Similar to yogurt, kefir is a cultured milk product with a tart and even sour taste. Kefir originates from the Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe. It is believed that the word comes from the Turkish word “keif” which means good feeling. The flavor of Kefir is naturally sweet, slightly bubbly, and mild but a bit tangy as well. The drink is made from kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter. Since kefir has a thinner consistency than yogurt, it is usually sold as a drink.
Some things you should know about kefir:
1. Yogurt is a source of probiotics which help stem the growth of harmful bacteria and boost our immune systems. Kefir has 3x the probiotic count of yogurt.
2. Each 175 gram serving of kefir provides about 20% of the daily RDA for calcium, which help teeth and bone health.
3. Smoothies are a great way to incorporate kefir into your diet. Replace milk, soy milk, or other liquids in your favorite smoothie recipe.
4. You can make your own Kefir by culturing kefir grains or starter powder in milk.
5. Tryptophan (the same as in turkey) is found in kefir which can cause a relaxing effect on the taker.
6. Kefir improves lactose digestion more than milk with reduced or no symptoms of lactose intolerance.
7. Kefir is a great source of protein without adding extra calories. A single serving of plain, non-fat kefir has less than 100 calories and 10.5 grams of protein.
8. Kefir is a great source of B vitamins which are essential for good health and functioning.
9. Kefiran produced by kefir grains has been connected to reduced cholesterol and blood pressure within research.
10. You can add your own flavorings to kefir depending on personal taste.
11. Milk kefir and water kefir are the two types of kefir. Water kefir is a good alternative to people with dairy sensitivities.
12. Phosphorous is found in kefir and is the second most abundant mineral in our bodies. Phosphorous is needed to help our bodies use carbohydrates and proteins for cell growth and energy.
Gateway Green would like to dedicate this week’s Fun Fact Friday post to one of our partners Lifeway Kefir.