What is kefir?
Kefir is a fermented drink, it is traditionally made by adding kefir “grains” to milk or goat’s milk. Kefir has been used for centuries in Russia, and parts of Asia and Europe. It is believed to originate in the Caucasus Mountains, where the people live to be 160! National Geographic went to investigate the claims and they believe the man who claimed to be 168, was actually only in his 120s! That’s enough to get me to start drinking it, hopefully I don’t live to be 120 though! I’ll stop drinking it at 100 years old…
Kefir is like a drinkable yogurt, except it’s more potent, it has more nutrients and probiotics. I’m not much of a yogurt fan, so I find it easier to drink kefir than to eat yogurt, plus it’s so much healthier! I make my own, but I’ve been able to find it in all grocery stores. Just make sure you buy the plain, the flavoured versions are loaded with sugar! I do make a sweetened version for my son with frozen mangos and honey, it’s delicious!
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Benefits of homemade kefir
There are so many benefits to drinking kefir, here is a small list, most have been proven in animal studies. I continue to make and drink it because of the positive effects it has on me.
- Has strong anti-inflammatory properties which improve allergy and asthma symptoms
- Cures migraines
- Inhibit the growth of dangerous bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli
- Alleviate anxiety
- Improves digestion
- Maintains bone density
- Improves your immune system
- Reduce cholesterol, and lower blood pressure
- Inhibits the growth of cancer cells
I do believe it’s a magical cure, just like the people from the Caucasus Mountains 🙂 I tell everyone the benefits of kefir and I have my family drinking it too!
How to make kefir
Homemade kefir is cheap, easy to make, and far superior to the store bought version. It takes less than 5 minutes of my day to do it. First, you start with kefir grains, which I got from a friend, but you can get a starter kit online. Kefir grains are not actually a grain, but bacteria and yeast clumped together. You add milk to the grains, I cover it with a coffee filter and elastic band and let it sit on the counter for 18 to 24 hours. During that time the kefir grains multiply and ferment the sugars in the milk, turning it into kefir. When it’s ready, you strain the kefir from the kefir grains with a mesh or stainless steel strainer and start all over again. Because the grains multiply, anyone who makes it should be able to give you some of their grains. I have a bunch that I have dried in my cupboard, because I hate to throw it away!
I can’t promise you will have all the benefits listed here, but it won’t hurt to try! I haven’t had a migraine since I’ve started drinking it and my allergy symptoms have improved. My family has also seen positive effects from drinking it, however, it has not helped my parents cholesterol or blood pressure. Let us know if you’ve tried it and the positive effects you’ve had from drinking it.