by Paula | October 7, 2014 1:28 am
Guest Blog By Giselle Cooper
It’s probably a good indication of what kefir can do that its name comes from the Turkish for “feel good”. Kefir is a probiotic. This means it provides your gut with ‘healthy bacteria’ highlighting that not everything packed with bacteria is bad for you.
Elie Metchnikoff, one of the great pioneers of the study of probiotics, concluded that good bacteria plays a role in healthy digestive systems. Probiotics boosts your immune system, as more than two-thirds of the human immune system can be found in the digestive system. Humans naturally have millions of good—even necessary—bacteria in their digestive tracts to help process food, fight off bad bacteria, and perform countless other daily functions that are essential to our survival.
Another benefit of adding healthy probiotics is with antibiotic usage. It is prescribed with care and on a regulated basis because while antibiotics can kill bad bacteria such as viruses, that have made their way into our bodies, they can also kill the ones we need to live. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to general weakness, lowered immunological response, and digestive problems like diarrhea.
Kefir is made by fermenting milk. Generally, though, you want to make your own kefir instead of buying factory-produced varieties. This ensures that you get as many of the benefits of the drink as possible… and benefits there certainly are.
Kefir helps keep the system balanced by introducing only beneficial bacteria to the gut. From Lactobacilli to Bifidobacteria, these microorganisms ensure a population healthy gut microflora, and also edge out any bad bacteria on the way. This means better digestive system and immune system function. In fact, some new studies from Europe are indicating that probiotic therapy using the bacteria found in kefir can produce results comparable to or at par with conventional antibiotics in treating infections.
Kefir also contains vital proteins and amino acids such as tryptophan. Furthermore, it contains phosphorus, biotin, Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin B12. It is little wonder the peoples of the Caucasus associated it with feeling good: the drink has so many nutrients it genuinely tended to promote good health—and with that, a sense of well-being in those who drank it.
Of course, kefir might not be for everyone. Many find it to be an acquired taste. Others might also be concerned about lactose intolerance—although kefir actually has very little lactose to start with and that can be further lessened by allowing it to ferment a little longer so that the sugars in the milk get eaten by the bacteria. Others are worried about having trouble digesting it—although it actually has smaller curds than yogurt, making it more easily processed.
Many people find the benefits of including kefir in their food plan to be clearer skin, heightened energy levels, and improved digestive function. So I say to everyone who hasn’t tried it yet: Why not give it a go? You might find yourself discovering just why people named it after “feeling good” after all.
Anchor text: Kefir
Giselle Cooper is a strong advocate of all things healthy, natural and homegrown. She enjoys cooking and blogging during her spare time.
You can follow her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/yourkefirsource) and Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/yourkefirsource/).
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