What is Milk Kefir…
For those who have never been introduced to the lovely world of good bacteria, kefir is a great place to start. Now, either you are raising your fists in the air with your head tilted back whispering, yeeeesss. Or you are scratching your head wondering what in the world is kefir. Kefir, my friends, is fermented milk. Now now, before you start judging and thinking why would anyone drink fermented milk? Kefir is one of the best ways to put the good bacteria back into your gut. Why is that important? Well let’s dive in shall we.
We tend to lose the good bacteria in our guts through our diets and through medications we take. Have you ever had stomach issues? Diarrhea for no good reason? IBS? Allergies? Fatigue? The list really could go on and on but we will stop there. All these things are actually linked to our guts. What research has shown is that most illness and diseases can be a direct link to the health of our gut. Our guts are the main source of health if you think about it.
Our digestion controls how we feel.
If we put a big fat greasy burger in our bellys, are you going to feel like you are on top of the world with energy and motivation? Probably not. Most of us would be thinking of plopping down on the couch after because holy moly we feel like we just ate a brick. That’s because the amount of energy it takes for our body to digest that big slab of meat with a bunch of grease on it, is A LOT.
Our diets tend to kill off the good bacteria we should have in our guts that allow us to absorb the nutrients we ingest. These good bacteria are so much stronger then the bad bacteria that they actually kill of the bad bacteria and do not let illnesses flourish. They allow your digestion to take a rest and start flowing the way it is suppose to. I am not saying go out and eat a big fat burger then drink some kefir and all will be right with the world. Energy in changing your diet needs to be present as well.
Along with our diets, medication can really disrupt the good bacteria in our bodies to. When we take antibiotics we are essentially killing ALL bacteria in our bodies that are causing infections to grow. That’s great for the bad bacteria but we just so happened to kill off our good bacteria to. Probiotics, like kefir, help replenish that good bacteria.
What is kefir?
Kefir is a probiotic. It is fermented milk made from kefir “grains.” Now I put grains in parentheses because they are not actual grains. They are little cauliflower, gelatin looking grains that are a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). If you are thinking, Kombucha? You are right my friend. What the grains or SCOBY’s do is, they feed off of the lactose in the milk and fill the milk with 30-50 strains of good bacteria. Store bought kefir contains about 6 strains.
Benefits to Drinking Kefir
Boost Immune System: Biotin and folate are highly present in Kefir and are directly linked to the immune system.
Fights off Cancerous Cells: By healing the gut with the presence of good bacteria, toxins that are linked to creating cancerous cells in the body are fought off.
Supports Digestion: Again, by healing your gut and intestinal track through the use of good bacteria, your body begins to digest foods properly, when given the right diet.
Reduces Allergies: The live microorganisms which are present in Kefir help reduce inflammatory in the body, helping reduce allergic reactions.
Incorporating Kefir into your diet daily, multiple times a day, can help heal your body by filling it with good bacteria. Kefir is a fermented product, when you ferment something you are preserving that food item through the use of bacteria, good bacteria. Our bodies need bacteria to to stay balanced.
However, it is when we have to much of the bad bacteria in our systems that our body’s begin to become off balance. We start to feel more tired than usual. We suffer from allergies. Stomach issues. Depression. Anxiety. Have thyroid issues. When we do not create a balance with bacterias in our systems, we run the risk of developing leak gut syndrome.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Our entire health starts in our gut. When we trash our gut with processed foods, medications, alcohol, caffeine…. we run the risk of developing what is called leaky gut syndrome. Our intestinal track has what is called tight junctions.
These are the gateway to our blood system. If our intestinal track become malfunctioned due to all the daily wear and tear, they began to open up. When they open, they let all the toxins that are in your intestinal track leak out into your blood stream. Then these toxins enter your blood stream, they inevitably go straight to your brain.
This can cause so much damage to our bodies. This has been linked to diseases such as Autism, Alzheimers, depression and ADHD just to name a few. I encourage you to research Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who is famously known for her research on gut health.
How do I make Kefir?
Making kefir is really odd because you leave milk out on you counter for 24-36 hours with the grains inside. I am not going to lie it’s pretty nerve racking the first time you make it because the thought, “did I do this right” will be screaming through your head. I promise you, you made it right. It is really hard to mess up. The kefir grains put so much good bacteria through the milk that it is impossible for the bad bacteria to grow.
Some bacteria and yeasts found in kefir are:
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
And this is seriously a modest list. However, all grains contain more or less. It is kind of impossible to get all grains tested for which strains they carry. Just know it’s a ton and all that goodness is going into your belly.
How Do I find Grains?
When buying grains look for a company that has treated their grains with love. May sound silly but its not. When treated with love the grains tend to be happier and healthier. You want plump grains. Grains that have been active within the last week or two.
There are two options, fresh or dehydrated. When you have the option of fresh, I feel that is always better. Dehydrated are still good but they may take longer due to the fact that you have to rehydrated them and acclimate them all over again. These are the grains we use and I have had great success with.
What if I am lactose intolerant?
There are some people who are lactose intolerant, I’ve got good news for y’all. Since the grains feed off the lactose, which is the sugar in milk, it’s turns to lactic acid. That sounds kinda creepy, but it’s actually a really amazing thing. Don’t freak out people.
Making kefir is like fermenting vegetables. You are essentially controlling the environment with good bacteria to inhibit the bad. So for those of you lactose intolerant, there is a 99% chance you can drink it with little to no problem.
Are you dying to know how to make it? Oh my goodness, I thought you would never ask. Let’s roll.