Kefir sounds weird. It has a strange name and is fermented lumpy milk. It doesn’t really sound appealing, so why would you want it in your diet? Here’s a look at kefir health benefits, and how this milk can protect your entire body.
Kefir Health Benefits
Before looking at the health benefits of kefir, it is important to understand what it is. Kefir is a probiotic, and great for the gut. Kefir is milk, fermented with bacteria and yeasts, and a polysaccharide matrix known as the kefir grain. This amazing process takes normal milk and turns it into something wonderful.
Kefir health benefits come from its protective and strengthen effects. One study, conducted on mice, found that kefir greatly protected the mice from developing Giardia intestinalis infection. This is one of the most common intestinal diseases worldwide. It is the result of a parasite latching on to your gastrointestinal tract, and causing an infection. Not only is the infection a problem, but the parasite itself is also a big concern. It absorbs the nutrients from your food, keeping it nice and healthy, and keeping you from getting the nutrients you need. The addition of this healthy, protective probiotic is a great way to strengthen and maintain a healthy gut. Many diseases stem from an unhealthy gut, so this is one of the most important areas to focus when looking to optimize your health.
Kefir milk doesn’t just protect your gut. It also protects your bones. Kefir milk has shown to have a much higher intercellular calcium uptake. It showed an increase in bone mineral density. This is great news for anyone suffering from osteoporosis, and a good preventative measure for everyone.
Kefir also protects tissue. This fermented milk is able to protect the tissue from repercussion injury, which is damage caused by a lack of oxygen and nutrients in the tissue’s blood supply. This saves you from cell death, which could lead to many diseases or an overall weakening of the body. Kefir will keep you strong and healthy.
Kefir also has neuroprotective effects. It protects the brain the same way it protects other tissue in the body. It protects the spinal cord and the brain from oxidative stress, and neuronal degeneration.
Kefir health benefits also include its role in reducing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is largely associated with obesity and diabetes. Kefir improves energy expenditure, and the basal metabolic rate by inhibiting the lipogenesis pathway. This means kefir helps you burn calories at a higher rate (great for weight loss), and improves insulin levels in the body.
Another important part of a healthy digestive tract is making sure food is being processed at an appropriate rate, and that there aren’t any backups. Kefir lowers the rate of constipation and helps keep your bowels happy.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, but the food given to the animal producing the milk matters. While the flavour, texture, and quantity of the milk may not differ, one study found that goats who were given a diet rich in bioactive components produced milk with far greater level of nutrients, compared to kefir from a goat on a regular diet. The bioactive rich diet produced significantly higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including conjugated linoleic acid, and n-3 fatty acids.
Looking at the protective nature of this fermented milk, it seems only logical to add this dairy product to your diet. Kefir health benefits are too good to pass up.