Don't you want to feel good? Well here you go. Kefir is something that I discovered about a year ago. Not to gross you out but when I read to Jeff the Turkish meaning of the word Kefir he said, "yeah and in English it means, "large poop!" Yes. I guess. Kefir is so good for your intestinal tract and we all know now from following this blog at least, that when your intestine is healthy, the rest of you is healthy! So yes I guess Kefir means "feel good" and/or "large poop!"
I used to get my Kefir at the Co-op and it was expensive but Haggen sells it now and they have different flavors. My kids love the raspberry. They drink it up and I let them because of all the good bacteria in there. I think it's better than yogurt, health wise, and the cool thing is that it is super easy to digest so I give it to Emmett as well.
Read the article below if you are still interested and check it out at the grocery store in the dairy section with the milk/yogurt.
Here is what Dr. Mercola has to say about Kefir.
I found this article at http://products.mercola.com/body-ecology/kefir.htm
"Discover the Incredible Health-Promoting Benefits of Kefir"
If you are serious about boosting your immunity 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, and in my book, you'll find many recipes that include these nutritional bonanzas.
And now, you can achieve the amazing health benefits of traditionally lacto-fermented food with this exceptional Kefir Starter that I recommend to my patients and use on a daily basis myself.
Beneficial Fermented Foods vs. Commercially Processed
Long ago, food preservation was accomplished through lacto-fermentation, a process that adds a host of beneficial micro-organisms to food. This makes them easier to digest , increasing the healthy flora in our intestinal tracts.
Because fermentation is an inconsistent process, commercial food processors developed techniques like pasteurization -- a method that literally destroys dozens of precious enzymes -- to help standardize 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. In my opinion, our immunity and digestive health have been overlooked. I believe that it's time to return to the health-promoting foods of our past.
Why You Should Drink Kefir
Kefir, which means 'feel good" in Turkish, is an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your "inner ecosystem" to maintain optimal health and strengthen immunity.
Kefir's tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, and it contains beneficial yeast as well as the friendly 'probiotic' bacteria found in yogurt. When used regularly, the naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in Kefir combine symbiotically to help balance your intestinal flora and boost your immunity.
Among its many beneficial powers, Kefir:
Provides supplemental nourishment for pregnant and nursing women*
Contributes to your healthy immune system
Promotes a relaxing effect on the nervous system and benefit many who seek a restful night's sleep
Helps support your normal intestinal tract function, promote bowel movements and your healthy digestive system -- and is beneficial after the use of antibiotics to restore balance to the digestive tract
Curbs unhealthy food cravings by making your body more nourished and balanced
Kefir's Superior Therapeutic Nutrition
The exceptional nutritional content of Kefir offers a wealth of healthy benefits to people in every type of condition. More than just beneficial bacteria, Kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help your body with its natural healing powers and maintenance functions.
The complete proteins in Kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body.
Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in Kefir, is well-known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because it also offers loads of calcium and magnesium -- both of which are critical for a healthy nervous system -- Kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.
Rich in vitamin B12, B1, and vitamin K, Kefir is an excellent source of biotin, a B vitamin which aids the body's absorption of other B vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The many advantages of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the normal function of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping promote healthy looking skin, boosting energy and promoting longevity. Kefir's ample supply of phosphorus -- the second most abundant mineral in our bodies -- helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.
Kefir vs. Yogurt
Ingredients: Kefir Culture Starter
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
Lactococcus lactis subsp. diacetylactis
Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
Klyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus
Carrier: dextrose, waterfree
While both Kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products, they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep your digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that already are present. Kefir actually helps to colonize your intestinal tract -- a feat that yogurt cannot match.
Additionally, Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt: Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species. It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces Kefir and Torula Kefir, which help balance the intestinal flora, including promotion of beneficial yeast in the body by penetrating the mucosal lining. They form a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and helps strengthen the intestines.
Kefir's active yeast and bacteria may provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy. The curd size of Kefir is smaller than yogurt, so it's also easier to digest, making it an ideal food for babies**, the elderly, and anyone with digestive health concerns.
What if I'm Lactose-intolerant?
Unlike yogurt, the lactose in Kefir is all digested by the time it is ingested, and some of the proteins have been broken down -- so even most individuals with sensitivities to milk can use it.***
Kefir can be made from any type of milk: goat, cow, or sheep. Kefir is made from gelatinous white or yellow particle granules. This makes Kefir unique, as no other milk culture forms these granules.