Did you know?
Kefir (pronounced kee-fer) originates from the Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe. It's believed that the name comes from the Turkish word "keif" which means good feeling.
Easily digested, it cleanses the intestines, provides beneficial bacteria and yeast, vitamins and minerals, and complete proteins. Because kefir is such a balanced and nourishing food, it contributes to a healthy immune system and has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer. Its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system has benefited many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
The regular use of kefir may help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity
Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, and it's also found in kefir in significant quantities. This is good news because phosphorus is needed to help our bodies use carbohydrates and proteins for cell growth and energy. Drink up!
Kefir is made by fermenting milk with 10 to 20 different types of bacteria and yeasts with a handful of types; this leads to a higher probiotic count in the final product.
Each 175 gram serving of kefir provides about 20 per cent of the daily RDA for calcium, which is important for the health of your bones and teeth. You can replace a regular dairy serving with kefir to get the calcium you need along with the drink's probiotic benefits.
Know that sleepy, relaxed feeling you get after a big turkey dinner? That's thanks to tryptophan, an amino acid. The same amino acid is found in kefir, which means it actually can have a relaxing effect. Maybe that's where that "good feeling" name originated?
The American Dietetic Association in 2003 found that kefir may improve lactose digestion over milk, with reduced or no symptoms of lactose intolerance. There is some more general research on probiotics showing that they can prevent or treat some digestive problems.
Kefir is a great way to get extra protein in your diet without extra calories. A single serving of plain, non-fat kefir has less than 100 calories, but provides 10.5 grams of protein, which can help you feel fuller without extra fat. Just watch that you're not buying kefir with added sugars, which will up the calorie content