If you are into healthy living and incorporate superfoods in your diet, you must have definitely heard about Kefir. It is fast gaining importance as a probiotic and has become quite popular. Kefir is made from Kefir grains which resemble a cauliflower head and are a rich combination of beneficial bacteria and yeast along with sugars, proteins and lipids.
So what is Kefir like?
Kefir is not a new food and has been around for quite some time. It has its origin in the North Caucasian region and is popular in Russia. The word Kefir has its origin in the Turkish word “köpür” which means “feeling good” and is pronounced as “keh-FEAR”.
The health benefits of Kefir range from improving digestive disorders and bone health, having anti-bacterial properties, reducing allergies and asthma. It is something you would want to incorporate in your daily diet and get on a healthy life.
One of the most potent probiotic foods, Kefir is similar to Yogurt, prepared by using a starter culture. It is available in the form of grains, which can be used as culture in milk and water – the grains are different for both. The bacteria and yeast from these grains, feed on the lactose and ferment milk in 24 hours (depending on the room temperature) giving rise to a healthy drink. The fermented Kefir drink has a creamy texture, similar to that of yogurt, with a foam formed due to natural carbonation. It has a tart and tangy taste, given by the lactic acid formed by Lactobacillus.
Is making Kefir easy?
Although ready to drink Milk Kefir is available widely in health stores, especially the organic ones, it is easy to make it at home as well. To get started on the Kefir routine, all you need are the Kefir grains. They are available in the dried form or as live cultures. And it would be good to remember that the grains are different for Milk Kefir and Water Kefir, but the process of making it remains the same.
Milk Kefir, Coconut Kefir & Water Kefir
Don’t forget….there are different types!
What are the benefits for our health?
Although traditionally people have known the benefits of Kefir for many years, research on Kefir used in humans is still in infancy. There are few human studies while more animal studies done on the different benefits of Kefir. Here are some of the important health benefits of Kefir:
- anti-bacterial properties
- good for the bones
- cancer protection
- replacement for lactose intolerance
- heart health
- it can be vegan too!