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What is Kefir: 6 Kefir Benefits for Your Health

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
March 11th, 2022
9 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Kefir is a drink usually made of fermented milk that tastes sour and tart
  • Kefir benefits include improving bone health, immune system, and gut health
  • Kefir milk & water are made from different grains & have different properties

Kefir is a drink made of fermented milk and offers many health benefits. Due to fermentation, kefir grains have yeast and live bacteria and are beneficial for your health. Apart from them, kefir is also rich in calcium. 

Kefir originates from Turkish term ‘keyif’ which translates to ‘good feeling’ you may get after drinking it. It has a similar appearance to that of yogurt but is thinner in consistency. Kefir milk has a sour and tart taste along with some fizz caused by carbon dioxide. The time you spend for fermenting kefir determines its flavor.  

As a result of the benefits that kefir offers, many people consider it to be better than yogurt. Read on to know about how kefir is different from other milk-made drinks, and the top kefir benefits for your health. 

How is kefir different from buttermilk and yogurt? 

Kefir, buttermilk, and yogurt may seem similar but have different properties. Unlike kefir, yogurt has fewer probiotics. Buttermilk on the other hand is a result of churning yogurt. Though some types of buttermilk may contain live cultures, it mostly consists of lactose, casein, and water. 

Additional Read: Top Dairy Foods and Health Benefits of Dairy 

kefir different from buttermilk and yogurt

What is the Kefir benefits 

1. Improves bone health 

Osteoporosis is a common health condition related to deterioration of tissues in your bones. One effective way to improve your bone health is by ensuring your calcium intake is adequate. Kefir is a rich source of calcium and vitamin K2, which also plays plays a vital role in metabolizing calcium. Apart from this, kefir is also known to increase calcium absorption leading to improved bone density [1]. 

2. Improves gut health 

Kefir probiotics may help retain the balance of good gut bacteria. That is what makes drinking kefir an effective remedy for treating diarrhea. Probiotics may help alleviate digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study [2]. 

3. Manages blood sugar levels 

According to research, consuming kefir can reduce fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes [3]. Studies also show that kefir is beneficial for people with diabetes as well as obesity. But more research is needed in this matter. 

4. Lowers cholesterol levels 

The probiotics present is kefir may help in determining how much cholesterol gets absorbed by your body. It may also have an effect on the quantity of cholesterol production, use, and process.  

In a study, drinking kefir for eight weeks led to significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL levels [4]. As high cholesterol levels are linked to a number of health conditions including heart ailments, consuming kefir may also help you manage them. 

5. Prevents infections 

One of the kefir benefits is that it helps kill pathogens which can lead to infections. Kefir grains may kill bacteria like Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli [5]. They may also help in preventing vaginal infections or gastroenteritis. However, more research is required to know the exact effects of kefir 

6. Boosts your immune system 

As a result of the good bacteria, drinking kefir may also boost your immune system. It may help prevent and reduce the risk of respiratory, urinary tract and intestinal infections. Kefir can help suppress your inflammatory responses caused by asthma and allergic reactions, as per a study [6]. 

Apart from this, daily consumption of kefir may also help optimize the levels of immune cells and control inflammation [7]. Including kefir in your morning meal may be an ideal immunity-boosting breakfast! 

How to make Kefir at home

how to make kefir at home

How is kefir water different from kefir milk? 

Kefir water is different from kefir milk because it is made from different types of grains. For kefir water, the grains are put in a sugared water instead of milk. Note that the fermentation process is the same as kefir milk. You can sweeten the water with the help of fruit juice or cane sugar.  

Kafir water can be a great alternative to milk if you are following a dairy-free diet. Do remember that it may not contain the same calcium and protein content as opposed to kefir milk 

Additional Read: 6 Delicious Non-Diary Milks to Include in Your Diet

Apart from having a healthy, well-balanced diet, it is important to keep an eye on any symptoms your body may present. Contact a doctor immediately when you see signs of a health condition. This will help you stay on top of your health and get the right treatment at the right time. Book teleconsultation or online consultation appointment with trusted doctors on Bajaj Finserv Health. You can find a doctor in your area by using doctor near me feature. This way you can put your worries at ease with the help of experienced doctors and stay ahead of your problems! 

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