It is known as the grains of the Prophet Mohammed, Snow Lotus, California Bees and so on. It hails its origin from Russia. It resembles to yogurt but it isn’t yogurt. The bacteria called probiotics are present in the kefir. This bacteria is beneficial to the health. The kefir grains has good microorganisms. The grains are nothing but the culture of yeast and bacteria. The milk has to be fermented to be converted into kefir. The microorganisms makes the conversion possible. The essential minerals, vitamins, proteins, magnesium, potassium, folic acid and phosphorus are also a part of kefir grains. It is said to be beneficial than the yogurt. It is slightly sour in taste as lactose gets converted into lactic acid during the process of fermentation. You can add a teaspoon of sugar to it for a better taste. There are 2 types of kefir – Water kefir and milk kefir.
Types of Kefir
It is prepared by using water and sugar. There is no usage of dairy products. You can also use fruit juices instead of water. It is slightly lighter in nature when compared to milk kefir. It can be used during winters for to sort out the dehydration problem. It is slightly yellowish in color and has bubbly looks.
It is usually made out of milk such as cow, goat, sheep, buffalo and so on. If you are keen about dairy products, you can opt for non-dairy milk such as coconut milk, soy milk and almond milk. The fermentation will take place irrespective of the milk that you have chosen. Milk kefir looks like cottage cheese and has creamy texture.
How to make kefir at home
• Add 2 cups of milk to it. The choice of milk depends on individual.
• Add some fat cream if you desire for a thicker kefir.
• Cover it up with the lid or a plate.
• Leave it for a day or so.
• Strain it out once you find it clumpy.
• The Liquid will come out leaving the kefir in the container.
Health Benefits of kefir
1. Improves Asthma
There might be inflammatory issues which might cause lung and respiratory diseases. Asthma is one such disease which makes breathing difficult. It leads to choking and sometimes death as well. Kefir grains are said to cure asthma.
2. Cures Allergy
The body reacts differently to different products. Environmental issues might cause infections. if you have a weaker immune system, you are more prone to allergies. Regular consumption of kefir grains can cure allergies.
3. Lactose Intolerance
There are people who do not have the power to digest lactose in the body. Lactic acid is present in the fermented product. When kefir is formed, the lactose gets converted into lactic acid.However, the quantity is very less when compared to other dairy products. The lactose intolerant people can easily go for kefir. It is better to use fruit juices and non-dairy milk to make kefir completely free of lactic acid.
4. Solves digestive problems
The body needs friendly bacteria to carry out digestion process. Kefir contains probiotics which balances the bacteria. If you are suffering from diarrhea or any other digestive problems, kefir is said to sort them all due to the presence of probiotics. If you have constipation issues wherein the stool hardens up and the motion becomes difficult, kefir is the solution to it. The bowel syndrome can also be easily cured by consumption of kefir.
5. Protects against cancer
A leading disease that causes death is cancer. When the cells grows in an abnormal number in the body, tumor is formed which leads to cancer. Kefir has probiotics that prevents these tumors. It also strengthens the immune system, thereby making it stronger enough to fight with these cells.
6. Improves bone health
The flexibility in the body is possible due to bones and joints. Any damage to the bones will make the movement difficult. The bones might weaken up due to various factors, especially due to wear and tear. This leads to osteoporosis. Calcium and iron is must to strengthen the bones. Kefir contains both calcium and vitamin k2 which strengthens the bones and reduces the risk of fracture. It is also said to increase the calcium absorption power in bones, thereby leading to higher bone density.
7. Fights against infections
There are harmful bacteria such as Helicobacter Pylori, Salmonella and E. coli that leads to infections in the body. The Lactobacillus kefiri is the probiotic present in kefir that attacks these bacteria and prevents body from contacting with infections. The carbohydrate called kefiran also helps in preventing infections.
8. Helps in weight management
There are many diseases occurring due to obesity. Weight management is a must considering the lifestyle that we all lead. A proper diet and regular exercise can be a great tool to lose weight and get toned. Kefir is highly rich in probiotics which hampers the formation of weight loss. As the food gets digested easily, weight gain becomes difficult. Take your daily dose of kefir and see how your weighing scale changes. Do not be surprised to know that kefir contains 30 microorganisms which makes it a great source of probiotics.
9.Improves mental health
The neurons must be in a stable condition to carry out the functions. Stress and depression are the common reasons wherein people lose their mental stability. Kefir is said to improve the mental health as it has probiotics and organic acids.
Hope this article has been useful to to you. Kefir has been used since olden days as a remedy to various ailments. Though, it is not as popular as yogurt, yet the benefits are ample. One has to be careful while making kefir. If you are a first timer, go with less quantity. Also ensure that you allow it to ferment without taking out the lid. It can be consumed on everyday basis. Do avoid the usage of dairy products if you are allergic to them. Let us know your opinion on kefir benefits.
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