When we began learning about eating real, whole foods instead of processed foods, kefir was one of the first foods (beverages, really) that came onto our radar. I tried out a bottle of the Lifeway brand from the store, and was pleasantly surprised. It was good FOR me and it tasted good! Later, I learned that I could actually make my own and that began a fun process of experimentation.
But first, what IS kefir and why should we drink it?
Kefir is a cultured milk product that contains lots of probiotics aka healthy bacteria that your body needs so you can stay healthy. Kefir has been consumed for more than 2000 years and originated with shepherds in the Caucasus Mountains of Europe. Marco Polo even mentioned it in his travel dairies. Wikipedia reports that it is drunk daily all across Eastern Europe just like milk and is known as an affordable health drink.
Kefir is made by allowing kefir grains and milk (or water!) to ferment and produce more bacteria. The grains look a lot like cauliflower.
It’s related to yogurt, but it contains even more probiotics than yogurt. (Some yogurt doesn’t contain probiotics at all – read the label and make sure it says “contains active cultures”!)
Probiotics are vital because a whopping 80% of our immune cells reside in our gut! Probiotics are actually the foundation for the cells in our gut. More info about probiotics coming in a later post. 🙂
Kefir is a huge way that you can keep your gut healthy. If you’d like to experiment, you can try making your own kefir at home! Cultures for Health sells both water kefir and milk kefir grains.
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