Kefir: What it is and why you should drink it

Written by: Helen

Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains.  It has similar properties to natural yoghurt except that the consistency is thinner.  It has a tangy, slightly bitter taste.  Apparently it was traditionally made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway.  This was done so that each time someone passed through the doorway the bag would be knocked which helped to keep the milk and the kefir grains mixed.  I suspect processing techniques have progressed a little since then!

Kefir provides plenty of health benefits including:

  • One of the main benefits is the probiotics.  Probiotics are also known as ‘good’ bacteria.  They help our digestive system and immune system and work to keep ‘bad’ bacteria at bay.  Kefir is a better source for probiotics than yoghurt.

 

  • Kefir is a healthy form of protein.  It adds extra protein to your diet without stacking up the calories.

 

  • It is a great source of calcium which is an important nutrient for bone health.

 

  • It also contains a variety of B vitamins including B12 (important for our nervous system) and B2 (Riboflavin, needed for red blood cell production).

 

  • It doesn’t just contain B vitamins.  It provides other nutrients including phosphorus.  Phosphorus is important for teeth and bone health and also for generating energy.

 

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I was contacted by Little Bird Kefir (a business that delivers kefir to people’s homes) and sent a couple of samples to try.  The story behind the business is interesting.  Its co-founder Umisha suffered with stomach pains, particularly after eating, and after trying various remedies began drinking kefir.  She found that, along with some changes to her diet, it helped with her digestion.  You can find out more about their business on the website here.They also have some recipe ideas on there.

I found the taste of kefir a little surprising.  I think I expected it to taste similar to other probiotic drinks (hint- it doesn’t).  If you find the taste too tangy you could use it in smoothies to add a little flavour.

And the most important question, how do you pronounce it?  Apparently kuh-FEAR is the correct way to say it although a lot of people pronounce it KEE-fur (like Kiefer Sutherland).  Anyway, the health benefits will remain the same whether you’re saying it right or wrong 🙂

Do you drink kefir or have you tried it before?  Let me know your thoughts below.  Thanks for reading 🙂

NB. I was sent a free sample to try.  Any reviews I give are honest.