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7 Kefir Benefits and Nutrition Facts that Boost Immunity & Heal the Gut

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It can slow the growth of early tumors and their enzymatic conversions from non-carcinogenic to carcinogenic. The probiotic compounds help restore the lost flora that fight against pathogens. The probiotics also aid against disruptive diarrhea and other gastrointestinal side effects caused by these types of medications. Various forms of allergies and asthma are all linked to inflammatory issues on the body.

In certain studies with mice, kefir was shown to reduce inflammatory cells disrupting the lungs and air passages as well as mucus buildup.

Researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center performed 23 different studies with almost 2, people, and in 17 of those studies, test subjects taking probiotics showed improved allergic symptoms and quality of life. When your gut is out of whack, it can send signals to your skin that disrupt its natural balance and cause all sorts of problems like acne , psoriasis, rashes and eczema.

Kefir helps bring good bacteria back to the forefront and level out the homeostasis for your largest organ, the skin. The carbohydrate found in kefir known as k efiran , aside from aiding in the immune system, has also been tested and shown helping improve the quality of skin wound healing.

The good bacteria found in many dairy products is essential for a healthy gut and body. The active ingredient in kefir helps break lactose down into lactic acid, making it easier to digest. If you have had lactose intolerance , my advice is to try it first by placing a small drop of the kefir on the inside of your arm or wrist and let it dry. Then wait 24 hours and see if you have any inflammation.

If you do, then steer clear of it. But if not, then try adding just a drop or two to a beverage or some food and see if you have any reaction. Yet even with the range in values, kefir has superior nutrition. For example, one cup of store-bought whole milk kefir has about: In addition, kefir contains plenty of probiotics, which is where many of the kefir benefits come from.

Kefir is one of the highest probiotic foods you can eat with several important probiotic strains, and homemade kefir far outranks any store-bought variety. Beneficial bacteria and yeasts may include the following: There are essentially two main types of kefir, and they differ in multiple ways.

While the base liquid used in different types of kefirs varies, the process for making kefir is still the same, and the kefir benefits are thought to be present in both types.

All types of kefirs are similar to kombucha another healthy probiotic-rich drink favorite in that they must have sugar either naturally present or else added in order to allow the healthy bacteria to grow and for the fermentation process to take place.

Here is more information about how the different types of kefirs are made and how their tastes and uses differ:. Traditionally, milk kefir is made using a starter culture , which is what ultimately allows the probiotics to form.

Milk kefir is not naturally sweet on its own, but other flavors can be added to it in order to boost the flavor and make it more appealing.

While some people prefer to have kefir plain, many like to have vanilla- or berry-flavored kefirs, similarly to how you will find yogurts flavored and sold.

Most store-bought kefirs are flavored with additions like fruit or cane sugar, but you can sweeten and flavor your kefir yourself at home by adding pure raw honey , pure maple syrup , pure vanilla extract or organic stevia extract.

Also try adding pureed fruit to your plain kefir like banana or blueberries to boost the nutrient content even more. Beyond just drinking milk kefir, there are other ways to cleverly use it in recipes. Milk kefir can make a great base for soups and stews that would otherwise call for regular buttermilk, sour cream, heavy cream or yogurt. You can substitute plain or flavored kefir for any of these in ingredients in your favorite recipes for baked goods, mashed potatoes, soups and more in order to boost the nutrient content and get all the wonderful kefir benefits.

Coconut kefir can be made either using coconut milk or coconut water. Both types of coconut kefirs do not contain any dairy. Coconut water and coconut milk are said to be the perfect base for creating fermented kefir because they naturally have carbohydrates present, including sugars, which are needed to be consumed by the yeast during the fermentation process to create healthy bacteria. Coconut kefir is made in the same way as milk kefir.

It becomes more tart and also carbonated once fermented, and tends to be sweeter and less strongly flavored than milk kefir. Both types of coconut kefir still taste like natural coconut and also keep all of the nutritional benefits of unfermented plain coconut milk and water potassium and electrolytes, for example. Water kefir is made in a similar way as milk and coconut kefirs.

Just like milk kefir, plain water kefir can be flavored at home using your own healthy additions and makes a great, healthy alternative to drinking things like soda or processed fruit juice. You want to use water kefir differently than you use milk kefir.

Try adding water kefir to smoothies, healthy desserts, oatmeal, salad dressing, or just drink it plain. Try having water kefir with fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice, mint, or cucumber to flavor your water kefir naturally, or make a healthy soda alternative by combining water kefir with club soda or seltzer for a virtually sugar-free carbonated drink.

Choose kefirs that are low in sugar and added flavors, and then try flavoring it yourself at home where you have control over the amount of sugar being used. You might be wondering now: How exactly does one make homemade kefir to get all these kefir benefits?

Dairy-free versions of kefir can be made with coconut water, coconut milk or other sweet liquids. Once you make your kefir, you can add it to so many things, such as smoothies, spreads, in sourdough bread, in soups, ice creams and more.

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