Kefir, what is it and what are its benefits and properties

Kefir are granules made up of probiotic bacteria, mainly the so-called Lactobacillus acidophilus and yeasts which contain proteins, lipids and sugars, as well as minerals and vitamins. These granules create a fermentation that bears the same name as kefir.

Kefir are granules made up of probiotic bacteria, mainly the so-called Lactobacillus acidophilus and yeasts which contain proteins, lipids and sugars, as well as minerals and vitamins. These granules create a fermentation that bears the same name as kefir.

This fermentation, whose name in Turkish means “blessing” or “feeling good”, has been used in Eastern Europe and Asia, such as Bulgaria, the Caucasus, the Balkans, Turkey and other countries, since many years for its digestive and probiotic benefits, which help, among other things, the intestinal tract.

Thus, there is even a legend according to which this ferment was given to the Prophet Muhammad by the Orthodox monks of the Caucasus.

The same, though usually found as milk kefircan also be prepared with water, the process for making water kefir He explained it in detail here: https://ecocosas.com/salud-natural/kefir-de-agua/.

Kefir can be made with milk (cow, goat, sheep, etc.) and water. Same with other drinks, like soy shake, coconut water and natural juices.

Milk kefir, properties and benefits

The properties of kefir mean that this ferment can be used to counter certain ailments, and the benefits are remarkable for health.

If you’re still unsure what kefir is used for and when it provides health benefits, here are some examples of the most common uses:

Digestive problems. With kefir you can relieve various discomforts related to the digestive system, such as constipation. In this case, if strained within 24 hours of starting fermentation, it may have laxative properties that will help improve constipation symptoms. If the problem is that we suffer from diarrhea, we must leave the kefir for more than 24 hours so that it becomes more acidic and its properties become astringent.

Blood pressure, kefir and cholesterol. Among the benefits of kefir, it lowers blood pressure and levels of bad cholesterol in the body, as well as the concentration of triglycerides.

how to drink kefir

Osteoporosis and bone health. Another of the enormous benefits of this natural probiotic is its action on the bone system, since it contains vitamin K2, necessary for calcium metabolism. Therefore, in addition to serving to avoid the risks of osteoporosis and decalcification, it strengthens our bones, which helps us to avoid fractures and damage. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25278298)

Reinforcement of defenses. Its vitamins and minerals are very good for strengthening the immune system and expelling toxins from the body.

Kefir for weight loss. By improving the functioning of the bacterial flora, the unnecessary accumulation of fat in the body is avoided, which is why it is a perfect ally of a healthy diet and constant sports activity to lose weight.

Asthma and allergy. The anti-inflammatory properties of kefir are very useful in case of allergic reaction or asthma symptoms.

Kefir and diabetes. Kefir is scientifically proven to help reduce blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin levels, so it is a good ally for people with diabetes.

Nutritional value of kefir

For every 175 ml of kefir, you will find the following amount of nutrients, including minerals and vitamins, as well as proteins:

  • Calcium: 20% RDA
  • Phosphorus: 20% CDR
  • Magnesium: 5% RDA
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Riboflavin (B2): 19% RDA
  • Vitamin B12: 14% RDA
  • Vitamin D, of which it contains a large amount
  • Fatty acids in varying amounts

How are you preparing?

Although it can be purchased ready-to-eat, it is very easy to prepare kefir at home. To make it, we will need two tablespoons of kefir grains, half a liter of milk and a large jar with a lid.

properties of kefir

Put the granules and the milk in the container. If it’s not big enough, try leaving at least two fingers free at the top.

It is left between 12 hours and 48 hours, depending on the usefulness you want to give it.

To make water kefir it’s exactly the same, the only difference is that we will add 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar (better if it’s whole cane sugar or panela). The bacteria will feed on this sugar. After 24 hours, and even better, at 48 hours, water kefir is more than capable of providing us with its probiotic properties.

It is recommended to avoid metallic materials, such as spoons and colanders, and to use other materials instead. The metal could kill bacteria.

kefir care

Water kefir and milk kefir require almost daily care. It is so if we want it for one evil or another. As in the above example, for digestive problems, kefir changes properties if it is fermented for a single day or if it is fermented for 48 hours.

It should be stored at a temperature of around 17 to 20°C, out of direct light and preferably in the dark.

It can be kept in the refrigerator to interrupt the process, and thus keep the ferment for a while. This in case we want to continue using it but we don’t want it to get damaged.

It can also be frozen. In this case, when we want to reuse it, we have to defrost it and the process of creating kefir is activated again.

where to buy kefir

Kefir, both milk and water, can be purchased from dieticians, herbalists and specialty stores ready to drink. It is also available in some supermarkets and department stores.

Although the most common form is already processed (as water kefir or yogurt kefir), it is possible to find the granules of the bacteria that create the drink. These can be purchased at health and herbal stores. Note that each time they feed and create more kefir, their size increases. You can separate it and give it to your friends or family.

milk kefir

Dangers and contraindications of kefir

Like many products beneficial to health and the body, kefir also has certain contraindications.

For example, when you suffer from a chronic or serious digestive disease, you should consult your doctor before you start taking it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that although the bacteria can be frozen, it is recommended that you do not freeze the drink once it is created, as the benefits will be diminished.

And, very important, if you notice that the granules look different, are strange or slimy, and have a strong odor (usually it’s odorless), it’s most likely bad. . In this case, you must throw them away.

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