Kefir (pronounced Ka-Feer) is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains that originated with shepherds of the north causacus region,who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into a wonderful carbonated beverage. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, sheep with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed.
Kefir is a unique, living food, containing live enzymes, yeasts and many many strains of probiotic bacteria that benefit the digestive tract. Kefir is naturally probiotic, it is rich in antioxidants, antibodies and metabolites and essential vitamins and minerals. The transformation of milk into kefir makes it superior to regular whole milk, because it is much easier for the body to digest and absorb its rich nutrient contents although all the goodness of the milk remains.
Here are a few health benefits of including kefir in your diet :
- Fights Cancer – Consumption of fermented foods has been shown to kill several different types of cancerous tutors in animal studies. The Journal of Dairy Science, for example published a study that evaluated the immune cells in mice and discovered the regular kefir consumption help stop breast cancer growth.
- Support Detoxification – “Mutagens” are various agents that can literally alter your DNA and can be found everywhere in our environment. Aflatoxins, for example, are food-born toxins created by mould and can be found in many groundnuts (which is why peanut butter causes allergies and immune reactions), crude vegetable oils (like canola, soybean, and cottonseed), and grains (wheat, soy, and corn). Being rich in lactic acid bacteria, kefir can literally bind (kill) aflatoxins and other funguses, which helps preserve healthy genetic expression.
- Boosts Immunity – Next time you get sick, think twice about taking an antibiotic and drinking kefir instead. Researchers have discovered that probiotics work as well as or even better than antibiotic therapies not only eliminating the infectious agent, but in resolving symptoms.
- Build Bone Density – A 2014 study published in the journal of Osteoporosis International found that consuming kefir benefits bone density and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The researchers found kefir works by increasing the absorption of bone building minerals of calcium and magnesium.
- Heals IBS and IBD – Because of high rises of probiotics including the strains of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium kefir is also an effective natural treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. A study published in a Canadian medical journal found that probiotic rich foods including yogurt and kefir are can help heal OBS and reduce bowel inflammation.
- Allergies and Asthma – In a recent study published in the journal of Immunology Kefir was found to have both positive effects on allergies and asthma. In the study kefir significantly suppressed inflammatory markers of interleukin-4, T-helper cells and IgE immunoglobulins. The researchers stated that kefir has strong anti-inflammatory properties that could prove useful in the prevention of asthma.
- Improved Lactose Intolerance – It may sound crazy, but yes, fermented milk products like kefir can help people with milk-related lactose intolerance. To grip your brain around this, you have to keep in mind that fermentation changes the chemical make up of foods and, in the case of fermented milk, kefir is relative low in lactose.
Reference : https://draxe.com/nutrition/kefir-benefits/