Kefir

30 mins read

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

Kefir Introduction

Kefir was therefore consumed in the ancient world! Throughout the ages, kefir has actually apparently been treasured and taken in by lots of cultures around the world.

However, according to numerous historians, milk kefir has actually reached us today thanks to its excellent importance to individuals of the north caucasus.

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

We tend to forget it, but fresh milk has an extremely brief shelf life. Without a refrigerator, the best way to keep it is to ferment it.

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

Kefir belonged to their life: when the shepherds took kefir from the bottles, they added new fresh milk to it, to make kefir constantly.

This strategy was passed down from generation to generation. Back then, kefir grains were really valuable and part of family treasures.

Kefir grains: a magnificent gift?

According to legends, the kefir grains were offered as a gift to the karachai people by the prophet muhammad himself. It is not surprising that they are attributed a divine origin.

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

From a scientific viewpoint, kefir grains are said to have actually formed from including and removing milk in bottles of animal skins.

The microbes in raw milk and those in the bottles would, eventually, have formed a cooperative colony of yeast and bacteria in the form of small gelatinous grains.

Therein lies the magic of kefir grains: no one through the ages has succeeded in recreating kefir grains artificially.

To create kefir grains, you definitely require … kefir grains! The grains were born from possibility, and then perpetuated through time.

The kefir grains were long concealed by the peoples 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 worse, to provide it away, was to commit a religious crime and to run the risk of ruining an ancient custom.

Russia wishes to unravel the secret: espionage and seduction

During the 14th century, russian scientists began to take an interest in the amazing durability of caucasian mountain individuals.

Some doctors attributed this vitality to kefir, and they got it to evaluate on clients. The earliest scientific research studies of the time declared that kefir helped deal with numerous diseases such as gastrointestinal conditions and tuberculosis.

Nevertheless, it was extremely tough to acquire kefir, and russian scientists could not recreate it.

They lacked the “magic” active ingredient: kefir grains. It was impossible to get their hands on it!

A procession of physicians delegated the objective of obtaining kefir grains to a single person– irina sakharova.

This girl, hardly 20, finished with complete honours from a distinguished cheese school, and won awards for establishing a distinct approach of making butter.

And as a perk: she was beautiful.

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

Her objective? To appeal the prince, so he would offer her kefir grains and the secret to ferment kefir. Simple, right?

The prince was certainly seduced. During her stay, sakharova got flowers and gifts of all kinds, and the prince never ever took his eyes off her during the celebrations.

The young woman made the most of this attention and insisted that he use her some precious kefir grains.

Nevertheless, given the religious ban on sharing kefir grains with immigrants, barchorov declined to reveal his secret. Sakharova returned home empty-handed.

However, en route back, she was caught (!) By the prince’s guys and brought back to her court.

The prince wanted to marry her.

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

The affair reverberated through the course of czar nicholas ii. The declined prince was forced to offer compensation for his actions, risking troubling relations in between the two peoples.

He used jewellery, gold and treasures, but sakharova refused. She had an objective to meet, and did not mean to fail.

Under the order of the czar, and at the continual demands of sakharova, the prince needed to turn over the kefir grains to her.

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

After russia, the world!

Kefir quickly spread out in russia. Initially, it was used in mental hospitals to treat the ill.

By the 1930s it was marketed on a large scale and quickly ended up being daily food, as typical as eggs or bread.

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

Lots of cultures have actually embraced kefir and integrated it into their diet plans.

Over the last few years, kefir has actually been found more and more on grocery shelves, alongside yogurts and other dairy products.

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

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

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

A living tradition

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

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

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

What is kefir? All the dietary truths to know, according to signed up dietitians

Kefir nutrition statistics

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

  • 110 calories
  • 2 g total fat
  • 10 mg cholesterol
  • 125 mg sodium
  • 12 g total carbohydrate
  • 0 g fiber
  • 12 g total sugars
  • 0 g added sugar
  • 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

Known as “the champagne of dairy,” kefir has double or triple the amount of probiotic stress that you would find in most yogurt. “kefir is a cultured probiotic beverage that resembles drinkable yogurt in taste and texture, however that is where the similarity ends,” states margolis.

She includes 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 units) per 8 oz serving. “it leads to a more varied culture than yogurt with 2 to 3 times more probiotics and a mix of both bacteria and yeast-based cultures, which is distinct to kefir.”.

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

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

10 surprising health advantages of kefir

1. Improves gut health

Kefir is a rich source of probiotics, which help maintain the gut microbiome. probiotics are healthy bacteria discovered in particular foods that help in food digestion. Our gut has a particular bacteria microbiome that keeps it healthy. Nevertheless, particular processed foods and lifestyle routines can interrupt this microbiome and cause bloating, indigestion, acid reflux and flatulence. For that reason, it is important to reestablish healthy bacteria into the gut. You can quickly do that by utilizing probiotics.

2. Enhances heart health

Among the leading reasons for heart health problems is way of life disorders. Illness like atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, hypertension, etc, might harm heart health. The main factor behind these disorders are the high levels of unhealthy fats, called hydrogenated fats, in our body.

Studies recommend that kefir may reduce cholesterol and serum triacylglycerol in the blood. These are unhealthy fats that may accumulate in the arteries and cause obstructions. In addition, the probiotic microorganisms in kefir can enhance fat metabolism in the body. They assist form bile acids, which absorb and metabolise fats. By reducing unhealthy fats in the body, the threat of obtaining lifestyle-related heart issues decreases.

Kefir can likewise minimize high blood pressure or high blood pressure. The fermented items of the probiotics in kefir can assist manage high blood pressure. For example, kefir decreases the formation of the hormonal agent aldosterone, which increases blood pressure.

3. Enhances liver health

Kefir can enhance your liver health by lowering fatty liver syndrome. Fatty liver syndrome takes place when there is an increase in fat build-up around the liver.

A research study suggests that kefir can decrease fat deposition around the liver. It can likewise decrease cholesterol and triglyceride deposition in the liver by enhancing lipid metabolic process in the body. As a result, it decreases the content of extreme fat deposition throughout the body. It likewise assists keep organs healthy.

4. Enhances kidney health

Kefir can reduce 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. Improves bone health

Kefir is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin k2, both required for healthy bones. calcium is essentially responsible for our bone health. The lower the calcium levels in our body, the weaker our bones get. Vitamin k2, on the other hand, assists in taking in calcium into our bones. For that reason, we require to have a routine calcium consumption and vitamin k2 to keep our bone health. 100 g of kefir provides 120 mg of calcium, 20% of the advised everyday consumption value.

Routine calcium and vitamin k2 intake can lower the possibilities and decrease bone diseases.

Osteoporosis, a bone disease affecting the senior, triggers pores or cavities in bones. As a result, this can make them extremely weak and easy to break. Also, kefir may help in avoiding fractures and enhancing overall bone health.

6. Improves skin health

Kefir can promote much healthier skin and reduce blemishes. It can likewise improve skin irregularities like scars, burns, and even eczema. The cell membranes, bacterial metabolites and dead bacteria derived from the probiotics contribute in improving skin health. In addition, these compounds assist in enhancing the skin barrier and avoiding the development of other microorganisms.

For example, hyaluronic acid discovered in probiotics helps in wound healing. In this case, it may assist heal scars on the skin. As a result, numerous cosmetic products have actually started including hyaluronic acid to promote skin healing.

7. Antibacterial properties

Kefir shows anti-bacterial homes against a number of hazardous microbes. A study demonstrates the antibiotic capacity of kefir against different kinds of germs and yeast. Kefirs antimicrobial effects were comparable to common antibiotics like ampicillin. For that reason, kefir kills hazardous germs, helicobacter pylori, salmonella typhi, escherichia coli, streptococcus aureus.

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

8. Anti-cancerous residential or commercial properties

A study shows the effectiveness of kefir against a particular kind of cancer in mice. Furthermore, the research study showcases a resistance increase after the consumption of kefir. Furthermore, other research studies have actually revealed a decrease in breast cancer due to kefir usage by 56%. For that reason, kefir reveals promising outcomes of kefir against cancer.

In addition, in kefir, bioactive substances, like proteins and polysaccharides, can straight 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 assists provide anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Particular bioactive compounds present in kefir can reduce the inflammatory cells. Eosinophils are inflammatory cells that trigger swelling and other allergic reactions versus foreign microbes. For that reason, kefir may be a possible treatment for allergic bronchial asthma.

A research study suggests that the wound-healing properties of kefir are due to the probiotics. Also, injury recovery is due to kefir’s anti-inflammatory impacts. Inflammation is the body’s defense mechanism versus germs and other microbes. However, prolonged swelling can be unsafe to the body and trigger numerous health problems. For example, it can cause diabetes, weight problems, cancer, and other persistent illnesses.

10. Kefir for weight-loss

Usage of kefir can result in regulation of metabolic process. It is because of the minerals, vitamins, and probiotics present in it. It assists in improving metabolism. As a result, there is a decline in extreme fat deposition in the body. It also helps eliminate harmful chemicals and contaminants from the body. Moreover, the combined effects of anti-inflammation, hypercholesterolemia and probiotics found in kefir may lead to a healthy weight reduction.

Drinking kefir can make you feel satiated. As a result, it reduces the urge to binge consume or overeat. In addition, replacing processed and sweet foods with kefir can promote weight loss. It can likewise enhance digestion health by offering a rich source of probiotics. For that reason, it can help you keep a healthy diet plan.

How to use kefir

Consume kefir as a beverage. Consuming kefir is the most common method to consume it. Likewise, you can add it to healthy smoothies and specific recipes also. For instance, we can utilize kefir to make probiotic ice cream or include it as a substitute for milk in baked items.

The very best time to consume kefir is on an empty stomach at the start of the day. As a result, it improves gut health and food digestion. Furthermore, you might also take it in the evening before bed. Kefir consists of tryptophan, an amino acid which can promote much better sleep. tryptophan assists increase the levels of the hormone melatonin, which controls the sleep-wake cycle.

You can utilize kefir as a face mask. It can be applied on the skin for 15-20 mins 2-3 times a week for ideal results. Incorporate extra ingredients like honey, rose water, turmeric, avocado, olive oil, or eggs yolk into the face mask as well.

Healthy recipes utilizing kefir

Homemade kefir

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

Approach:.

  1. Add one tablespoon of kefir grains in addition to 4 cups of milk into a jar.
  2. Cover the jar and secure it in place.
  3. Set aside the pot at space temperature level for one day to ferment.
  4. Strain the liquid into glasses. You can keep kefir in the fridge for 2 weeks.
  5. You can sugarcoat or honey to sweeten it.

Note: to begin a brand-new batch, you may include the gathered kefir grains from the strainer back into the previous jar and add 4 cups of milk. [4]

How much kefir to consume for weight-loss

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

How to drink kefir

If you’re questioning how to utilize kefir, then it’s pretty basic. You can include a glass of kefir to your day-to-day dietary program, but you can also use it to make simple, 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 way to improve your diet with this health-promoting drink.fermented-foodsred foods: guide to health realities, food lists and dishes.

When it concerns how much kefir daily, the response is easy: kefir in small amounts and every day. Instead of bingeing on kefir in the hope that you will reduce weight, add a glass of kefir to your day-to-day regimen to support your health.

Is there a finest time to consume kefir?

There’s no science to say whether drinking kefir morning or night will alter anything as to its health qualities. Nevertheless, it deserves keeping in mind some acknowledged practices that can assist attain and keep healthy body weight, and basic health too. [5]

5 downsides of consuming kefir

5 disadvantages and side effects of consuming kefir include:.

Causes allergic reactions: if you are allergic to milk, you should prevent drinking kefir since it may induce considerable, life-threatening allergic reactions. Kefir may be prepared with non-dairy “milk,” such as rice milk, which is safe for intake if you have a milk allergy. Nevertheless, go over with your doctor prior to making any dietary changes in case you have food intolerances.

Causes risk of diabetes: although some research studies have reported that kefir is a handy beverage for people with diabetes due to the fact that it reduces blood sugar level levels, other kinds of kefirs, particularly fruit-flavored kefir, can consist of a lot of sugarcoated, which people with diabetes ought to prevent. Individuals with diabetes should check out the labels to evaluate sugar levels in the beverage.

Boosts the risk of infection: if you are going through cancer treatment or any other treatment that reduces resistance, you must avoid intake of kefir. The body immune system in individuals with cancer or suppressed resistance is jeopardized. Bacteria present in kefir might trigger hazardous effects on the body such as infection or sepsis.

May contain alcohol: alcohol is produced spontaneously throughout the fermentation process. Although the quantity of alcohol in kefir is generally less than one percent, children and individuals who are sensitive to alcohol or in healing should understand this. Some brand names specifically declare that their product includes no alcohol.

Applies negative effects on the intestinal system: kefir might cause intestinal side effects such as,.

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach cramps

All these unfavorable side effects might diminish within a week. You are recommended to decrease kefir consumption up until your body responds well to increased probiotics. [6]

Unique safety measures and warnings

Children: 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 insufficient reliable details about the security of taking kefir if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Remain on the safe side and prevent usage.

Help and other conditions that compromise the body immune system: kefir consists of actively growing bacteria and yeast. There is some issue that people with a weakened immune system might be more likely to establish infections from these bacteria or yeast. [7]
Kefir may provide some digestive benefits to those that can handle it, there could be unfavorable side effects from consuming it. This is basically the case with all fermented foods. Everybody’s digestive system is different. For that reason, they might be completely efficient in managing kefir while it triggers a great deal of concerns in yourself. Listed below, we will be discussing what kefir is and some of the negative effects you can get from it. [8]

Interactions

Moderate interaction

Be cautious with this combination.

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

Kefir consists of live bacteria and yeast. The body immune system generally manages bacteria and yeast in the body to prevent infections. Medications that decrease the body immune system can increase your chances of getting sick from bacteria and yeast. Taking kefir together with medications that decrease the body immune system may increase the opportunities of getting sick.

Some medications that reduce 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 consist of alcohol. The body breaks down alcohol to get rid of it. Disulfiram (antabuse) reduces the break-down of alcohol. Taking kefir together with disulfiram (antabuse) can cause a pounding headache, vomiting, flushing, and other undesirable responses. Do not drink any alcohol if you are taking disulfiram (antabuse). [9]

Conclusion

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

This product is traditionally made from dairy milk, but a lot of nondairy choices are available.

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

Get started with kefir today to take advantage of this delicious, sour beverage. [10]

Referrals

  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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