Benefits of homemade kefir
Homemade kefir is much more than a drink with good bacteria. Almost all articles about kefir mention its benefits and I mentioned some of them in the first article of this blog.
So, if you are interested in this topic, just keep reading :)
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that is produced with the aid of a kefir grain culture. Even though the grains are often referred to as Tibetan or Kefir mushrooms, the kefir grains are not mushrooms.
The grains comprise a mixture of proteins, amino acids, lipids and soluble polysaccharides and contain a symbiosis between a large number of good, lactic acid bacteria, acetic bacteria and yeast strains. Kefir grains feed on lactose, and through the process of fermentation the hard-to-digest milk components are decomposed and pre-digested. Therefore, people who cannot tolerate lactose may use kefir. Milk minerals, e.g. calcium, become more easily biologically available (organism can utilize them more easily) with fermentation.
An excellent source of probiotics
The lactic acid bacteria (lacto bacteria or probiotic bacteria) that live in our intestines play a crucial role in strengthening immunity and protecting our organism from various illnesses. In the long-term, disruptions in the intestinal flora may cause disorders regarding nutrient utilisation, but also chronic poisoning by substances that excrete pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Kefir is a probiotic (beneficial microorganisms) and prebiotic (containing substances that enhance the growth of beneficial microorganisms) beverage that establishes a balance in the intestinal flora and strengthens immunity and improves digestion.
Great source of B vitamins
Homemade kefir is rich in B vitamins. It is a great source of Vitamin B7 (biotin) that helps the absorption of other B vitamins, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxal phosphate), B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamin). For an optimally functioning organism, it is necessary to maintain an adequate intake of Vitamin B. Some of the functions of Vitamin B are the regulation of the normal functioning of the kidneys, liver and central nervous system. Also, B vitamins participate in generating energy from food, they are important for maintaining a healthy vascular system, healthy skin and hair, and are crucial to DNA synthesis, i.e. the construction of all new cells.
Source of minerals
Kefir is an excellent source of calcium and magnesium. Phosphorus (the second most common mineral in the human body involved in the assimilation of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins for cell growth and maintenance, and for energy) is also present in large amounts in kefir. Kefir also contains: potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, manganese, cobalt and molybdenum.
Kefir has antibacterial properties against many pathogenic organisms. In the Caucasus Mountains, scientists tested kefir for different kinds of harmful bacteria, but to their surprise, they did not find any within kefir. Given that sanitary conditions are considerably worse in the deeper areas of the Caucasus Mountains, scientists refused to believe that there were no harmful bacteria. They decided to inject E. coli bacteria in the kefir grains. Within 24 hours the good bacteria from the kefirs grains destroyed the E. coli. Kefir has also demonstrated the ability of the destruction of H. pylori. Additionally, the complex micro-flora of kefir has been shown to boost our immune system by fighting off infections. When homemade kefir is consumed as a drink, it creates healthy mucus in the colon and acts as a good medium that supports the growth of healthy intestinal flora and helps prevent parasitic infections, cancer and constipation. This means that kefir is useful in preventing many gastrointestinal disorders.
Kefir as a natural antibiotic releases protective properties that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Various medical reports have shown that kefir is useful in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, allergies, migraines, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, candidiasis, colitis among others.
When writing articles, I like to research as many sources as possible and I came across an article that concludes: “For kefir it can be said – a lot of noise, with little evidence”. However, regardless of the attitudes and experiences of others, articles, studies, and books about homemade kefir, everyone has the opportunity to try the effects of homemade kefir “on themselves” and to conclude whether their body likes it or not.
I am not a proponent of the standpoint “what is good and natural must be good for everyone”. Therefore, when introducing new foods into your diet, it is necessary to gain personal experience on how this food affects you and how it makes you feel.
For me homemade kefir is a cure, but is it for you?
You have to discover this for yourself :)
If you don’t have kefir grains, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are outside of Zagreb, we will find a way to deliver the grains to you.