Kefir is a unique cultured dairy product that’s one of the most probiotic-rich foods on the planet. It tastes like a drinkable yogurt. The health benefits of kefir are incredible, especially for healing issues like leaky gut. Kefir is made using starter “gains,” which are a combination of bacteria and yeasts that interact with the milk to make a lightly fermented drink that even lactose intolerant people can drink. Kefir can be made from any source of milk, such as coconut, goat, sheep, cow, soy, rice and even coconut water.
The health benefits of kefir are many:
- boosts immunity
- builds bone strength
- fights cancer
- improves allergies
- supports digestion and combats irritable bowel syndrome
- heals skin
- improves lactose intolerance symptoms
The differences between kefir and yogurt:
- comes from mesophillic strains, which cultures at room temperature and does not require heating at all
- 10-34 types of probiotics
- can actually attach to the walls and colonize to stay and regulate; they are also aggressive in nature and can actually go out and attack pathogens and bad bacteria in gut
- comes from thermophillic strains and needs to be heated to be activated in a yogurt maker; there are also mesophillic strains
- 2-7 types of probiotics
- contains transient bacteria to help clean and line the gut, giving food to the good bacteria; they go in but don’t stay
Kefer contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics. The content values can vary based on te cows, cultures and region where it is produced, but regardless, kefir has superior nutrition:
1 cup of store-bought whole milk kefir as approximately:
- 160 calories
- 12 grams carbohydrates
- 10 grams protein
- 8 grams fat
- 300 mg calcium
- 100 IU vitamin D
- 500 IU vitamin A
Here’s an easy recipe for Cashew Kefir:
To make Cashew Milk:
- 1 cup cashews
- 4 cups water
- pinch salt
- 1 Tablespoon honey, or maple syrup
- Take all ingredients and place in bender and blend until smooth.
- Heat cashew milk by putting in a jar and putting the jar into a hot water bath, or heat on stove to about 92 degrees.
- Add kefir starter (I use Yogourmet starter because it is easy and available at Amazon). Use as directed.
4. Let sit at room temperature and in about 24 hours you will have kefir.