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What is Kefir?

You may have heard about the beverage Kefir, but do you really know what it is? This drink not only has an interesting origin it also has several health benefits for those struggling with weight, cholesterol, and other issues.

The word kefir is actually Turkish, and means “good feeling.” This is in reference to how you feel after you have consumed kefir. It is a fermented milk beverage that comes from the northern Caucus Mountains but has been drunk in Asia and Europe. Now though it is becoming more well-known in the United States.

Kefir the drink is derived from kefir grains and is made through the fermentation of yeast. The process involves mixing milk with kefir grains and then storing the mixture in a warm room in order for it to “culture” and thus making kefir. The result is a drink that has a trace amount of carbonation with tangy and tart flavors. It has been compared to a yogurt in its consistency but easier to drink.  

Variations of kefir can be achieved by using different types of milk in the fermentation process. Although cow milk is most commonly used, other kinds include:

  • Goat milk
  • Sheep milk
  • Milk from nondairy sources.

Additionally, the milk fat can be low-fat, non-fat, or whole milk. Also, kefir can be made in different kinds of flavors as well. The main health attributes of kefir include:

  • Lower blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c levels.
  • Lower cholesterol in the body.
  • A good source potassium, calcium, protein, often is fortified with vitamin D.
  • Those who are lactose intolerant can drink kefir.
  • Contains probiotics for a healthier gut.
  • Can be used to treat gastroenteritis, yeast infections, and vaginal infections.
  • Obese people will find it helpful for controlling weight.

Want to learn more about kefir and its potential health benefits? You can read the full article here from Medical News Today:  Seven Benefits of Kefir.