Have you ever tried Kefir?

Does dairy agree with you? Have you ever tried Kefir? Kefir is one of the most probiotic-rich drinks on the planet. Kefir is a wonderful dietary option to boost your digestive system and gut health. Kefir has become increasingly popular as researchers have studied the health benefits of the drink. It’s loaded with probiotics (and can have more than 50 different types!), which have been a buzzword in the nutrition world in recent years.

The superfood (slash super drink) is a cross between yogurt and milk in terms of thickness. And just like its dairy-aisle relatives, it’s an excellent source of calcium. To make probiotic kefir, a collection of fermenting yeasts, bacteria, proteins, lipids, and sugars, together called “kefir grains,” are added to milk, or even coconut milk or water, if dairy doesn’t agree with you.

You’ll find kefir in the dairy aisle, likely near the yogurt, or maybe in the refrigerated portion of the natural foods section. In fact, it’s pretty similar to yogurt, but it’s not quite as thick. Think of kefir as a drinkable yogurt with a tangy, slightly acidic flavor.While kefir and yogurt do share some similarities, they are actually very different. Yogurt is thick and contains lactose if made with animal milk. Kefir is drinkable and contains more fat and more protein than yogurt. And good news if you’re lactose intolerant: A study found that kefir improved the way people with lactose issues tolerated and digested lactose. In fact, because it’s fermented, kefir itself is about 99 percent lactose-free. (The good bacteria eat up the lactose, which is milk sugar.) So don’t consider it off-limits just because it’s considered a dairy product.

For gut health, kefir is superior to yogurt because it is made with more good bacteria and is made with yeast which increases the nutritional benefits. Kefir may also decrease the effects of asthma and allergies. Kefir can regulate your digestion and help rebound after a round of antibiotics.

Kefir is most commonly made from milk, which includes dairy milk as well as non-dairy sources such as coconut or rice milk. Kefir is also made from water which produces an entirely different taste. Water kefir is made from sugar water, fruit juice, or coconut water. Both types of kefir require a “starter” similar to the starter used in making sourdough. Both dairy and water kefir can be infused with flavoring to accommodate your personal taste. The options are as varied as your imagination and personal taste.

You may have heard of kefir for the first time, but it’s not new. Kefir originated thousands of years ago in the Caucasus Mountains in Russia, and it has a long history in Eastern European countries. The word “kefir” comes from a Turkish word that means “good feeling”.

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