In the 1980’s, it was the alternative medicine doctors that recommended that patients eat yogurt when they took antibiotics. Mainstream medicine didn’t understand the value of the probiotic bacteria to our health and often told patients it was not necessary.
Science has since caught up with both alternative medicine and the ancients of Eastern and Northern Europe. Back in the day, milk was carried in leather pouches and, as it sloshed back and forth while being carried, it formed a “grain” called kefir. This “grain” was both eaten and use as a drink and, even then, was hailed as a super food.
In the intervening years, kefir has been found to contain three times more beneficial bacteria than yogurt. It also contains the famous turkey amino acid, tryptophan, it is a great source of calcium and of the B vitamins.
Scientists are now learning that healthy guts are the basis for healthy immune systems, healthy brains, and an answer to the prevention of allergies. It is ironic that the cleaner we make our homes and surroundings the more prone we are to illnesses that are a result of the depletion of that very beneficial probiotic bacteria.
Kefir is a fermented product much like sour dough and it is easy to make, often in just 24-36 hours. The starter, a combination of bacteria and yeast, is introduced to cow or goat milk, coconut milk, or even water. If you purchase kefir, nutritionists recommend that you carefully read the labels of consumer brands to ensure that there isn’t excess sugar. Even better than buying flavored kefir, the experts recommend purchasing an unflavored variety and adding your own fruit or use it instead of milk. Even better, kefir is 99% lactose free. Even people who have difficulty with lactose find that kefir works for them.
As science evolves further on the subject of helpful bacteria and yeast for the body, we are sure to learn more about the benefits of kefir and more about its super hero qualities.