I first heard about kefir from my sister, and there was just something about it that spoke to me…
I listened to a CD with Donna Schwenk (I think she’s like the godmother of kefir) and was amazed by all that she claimed it could do, and had done, for both her and her family. Now, it has not miraculously changed my life quite the same way. But I do really like it, and I think my youngest gets sick less often because of it…
Kefir is a “probiotic super food.” You can pronounce it two ways- kee-fur, which is how I say it, or ke-fear, which is how you would probably say it if you were from Eastern Europe. (I believe either is correct, but if you’re talking to someone from Russia they may correct you if you say kee-fur, this happened to my husband! And I’m making up my pronunciation key here- sorry!) It is very similar to yogurt, but an even better source of probiotics. There are many health benefits, and it can be a good alternative to yogurt for people who have trouble with lactose.
Here are the good things about kefir:
- amazing source of probiotics- lots more than yogurt
- good for your intestinal flora
- a good source of protein, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorous, vitamins A & D
- may provide a relaxing effect (its name is thought to literally translate to “good feeling”)
- can neutralize bad stuff in your gut
- has healthy bacteria that is not found in regular yogurt
- may play a role in immunity, allergies, and inflammation
My 3-year-old son, my husband, and I are the only ones who drink the stuff here. But, I must say, I think it has made a difference for me. I used to be prone to stomach issues- nausea, upset stomach- and I’m not anymore. I attribute it partially to my better overall diet, but also to kefir.
My son drinks it every morning and loves it; I give him the strawberry flavored one, which probably has too much sugar! One day I’ll make my own and flavor his…Anyway, he has been on antibiotics much less often than my other three children. He has been sick less, and when he does get sick it doesn’t last as long and usually isn’t as bad. This may be due to the fact that he is my fourth, and has been subjected to much more dirt and germs than the others, so his immune system is that much stronger! But, I think it is at least in part thanks to his kefir consumption.
So, Danny drinks his flavored kefir straight, like a yogurt smoothie. My husband drinks plain kefir with chia seeds after his long runs. And I have mine for breakfast with berries and granola. I used to have greek yogurt, but after reading so much about the inflammation associated with dairy, I decided to give it up. I was sad to give up my favorite breakfast, until I just tried it with kefir and loved it. I have also recently discovered a different brand, and the kefir is much thicker, closer to greek yogurt. I love it!
You can see the kefir on the right here is thicker. I’m so happy with my new discovery!
So I think there is really something to this super food. I read somewhere that kefir does the same good stuff yogurt does, but where yogurt just moves through your body, kefir sets up shop. It settles and lives there and provides lots of healthy living organisms to balance your body.
I plan on ordering my own kefir grains to start making my own soon. Homemade kefir is supposed to be even healthier than store bought. I’ll let you know how that goes! It will be like having a pet. My kids want a dog, but I keep trying to get them excited about kefir instead…