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Why you should make your own kefir

Making own kefir with wooden spoon and strainer

If you are serious about supporting your immune system and increasing your daily energy, then adding traditionally fermented foods to your diet is a must. Although not widely known, the health benefits of these foods are tremendous. I am a major proponent of traditionally fermented foods.

Because fermentation is an inconsistent process, commercial food processors developed techniques like pasteurisation (a method that destroys dozens of precious enzymes) to help standardise more consistent yields. 

Sadly, I believe that modern culture has sacrificed many of the advantages of traditionally fermented healthy foods for faster and cheaper methods of mass production. I believe that it’s time to return to the health-supporting foods of our past, which is why I make my own kefir! 

What is kefir?

Kefir, originates from the Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe. It’s believed that the name comes from the Turkish word “keif” which means good feeling. Kefir’s flavour is naturally sweet, slightly bubbly and mild yet a bit tangy.

It is an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms to help maintain optimal health. Kefir’s contains beneficial yeast as well as the friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in yoghurt.

When used regularly, its many beneficial powers are:

The exceptional nutritional content of Kefir offers a wealth of healthy benefits. 

  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Supports normal intestinal tract function, regular bowel movements and a healthy digestive system
  • Curbs unhealthy food cravings by making the body more nourished and balanced.

More than just beneficial bacteria, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help your body with its maintenance functions. 

The complete proteins in Kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilised by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in Kefir, offers loads of calcium and magnesium. Kefir contains vitamins B12, B1, and K. 

Kefir also gives you biotin, a B vitamin that aids the body’s absorption of other B vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. Kefir’s ample supply of phosphorus (the second most abundant mineral in our bodies) helps utilise carbohydrates, fats and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.

Pouring kefir from jug into two small glasses on wooden plank

Kefir has up to 3 times as many probiotics than yoghurt. This is because kefir is made by fermenting milk with 10 to 20 different types of bacteria and yeasts, where yogurt is usually just fermented with a handful of types, this leads to a higher probiotic count in the final product.

The research on kefir is still limited, but a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2003 found that kefir improve lactose digestion over milk, with reduced or no symptoms of lactose intolerance. 

There is some more general research on probiotics showing that they can prevent or treat some digestive problems. If you can’t find kefir where you are, or if you’re in the mood for some DIY, you can make your own at home. 

The process is fairly simple: get kefir grains and allow it to culture in milk. The process takes 12 to 48 hours. You can then add your favourite Purition flavour, mine being Mac & Vanilla – and you're good to go!

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