of kefir grains along with 4 cups of milk into a container.
  2. Cover the jar and secure it in place.
  3. Reserve the pot at room temperature level for one day to ferment.
  4. Strain the liquid into glasses. You can save kefir in the refrigerator for two weeks.
  5. You can add sugar or honey to sweeten it.

Keep in mind: to start a new batch, you may include the gathered kefir grains from the strainer back into the previous jar and include 4 cups of milk. [4]

Just how much kefir to consume for weight reduction

There is no set amount of kefir to consume for weight loss since the kefir weight-loss link is mostly an online myth developed to make you purchase kefir products. Instead of focusing on kefir to reduce weight, use it as part of a balanced diet with great deals of plant-based foods to nourish your body and your gut microbiome.

How to consume kefir

If you’re wondering how to utilize kefir, then it’s pretty simple. You can add a glass of kefir to your everyday dietary program, however you can likewise use it to make easy, healthy salad dressings. In eastern europe, there’s even a kefir food: it’s a cold soup called okroshka that’s made from beetroot, cucumber, dill, and kefir, and it’s a fantastic method to improve your diet plan with this health-promoting drink.fermented-foodsred foods: guide to health realities, food lists and dishes.

When it comes to how much kefir daily, the answer is simple: kefir in moderation and every day. Instead of bingeing on kefir in the hope that you will slim down, include a glass of kefir to your everyday routine to support your health.

Is there a best time to drink kefir?

There’s no science to say whether drinking kefir morning or night will change anything as to its health characteristics. Nevertheless, it deserves bearing in mind some identified practices that can help achieve and preserve healthy body weight, and general health too. [5]

5 drawbacks of consuming kefir

5 drawbacks and negative effects of consuming kefir consist of:.

Causes allergic reactions: if you dislike milk, you need to avoid drinking kefir due to the fact that it might induce considerable, dangerous allergies. Kefir might be prepared with non-dairy “milk,” such as rice milk, which is safe for intake if you have a milk allergy. However, discuss with your doctor before making any dietary changes in case you have food intolerances.

Causes risk of diabetes: although some studies have actually reported that kefir is a practical drink for people with diabetes because it minimizes blood glucose levels, other types of kefirs, especially fruit-flavored kefir, can consist of a lot of sugarcoated, which people with diabetes need to prevent. People with diabetes should check out the labels to examine sugar levels in the beverage.

Increases the threat of infection: if you are undergoing cancer treatment or any other treatment that reduces resistance, you need to avoid intake of kefir. The immune system in people with cancer or suppressed resistance is compromised. Microorganisms present in kefir may trigger damaging effects on the body such as infection or sepsis.

May include alcohol: alcohol is produced spontaneously throughout the fermentation process. Although the amount of alcohol in kefir is typically less than one percent, kids and individuals who are sensitive to alcohol or in recovery should be aware of this. Some brands specifically declare that their product consists of no alcohol.

Puts in adverse impacts on the intestinal system: kefir may cause gastrointestinal negative effects such as,.

  • Irregularity
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramps

All these adverse effects may decrease within a week. You are recommended to reduce kefir usage up until your body reacts well to increased probiotics. [6]

Unique preventative measures and cautions

Kids: kefir is perhaps safe for kids in between the ages of 1 and 5 years when taken by mouth for as much as 10 days.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: there is inadequate reliable info about the safety of taking kefir if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Remain on the safe side and prevent usage.

Aids and other conditions that deteriorate the body immune system: kefir consists of actively growing germs and yeast. There is some issue that people with a weakened body immune system might be most likely to develop infections from these bacteria or yeast. [7]
Kefir may use some digestion benefits to those that can manage it, there could be negative effects from consuming it. This is pretty much the case with all fermented foods. Everyone’s gastrointestinal system is various. Therefore, they might be fully efficient in handling kefir while it causes a great deal of issues in yourself. Below, we will be going over what kefir is and some of the adverse effects you can receive from it. [8]

Interactions

Moderate interaction

Be cautious with this combination.

Medications that decrease the body immune system (immunosuppressants) interacts with kefir.

Kefir includes live germs and yeast. The immune system typically manages germs and yeast in the body to prevent infections. Medications that reduce the immune system can increase your possibilities of getting sick from bacteria and yeast. Taking kefir together with medications that reduce the body immune system may increase the opportunities of getting ill.

Some medications that decrease the body immune system consist of azathioprine (imuran), basiliximab (simulect), cyclosporine (neoral, sandimmune), daclizumab (zenapax), muromonab-cd3 (okt3, orthoclone okt3), mycophenolate (cellcept), tacrolimus (fk506, prograf), sirolimus (rapamune), prednisone (deltasone, orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Small interaction

Be watchful with this combination.

Disulfiram (antabuse) interacts with kefir.

Kefir may contain alcohol. The body breaks down alcohol to eliminate it. Disulfiram (antabuse) reduces the break-down of alcohol. Taking kefir together with disulfiram (antabuse) can trigger a pounding headache, throwing up, flushing, and other undesirable reactions. Do not drink any alcohol if you are taking disulfiram (antabuse). [9]

Conclusion

Kefir is a healthy fermented food with a consistency equivalent to drinkable yogurt.

This item is typically made from dairy milk, however a lot of nondairy choices are readily available.

Studies recommend that it improves your body immune system, aids in gastrointestinal issues, improves bone health, and might even combat cancer.

Get going with kefir today to maximize this delicious, sour beverage. [10]

References

  1. Https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kefir
  2. Https://revolutionfermentation.com/en/blogs/milk-kefir/the-fascinating-origins-of-kefir-grains/
  3. Https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a37210263/what-is-kefir-benefits/
  4. Https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/benefits-of-kefir/
  5. Https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/top-10-facts-on-kefir-nutrition-and-kefir-milk-benefits/
  6. Https://www.medicinenet.com/why_is_kefir_bad_for_you/article.htm
  7. Https://www.rxlist.com/kefir/supplements.htm
  8. Https://www.livekefircompany.co.uk/what-are-the-possible-dangers-of-drinking-kefir/
  9. Https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1056/kefir
  10. Https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-health-benefits-of-kefir
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