Kefir offers many health benefits thanks to its many nutrients such as probiotics, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Regular consumption of kefir can help maintain digestive health, strengthen the immune system, aid weight control, and is even known to be good for mental health issues like depression. It can also be an ideal alternative for people with lactose intolerance. Considering all these benefits, it is not surprising that kefir is an indispensable part of healthy eating programs.
What is kefir?
Kefir is a fermented dairy product obtained by fermenting animal milk such as cow, goat or sheep milk. It contains hundreds of different types of beneficial bacteria and yeast. These bacteria and yeasts convert the milk sugar, lactose, into lactic acid, giving the product a sour taste. Kefir has a denser consistency and a richer nutrient profile, unlike other fermented milk products such as yogurt and buttermilk.
Kefir is a beverage that has been consumed in Central Asia for thousands of years. Nomadic communities in Central Asia used to ferment their milk by adding kefir culture to the bags they carried. The health benefits of kefir have been discovered thanks to the widespread consumption of kefir in Central Asia. Today, kefir has become a popular beverage around the world and is produced in many different countries.
What does kefir do?
Kefir is a nutritious food that provides many different health benefits, from digestive system health to immune system to regulation of cholesterol level. The probiotics it contains support the health of the digestive system and help prevent digestive problems such as gas, bloating and constipation. It also strengthens the immune system by helping to balance the intestinal flora and multiply beneficial bacteria.
Kefir has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce inflammation in the body. Minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D contained in kefir are important for bone health. It contributes to heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels. It is also a low-calorie food that supports weight loss efforts.
What are the benefits of kefir?
Kefir is a food with high levels of probiotic bacteria and yeast. These probiotics help multiply beneficial bacteria that are important for digestive system health. It is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that strengthen the immune system. In addition, the probiotics in kefir have a positive effect on the immune system. The probiotics in kefir protect the health of the digestive system and help prevent digestive problems. In addition, lactic acid in kefir has a positive effect on the digestive system. Kefir is a fermented dairy product with many health benefits. Some of the benefits of kefir are as follows:
- It is a source of probiotics.
- It strengthens the immune system.
- It helps the digestive system.
- It lowers cholesterol level.
- It reduces inflammation.
- It reduces the risk of cancer.
- It helps in weight loss.
Kefir may help protect heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Thanks to the probiotics and antioxidants in it, it can reduce inflammation in the body. In addition, thanks to the probiotics and antioxidants in kefir, it can reduce the risk of cancer. Although it is a low-calorie food, it can help in weight loss thanks to its satiating feature.
How many calories are in kefir?
Kefir is a low-calorie dairy product. A glass (240 ml) of kefir calories is approximately between 100-150 calories. However, kefir calories may vary depending on the brand and production method. Some kefir brands can add sugar, fruit or sweeteners in addition to milk, making it a higher-calorie beverage.
In addition to being low in calories, kefir also has a satiating feature. Thanks to the protein and probiotics in its content, kefir can provide a feeling of satiety and reduce the desire to eat more. Kefir also has a low glycemic index. This helps blood sugar rise and fall gradually, reducing hunger and helping to conserve energy for longer. However, those who want to lose weight should be careful while consuming kefir. Some kefir brands can increase the calorie and sugar content by adding sugar or sweeteners. For this reason, a healthy diet plan should be created by choosing natural and low-calorie kefir options.
How is kefir made?
Making kefir is quite simple and it is possible to make it at home. In order to make kefir at home, it is necessary to obtain a starter culture containing kefir yeast, which is called kefir culture. This starter culture is available online or at health food stores. The starter culture is mixed with milk and left in a dark place for 24-48 hours. During this time, the yeasts convert the milk’s lactose into lactic acid and the characteristic sour taste of kefir occurs.
Unpasteurized whole milk is preferred for the milk used in making kefir. However, pasteurized milk can also be used. The consistency of kefir may vary depending on the fat content of the milk and the fermentation time. During the making of kefir, attention should be paid to issues such as temperature and sterilization. It is possible to produce a healthy kefir by paying attention to cleanliness and storing it under suitable conditions during kefir making at home.
How is kefir fermented?
Fermentation of kefir takes place thanks to kefir grains, a special microorganism culture. When kefir grains are thrown into the milk, hundreds of different types of probiotic bacteria and yeast they contain begin to convert the milk’s lactose into lactic acid. As a result of this transformation, the lactose in milk decreases, while the amount of lactic acid increases and the characteristic sour taste of kefir occurs.
Kefir grains are small white or yellowish in color and have a granular structure. During kefir making, kefir grains are thrown into the milk and mixed and left at room temperature for 24-48 hours. Kefir grains help to ferment the whole milk by moving in the milk. After the fermentation process, kefir grains can be filtered and reused or stored. Kefir grains can multiply by feeding in milk for several weeks. As a result of this proliferation, kefir grains divide to form new grains. These new grains allow kefir to be produced continuously. As kefir grains are a natural source of probiotics, they help the formation of a healthy intestinal flora.