Maximising the top benefits of kefir is very much advisable, and for a good reason. Kefir is arguably one of the five most potent probiotics in use today, and so is highly beneficial to health. In fact, it trumps yogurt in terms of nutritional value. In its profiling, kefir possesses numerous bioactive compounds, which include over 30 varying strains of beneficial bacteria.
One such probiotic available in kefir, lactic acid bacteria, is an excellent way to boost the immune system, aid digestion, and fight carcinogens & harmful microbes. According to some, kefir is the “it” health drink of this century, and only few can dismiss that tag.
Nutritional Profile of Kefir
Typically, kefir is a fermented drink made from milk (typically goat, sheep, cow) and a combination of yeast and bacteria, which is technically referred to as “starter grains.” The effects of milk used with starter grains can be very helpful, such that even persons suffering from lactose intolerance can enjoy the delicacy.
Speaking of its nutritional value, you should know that kefir is a protein drink, so it is a great source of calcium and other nutrients, including folate, biotin, enzymes, magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin k2, and more importantly, in this discourse, probiotics.
However, there’s no standardized level of nutrients in this drink as it depends on a couple of factors, which are the cow or sheep used, straining process, and region of production. That is, although the differences will hardly be glaring, a cup of kefir made in Turkey will not have the exact nutritional value with a cup made in Tunisia.
To give you an idea, however, below is what we got from a cup of kefir bought in the store:
- 390 mg of calcium (30% DV)
- 376 mg of potassium (8% DV)
- 90 micrograms of vitamin A (10% DV)
- 5 micrograms of vitamin D (25% DV)
- 160 calories
- 12 g carbohydrate
- 10 g protein
- 8 g fats
However, as research has shown, the exceptional benefits of kefir are mainly attributed to its probiotics contents. Studies suggest that kefir may house over 50 species of yeast and healthy bacteria, some of which are:
Looking At 5 Top Benefits Of Kefir
We could go on and on about the nutritional profile of kefir, but that doesn’t convince some of us. So, if you’re still unsure of kefir and would prefer knowing specific health benefits, then let’s get to it.
Here we go.
May Strengthen Immunity
As earlier mentioned, most of kefir’s benefits are associated with its levels of probiotics, so when it comes to its ability to bolster immune function, the praise is on biotin, folate, and other similar compounds.
There’s a specific bacterial strain, Lactobacillus Kefiri, which can only be found in kefir. This strain has been suggested to inhibit, fight, and prevent the development of harmful bacteria, such as E. Coli and Salmonella. Also, kefir contains kefiran, which is an insoluble polysaccharide found only in it. Studies have proven that this compound can prevent or eliminate candida due to its antimicrobial qualities.
Fortifies Bone Strength
Kefir is calcium-rich, so you should already know how significant it is to bone development. In a century where at least 4/10 kids are suffering from calcium deficiency, having a particular drink that offers so much of it is impressive. Apart from being a good way to get calcium, kefir also has significant levels of other minerals supporting bone health, for example, vitamin K. But here’s what is even more important: kefir contains bioactive compounds aiding the absorption of calcium in the bones and, thus, it prevents degeneration.
With a profile boasting several bone-supporting nutrients like calcium, vitamin K, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus, you can agree to this benefit of kefir.
Supports Digestive & Gut Health
Various studies have impressed upon the effectiveness of kefir in aiding digestion and gut health. Illnesses or deficiencies in the gut are a result of its imbalance due to constant usage over the years. It’s a natural occurrence, although some unhealthy lifestyle choices may contribute to it as well. Luckily, with probiotic drinks like kefir, you can be safe in the knowledge that your gut imbalance can be corrected, which means that unhealthy conditions like ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome can be treated.
Also, studies have established that kefir helps to avoid the negative effects of antibiotics by replenishing the lost flora used to fight pathogens. Additionally, kefir can prevent other side-effects of these medications, including gastrointestinal defects and disruptive diarrhea.
Inflammation is commonly linked to numerous asthmas and allergies in the body. So, if you’re having an asthma or allergy, there’s a chance inflammatory issues caused it. Fortunately, kefir can target the base of an inflammatory condition and thus help to improve your symptoms of allergies.
A publication in Immunobiology reports that kefir decreased the inflammatory cells blocking air passages and reduced mucus accumulation when administered to mice.
Some studies suggest that kefir could even change how your body reacts to your allergy triggers by suppressing the typical panicky response to a calmer one. This is attributed to its levels of live microorganisms.
May Improve Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
Most dairy products contain beneficial bacteria, which are essential to a healthy gut. However, lactose intolerant persons can’t take these products due to the lactose found in milk, which may explain why they often suffer gastrointestinal illnesses.
Luckily, kefir can make a difference as its active ingredients make lactose easily digestible. In fact, studies are suggesting that the numerous bacterial strains found in kefir may help to dissolve lactose completely.
Disclaimer: Some lactose intolerant individuals may still face complications by taking goat or cow kefir. So, their best option might be water or coconut kefir.
Concluding The Top Benefits of Kefir
Kefir is undoubtedly a highly beneficial drink. As a result of its significant levels of nutrients, stretching across mineral and vitamin classes to probiotic strains, there are several top benefits of kefir to enjoy. In addition to the points above, it may impress you that kefir is a possible cancer combatant as well as a skincare drink. So much to benefit from a drink of milk and yeast.