Kefir is a probiotic food with incredible health benefits. Discovering its properties will help you to know why you should consume it every day.
We recently told you that kefir is one of the foods richest in probiotics, which consist of live microorganisms that help increase, maintain and improve our intestinal flora, in which we find essential bacteria that help us maintain good health, since an imbalance or alteration in our flora tends to have negative consequences for it.
It is, as we will know, a wonderful natural probiotic, which provides excellent benefits for our health, especially when we consume it on a regular basis.
What is kefir?
When asked what kefir is, it is a polysaccharide structure in which different microorganisms coexist, in whose nodules or grains we can find healthy bacteria such as Lactobacillus deciduous, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus acidophilus and lactic streptococci in symbiotic association. We also distinguish yeasts, such as Sacharomyces delbruckii and Candida kephir, which are ultimately responsible for generating alcoholic and lactic acid fermentation.
It is a white or slightly yellowish food with an elastic consistency and a jelly-like appearance. Generally it tends to adopt a dough that is irregular, very characteristic, and stands out for being a fermented dairy product extremely rich in probiotics.
Although we must differentiate between milk kefir and kefir water. Its origin must be found in the Caucasus region; In fact, Muslims knew it as the grains of the Prophet Muhammad, considering it as a manna from Allah. Be that as it may, it is characterized by being a very healthy food, recommended within a varied and balanced diet, thanks to its richness in both benefits and in properties.
Most important benefits of kefir
Regenerator of the intestinal flora, and excellent digestive
Kefir, being a probiotic food, helps regulate and regenerate the intestinal flora, so its consumption is appropriate when there is an imbalance of the flora or when, for example, we follow any medical treatment that alters it (such as the consumption of antibiotics). It is a very important quality, since thanks to kefir our body manages to transform the putrefied intestinal flora into lactic bacilli with antiseptic properties.
It is also a digestive food, useful in case of indigestion and heavy digestions since it favors the correct digestion of the food we consume. On the other hand, some studies have confirmed its usefulness in preventing constipation, reducing the risk of colon cancer and fighting Escherichia coli.
In the particular case of constipation, kefir acts as a mild laxative, while it is also useful for regulating intestinal transit.
Helps strengthen defenses
If you need to increase your defenses, there is no doubt that you will find kefir a great ally, since by regenerating and restoring our intestinal flora, it also helps when it comes to strengthening our immune system.
Good for a healthy cardiovascular system
Different scientific studies have been able to verify that a regular consumption of kefir helps to take care of our cardiovascular system, and to prevent or treat its different disorders.
For example, consuming kefir regularly has been shown to help lower high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while also being able to regulate blood pressure.
Other properties of kefir
- Useful in the natural treatment of anemia.
- Helps in the treatment of skin allergies.
- Dissolves gallbladder stones and kidney stones.
- Helps regulate blood glucose levels.
- Rich in antioxidant properties.
- Helps regulate the nervous system, improving concentration and attention.
- Useful in case of insomnia, anxiety, stress and depression.
How many types of kefir are there?
As we briefly mentioned in a previous section, basically and in a traditional way, we must differentiate between three types or variants of kefir, although in reality there are two of the best known (milk kefir and water kefir). We must also name the one known as Kombucha. We will talk to you about their basic differences below:
- Milk kefir: It is one of the most classic and traditional options. And, as its name suggests, it is a variety of kefir made from contact with milk. That is, the fungus from which kefir is made ferments when it comes into contact with milk, producing a kind of somewhat thick drink with an acid flavor and aroma.
- Water kefir: It is another equally popular variant. It is made from the fermentation of the fungus in water, resulting in an aromatic drink that is very reminiscent of citrus (being in turn acidic), and with gas. It has the same qualities as dairy kefir, but its preparation does not require milk, but other ingredients.
- Kombucha: It is another variant of kefir, very popular in some Asian countries, which consists of a drink fermented with Medusomyces gisevi microorganisms, which form a kind of gelatinous colony in its upper part. In addition, it is usually made with tea, and it is usually sweetened to counteract its acid taste.
How was kefir prepared traditionally?
In a traditional way, the different kefir nodules were generated as a result of curdling the fresh milk in wooden jugs, the process of which was necessary to preserve the different dairy surpluses in the absence of refrigerators.
After curdling the milk for several days in the same container, precisely these gelatinous granules formed on its walls.
For example, the people of the Caucasus began to obtain a drink that was certainly pleasant to taste, and which had a number of important and outstanding benefits.
How to make and prepare kefir?
Although in our special article on how to make kefir at home, we already explained the ingredients you need and the necessary steps to make our own kefir, in detail and precisely, this time we wanted to collect some of those basic points.
To make milk kefir, you basically need ¾ of a liter of milk, 150 grams of kefir grains or nodules, and a 1-liter glass container. You just have to put the milk in the glass container at room temperature, add the kefir nodules, cover and let it rest for about 36 hours. As the kefir nodules will increase in size, you may need to add more milk (unless you want it thick). After this time, strain the kefir and add the milk again. Ready!