What is kefir: Benefits, Properties And Uses

Kefir is an excellent dairy drink very similar to yogurt in taste, but more fluid. Its nutritional properties provide energy, along with a group of different vitamins that together help fight diseases. This drink is even recommended for those who do not tolerate lactose very well.

The high load of microorganisms used in the home production of kefir, generate a controlled fermentation of the milk, which allows it to modify its texture, flavor and nutritional values. Kefir grains can be reused, it is very practical to make new kefir drinks.

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Origin and history of kefir

Its origin comes from the Asian continent and part of Europe, in fact, the root of its name is born in Turkey from the word Keyif, which translated takes the meaning of the expression “feel good” which refers to the satisfaction it causes after eat and drink kefir.

In the culture of those regions, they used to drink fresh milk, but when they were transported over long distances, they curdled and formed these granules. The way to recover the food was to introduce some microorganisms, making this homemade technique so famous that it is now used to give rise to this particular drink.

What really is kefir?

To understand what kefir really is, it is necessary to know in the simplest way how it is made. This drink is formed from grains known as kefir, they consist of different microorganisms such as yeast and other lactic bacteria.

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The white grains are joined to the milk so that fermentation occurs and the sugars contained in the milk are transformed, either goat or cow. The result of the mixture is the kefir drink that after at least one day, will be ready for consumption.

Its flavor is very peculiar, although some find it very similar to yogurt. Of course, with a much more fluid consistency that makes it an excellent drink with high nutritional properties.

Nutritional properties of kefir

The nutritional properties of kefir increase after undergoing a double fermentation in which the properties of milk would also be added. Finally, the milk kefir drink provides proteins, fats and carbohydrates in similar proportions, covering 3.5% each in a serving, along with calcium and vitamin A.

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Kefir benefits for your health

There are many benefits of kefir for our health, in which all its potential comes from the fermentation process. The vast majority of pathologies that are suffered by having a weak immune system lead to chronic diseases. This can be avoided by incorporating foods such as kefir, rich in nutrients, microorganisms and with different properties that benefit health in general.

Among the best known benefits is the control of obesity and those diseases caused by poor diet such as diabetes. It also improves hypertension, cardiovascular problems, strengthens bones and maintains a perfect balance of the microbiota of the intestines, the organ through which all the food we consume is processed.

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It is no coincidence that kefir is considered the best probiotic you can find on the market. The positive contributions to the body will make you lead a healthy life, face common diseases and prevent more serious ones from appearing such as cancer, osteoporosis or vital organ diseases.

Medicinal uses of kefir

This is one of the causes that has made the dairy drink kefir, a food that is becoming more popular in the world. Its natural healing properties are very varied, being that a single property can help alleviate symptoms of some diseases, reduce the effects or help in the healing process, depending on the complexity of the disease.

Kefir to treat allergies

An excellent probiotic that can also control allergies, it is used as a natural remedy against any allergy that currently affects places with a lot of pollution or tropical climates. Being allergic is a sensitivity that manifests itself in an inflammatory way as a reaction to environmental factors that for another person may be normal.

The reason why kefir works against allergies is its anti-inflammatory ability, which would help to eliminate the effects of the allergy. Kefir is a good option to overcome allergy symptoms without suffering side effects by consuming strong drugs.

Kefir for cholesterol

The bacteria and other microorganisms contained in the drink, not only favor the functioning of the stomach and intestines, it also helps to control cholesterol when it has exceeded normal levels. High cholesterol in our body is very dangerous, eventually clogging arteries and ending with a heart attack or stroke.

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Kefir for diarrhea

Being an excellent natural probiotic, kefir helps to reestablish the intestinal flora after severe diarrhea. Diarrhea is caused by microorganisms that kefir can combat mainly by its yeast that attacks these harmful microorganisms.

Kefir for allergies

Its probiotic capacity also gives it positive effects to fight allergies. Remember that probiotics, being composed of living microorganisms, maintain intestinal health by promoting the absorption of nutrients. As the whole organism would function in a healthy way, it would also favor the immune system, the one that copes with different external organisms, including allergens that cause allergies.

Kefir for gastritis

Against gastritis, kefir is a good option. It has infinities of digestive properties that improve gastric functioning and prevent acids from accumulating that ultimately cause gastritis.

Kefir for irritable bowel

If you are one of those who suffers from irritable bowel, you know that its main symptoms are pain, diarrhea, in some cases constipation and heaviness caused by the foods you eat frequently. To alleviate these symptoms, kefir makes the food eaten more digestible, thanks to the enzymes that make it up.

The intestinal flora regenerates and thus accelerates and regulates the digestive process to eliminate these symptoms. When you feel attacked with the symptoms of irritable bowel, reduce the consumption of milk, take better advantage of the benefits of water kefir, which for the occasion would be much better for you. After recovering, you can go back to drinking milk kefir at the concentration you like.

Kefir for gases

Most microorganisms focus on the digestion of food, reducing the adverse effects caused by a poor diet. Flatulence, gas or colic are controlled by reestablishing the intestinal microbiota that accelerates the digestion of food.

Kefir for bone pain and osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that many women experience when they reach 50 years or more, in which they see the bones deteriorate and their body is unable to efficiently assimilate calcium. One way to improve this assimilation is through the dairy drink kefir, an excellent source of calcium, much easier to absorb to strengthen bones and counteract the negative effects of osteoporosis.

Kefir for yeast infection

We have this fungus in the stomach naturally, but if for some reason it grows excessively it generates health problems. It is the disease known as candidiasis, easily controlled by kefir by regenerating and maintaining the intestinal flora affected by the fungus. It is advisable to eliminate dairy products from the diet, however, kefir being a probiotic will help you counteract them with the yeasts present. You can opt for water kefir to avoid an upset stomach, since yeast causes the same symptoms of irritable bowel.

Most of the benefit of kefir is obtained in the health of the stomach, in addition to the immune system that is strengthened. As a probiotic it has the ability to form the stomach lining or at least recover it to a large extent when it is affected rather than by any disease, thus causing undesirable symptoms. Taking kefir is useful to complement traditional medicine, enhancing its effects.

By helping in the digestion process, deflating the stomach and cleaning the digestive tract, it induces a quick recovery, at the same time that it makes the work easier for the rest of the medicines you are taking.

Cosmetic uses of kefir

If one food comes to be regarded as the secret of youth, it should be the kefir drink. A food with extensive properties, including cosmetics. Many beauty treatments are based on kefir, in addition to keeping you healthy

Kefir for the skin

After understanding all its potential in cosmetics, you will want to have it in the fridge, always on hand to apply natural masks with kefir. It is an easy ingredient to find, it is inexpensive and it nourishes the skin of your face. Makeup used daily alters the skin, kefir being very useful to balance pH values, restoring elasticity and vitality to the skin.

Kefir against acne

Facial skin is very delicate, although it is also the one we take the most care of. When acne starts to be bothersome, kefir may be the solution. The way of acting is varied, first it rejuvenates the skin and keeps it clean with its antiseptic and detoxifying properties. You can also apply kefir masks mixed with honey to give it an exfoliating touch, very useful to fight acne, even with other ingredients you can enhance the benefits of kefir against acne.

Kefir for hair

The properties of kefir do not stop there, it can also add vitality to our hair if we know how to apply it in the correct way. Kefir not only works by applying it to your hair, it will also help you incorporate it into your diet and absorb the nutrients that will be reflected in the health of your hair. One way to apply it as a mask is to prepare the kefir a little thick, in this way you will condition it by letting it act on the hair for at least half an hour.

Folk recipes made with kefir

Currently the recipes made with kefir are gaining popularity in our kitchens. Beyond its health benefits, this drink is of very good quality, being able to prepare it from home, which guarantees its quality. There are two varieties of kefir: water kefir and the best known, milk kefir. Both are made with the granules that contain the microorganisms that will form the drink.

Milk kefir

The milk kefir that is obtained by fermenting the granules in a jar with milk, then the milk is filtered to obtain the kefir that we will use to prepare different recipes. We can recommend kefir as a complement to a healthy breakfast, combining it with fruits and cereals, just as you use milk. You can integrate it into cakes and ice cream recipes, substituting the milk for a product with a better flavor and more healthy properties.

The preparation of milk kefir is made with whole milk, you would lose many properties, although it could seem lighter in flavor and nutrients. Take care of the amount you prepare and the capacity of the container, make sure to leave at least a third of the space free for the gases produced from the fermentation to occupy.

Water kefir

Consuming water kefir is less frequent, although there are many recipes that you can make according to your preference. The water kefir granules can be used to create drinks that are as refreshing as they are nutritious. One such drink is mint-flavored kefir, a refreshing drink obtained from the combination of kefir nodules, sugar, and mint leaves.

To prepare a liter of this drink you will need 4 tablespoons of kefir nodules, 4 tablespoons of sugar, 1 lemon to make the mixture better and subtract some flavor. Of course you will add the mint leaves according to your taste and mix everything in water. The drink should be stored for a few days so that the microorganisms can act and react with the rest of the ingredients. Now yes, enjoy! A delicious drink.

You can find many recipes with this probiotic food, it is very versatile and it is possible to use it in different foods. In the kitchen you can use it in salads, dressings, sauces and also be a substitute for dairy products.

Kefir consumption during pregnancy

During pregnancy, many alterations occur in the body, favoring the child and the mother. One of these changes occurs in the microbiome of the placenta, avoiding complications in the baby’s health. Knowing these characteristics, the consumption of kefir is recommended during pregnancy, even when the baby is breastfeeding, the probiotics consumed by the mother may transmit them through breast milk.

Is it dangerous for him baby?

The consumption of kefir is in no way dangerous for the baby, it is already known that the drink is a probiotic, which also favors the fight against infections that put the pregnancy at risk. All defenses and the development of the baby’s immune system start from its formation in the womb. From that moment, at each stage of development he is willing to form his microbiome. Kefir is a good strategy to keep your baby healthy, avoid being overweight, and maintain oral health.

Caution should always be exercised with what the baby is fed. It assumes two general rules: first, do not offer anything in excess, even if it seems to be a healthy food, and second, do not trust any food, evaluate and consult with experts in the nutritional field.

Is consuming a lot of kefir dangerous?

Milk kefir is the one that is consumed most frequently, so it is advisable to take about 250ml a day, but without exceeding 500ml of kefir each day. Everything will also depend on whether you just start consuming to meet a goal, be it losing weight, releasing toxins or the nutrients it provides. For those who consume milk kefir regularly, suddenly if they could exceed the imposed limit of 500ml per day.

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Does kefir produce gas?

Unlike some probiotics or milk itself, milk kefir fights and prevents gas, flatulence and gastrointestinal diseases, being unusual for it to cause gas or other related symptoms. Each person has different forms of tolerance to the consumption of probiotic, there will be those who cause heartburn or flatulence, however, this is not common. Its probiotic qualities prevent and improve this type of gastrointestinal diseases.

If you are a person who suffers from gas and colic, it is better to take the kefir with a low concentration. Being concentrated will have higher acidity and will fall heavier on your stomach. Heartburn will be your enemy, in addition to causing gastritis, gases will be inevitable.

Does kefir make you fat or lose weight?

Although kefir is made up of a wide variety of nutrients, it will not make us fat, but knowing how to use it could help us lose weight. Kefir, like milk, gives the feeling that we are full and controls the anxiety of overeating. Nor will it work miracles, although it does contribute to a healthy, healthy and nutritious diet.

For kefir to make people fat, it needs to be ingested in excess, something unusual and that could trigger important imbalances in our body. By promoting digestion, kefir will make you use food better, thus covering your needs with small portions that you consume daily.

Does kefir have lactose?

Yes, kefir granules in itself come from milk and the most common use of this drink is to ferment milk again. In this way, lactose will be present to improve digestion, even in those people who do not tolerate dairy products. If, on the other hand, you prefer to reduce the lactose levels a bit, you can choose to freeze it or store it for a while in the refrigerator before consuming it.

For those people who do not tolerate lactose, milk or water kefir is a healthy alternative that will not cause you any discomfort, its microorganisms will even help you tolerate the lactose that kefir contains. Pre-digestion by microorganisms reduces the concentration of lactose present in the drink and thus what you would be consuming would be lactic acid.

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The positive thing about kefir is that it keeps all the properties of milk intact, being an excellent option for those who have stopped consuming milk. Lactose is assimilable, being tolerated by anyone if you take it after preparing it with kefir granules, turning it into a probiotic.

Can kefir give heartburn?

Kefir has always been compared to yogurt, as this is the best known, so yogurt is less acidic. Kefir could cause heartburn if taken alone, so you should add it to other foods and start increasing its consumption progressively to prevent the acidity from increasing.

When heartburn comes from poor diet or gastric infections, kefir will help control it, but it won’t help in all cases. If your problem is heartburn, I recommend that you lighten the kefir mixture and use water in exchange for milk, in addition to taking it in small quantities.

It can also cause heartburn when fermentation of kefir granules in milk is done for a long time. The ideal would be to leave it a day or less, since the longer the flavor intensifies as well as the acidity of the drink.

Can kefir be heated?

Kefir fermentation generally occurs in a warm place, in this way the microorganisms present reproduce faster, increasing in temperature as the fermentation progresses. Thus, kefir can be heated and used in recipes that require some type of cooking.

Its properties will not be lost due to temperature effects, although it is also an option to take it cold or at room temperature. To drink it at night or on a cold day, a hot and nutritious drink like kefir is sure to do you no harm.

Does kefir have fat?

It contains about 4g or more of fat, depending on the type of milk to be used and the preparation that is made. The fat values ​​are very similar to those of yogurt, so there is no need to fear this value. These levels of fat per serving of kefir are not harmful and are part of the nutrition it provides.

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Nutritional value of kefir

If we assume a serving of 100gr of kefir, it is possible to break down each of the main nutrients that compose it, with a proportion very similar to that of yogurt. The first is energy, providing about 64kcal, it is not so much compared to milk due in part to its low fat content of 3.5g.

For each serving, the kefir drink provides 4.8g of carbohydrates, 3.3g of protein, not bad for a complementary food, which is joined by other nutrients such as vitamin A and calcium. Milk already provides vitamin D, Potassium and of course Calcium.

Contraindications of kefir consumption

Although the contraindications of consuming kefir seem insignificant given the great benefits it brings, it must be assumed that some people do not tolerate the drink very well. Contraindications to people with a delicate stomach, those who take immunosuppressive drugs or are sensitive to the consumption of yeast.

In some people who do not tolerate kefir, they manifest bloating in the stomach, diarrhea or abdominal pain. As for immunosuppressants or diseases that are autoimmune, it is better not to recommend the consumption of kefir to prevent the body from rejecting it or microorganisms causing any damage to our body.

The storage mode of the granules may mean that the drink causes unwanted symptoms. Most kefir lovers leave the drink fermenting for a long time to gain flavor and properties, all this without realizing that leaving it fermenting for more than 24 hours would cause a laxative effect when consumed.

Leaving kefir brewing for a long time increases the risks of acidity, gives it a more bitter and astringent taste that makes it difficult to bear its flavor.

Anyone who is healthy can consume kefir without fearing any secondary reaction, if you tolerate it you will not have any problem. It is also important that you consider that homemade kefir is generally more concentrated than that produced in the industry, so knowing this could help you in its habitual consumption.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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