Kefir: A Secret Healing Drink

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

2867-351151_fruit_shake.jpgI just recently tried kefir for the first time in hopes of strengthening my immune system during this cold and flu season.

I had heard so much about the benefits of this drinkable, fermented milk product, so I hesitantly gave it a try.

What’s In A Bottle

  • Most kefir nowadays is made from cow’s milk, but in the past it could have been a combination of cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and kefir grains from previous cultures.
  • One cup of kefir is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Lactose free
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Contains many probiotics that stay in the intestines, and even produce more healthy bacteria
  • Contains healthy yeasts which can help to kill off the unhealthy yeasts in the body
  • Contains a significant amount of sugar, but this is mostly from the milk itself.

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Better Than Yogurt?

The ingredients show that kefir contains the same ingredients as yogurt. The only difference is that kefir has different probiotics, aka beneficial bacteria, than yogurt as well as yeast cultures.

This makes the consistency thinner, and more “drinkable”. In addition, the probiotics in yogurt do not colonize in the intestine, so we do not retain the benefits after the initial effect.

It Tastes like Yogurt

Don’t be afraid to try kefir if you like yogurt. It tastes exactly like yogurt, but is drinkable. It still had a thick consistency, but not thick enough to spoon-eat.

Drinking Kefir May Help:

  • Prevent yeast infections
  • Prevent arthritis
  • Reduce or prevent GERD (Reflux Disease) from H. pylori
  • Boost immune system
  • Reduce allergies
  • Increase HDL cholesterol, and reduce LDL cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce risk for certain cancers like colorectal and breast
  • Improve digestion
  • Promote fat loss
  • Strengthen bones
  • Improve dental health

Concluding Thoughts

I have decided to drink more kefir, and less yogurt. So far, it has helped me shorten the duration of a cold, and it tastes great! I will still be eating Greek yogurt on occasion, but this is my new dairy product of choice.

How about you, have you tried kefir?

8 Comments

  1. Jacob

    If you drink kefir you should consider making it at home. It’s very easy and inexpensive. Commercial kefir contains a quarter of the individual probiotic strains in traditional kefir. All you need is kefir grains (starter culture for kefir) and milk.!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer

      I really want to start making my own.. I want to use coconut milk though. Have you tried it that way?

      Reply
  2. Dominika

    I am quite a fan of kefir – although the flavoured, not too big on the “natural” flavour.
    As Natalie said, it is a very good snack food – as well as a tasty way into healthy dairy products.

    Also very good for hangovers 🙂

    Reply
  3. Natalie Dubovitsky

    I am a big fan of kefir. I typically use it as a snack replacement – it’s quite filling, especially the regular, non-sweetened kind.

    Reply
  4. Danielle Hamo, RD

    super interesting, i will have to try this. Always saw this in the grocery store but never bought it.

    Reply
  5. Spectra

    I’ve had kefir before. It’s popular in Europe, but the kind I had was made from goat’s milk. It was pretty tasty–it sort of tasted like a smoothie.

    Reply
  6. T. Kallmyer

    1 cup has 140 Calories, although after reading Nicole’s article I went out and bought some plain unsweetened kefir and it’s only 110 Calories/cup.

    Reply
  7. Richard Perry

    Looks like something I should add to my daily eating routine for general wellness and not just during flu season. How many calories and how big is the serving size?

    Reply