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7 Reasons I Have Kefir Every Day

Making Kefir with Live Grains

Lots of articles are popping up about reasons you should have kefir, but few of the people writing the articles have actually drunk kefir every day for 14 years. This post is specifically talking about milk kefir and not water kefir.  My reasons for drinking kefir are very personal and specific to me. But here is what I've noticed through the many years of drinking kefir: whatever  your ailment, kefir seems to address the problem on an individual basis. When people write to me and say,  "I no longer need my inhaler for asthma since drinking kefir" or "Kefir improved my kidney function. My liver was damaged from hepatitis C and kefir repaired it" I am constantly amazed. I was in awe for many years at the many things kefir could do; but as the years have continued, I am a believer that kefir is not just a food, but rather a healer.  Kefir is a combination of microbes that, through the magic of fermentation, adds more vitamins and special properties to an ordinary substance, healing so many who consume it. So each day as I stand in my kitchen and make kefir for myself and my family, I am grateful. Grateful for what it has done for me and continues to do. Thankful that it's so easy and inexpensive and has helped so many individuals. It makes my cup runneth over . . . every day. I sure love my friend kefir.

7 Reasons I Have Kefir Every Day

Goat's Milk Kefir
1

Kefir Lowers Blood Pressure

This is the first thing kefir did for me so many years ago. It dropped my blood pressure when it was high and it made me stop and take notice. What was this drink that was having such an impact on me? And from that day to this, I continued drinking kefir to keep my numbers normal and my body happy. Kefir was found to work on an enzyme in the stomach much like an ACE inhibitor drug will do, to lower blood pressure naturally in one out of three people.1 It also reduces inflammation throughout the body. And more and more studies are finding that probiotic-fermented milk has blood-pressure-lowering effects in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive people.2

Milk Kefir
2

Kefir Lowers Blood Sugar

This was the second thing that happened to me when I started drinking kefir years ago. It normalized my high blood sugars and I have been drinking it ever since. Many studies are confirming that altered gut flora are present in humans and animals with obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and hypertension. Growing research suggests that people who are obese, and resistant to insulin, have microbes in their gut that are different from the microbes of healthy people. There is evidence that feeding probiotics and prebiotics to those with diabetes-related obesity and metabolic disorders can dramatically reduce insulin resistance, restore glucose sensitivity, and lower blood pressure and weight by altering their gut flora and encouraging the right kind of microbes to thrive and grow.3

Kefir and Granola
3

Kefir and Acid Reflux

This was the third thing I noticed, and this came from my husband who had terrible acid reflux. Not only did it stop his acid reflux so he wouldn't have to take antacids every day, but it also normalized and restored balance to his gut. Many, many people have experienced the same thing. They will often share with me how they got off their prescription medications with kefir and how grateful they are that they found the remedy in a food and not a drug. People are unaware that many antibiotics destroy certain bacteria we need to keep acid reflux in check. It's becoming quite common, and more and more people are getting reflux due to this particular bacteria being destroyed. Martin J. Blaser, M.D., talks more about this in his book Missing Microbes.4 We don't realize how we affect the inner workings of so many functions in the body by destroying needed microbes with antibiotics. Kefir helps correct this.

Kefir and Raspberries
4

Kefir and Allergies

For over 40 years I've had seasonal allergies. But as long as I change my diet and have lots of kefir (at least two cups a day) and stay away from inflammatory foods, those allergies don't flare up. When you have hay fever, your immune system is overreacting to a substance it shouldn't overreact to. Our immune system must distinguish between "allies" that can be beneficial to our health and "enemies" that can have harmful effects. The trillions of bacteria that live in our gut help to determine this recognition. When it fails, an immune response occurs. Restoring beneficial bacteria strains to the gut allows the body to function as it should.5 A study was done with 60 hay fever sufferers who were given daily drinks containing Lactobacillus casei (this is found in kefir). Those who received the probiotic drink saw changes in allergic inflammation in their nasal lining, as well as changes in their blood, that are associated with immune responses. I have found many things influence your seasonal allergies and it has as much to do with what you shouldn't eat as well as what you should be adding to your diet. Staying away from inflammatory foods is crucial. Here is more on this subject. How I cured my seasonal allergies.

Cherry Chocolate Smoothie
5

Kefir Detoxes and Keeps Balance

Kefir boosts the immune system but it is also a very powerful detoxifier. With more than 50 good strains of microbes, it will colonize the body, remove pathogens, and re-establish the proper balance of strains of microbes throughout the body. This includes keeping the Candida yeast in its proper place. One of the fastest ways to get a yeast overgrowth is by taking an antibiotic. The connection between healthy gut flora and allergies was directly shown in a study by immunologist Gary Huffnagle and his colleagues at the University of Michigan. In this experiment, a group of mice was given antibiotics in an effort to disturb the natural bacteria levels in their systems. After the bacteria were killed off, the scientists threw off the balance of the microbiome even more by feeding the mice the yeast Candida albicans. The resulting low bacteria-high yeast ratio approximates the conditions of having a yeast infection, which is a sure sign of a gut imbalance. This group of mice and a control group were then exposed to spores of the mold Aspergillus fumigatus and to egg white protein—two substances known to cause allergic reactions. The mice in the control group, whose gut bacteria were undisturbed, had a much milder reaction to the allergens than those that had been treated with antibiotics, which was severe. Having lots of kefir will help you keep everything in its proper place. Kefir also helps with liver function by assisting the liver in detoxification.6

Yogurt and Peaches
6

Kefir Lowers Cholesterol
I had several close friends tell me that their cholesterol started improving when they began to eat fermented foods. In fact, their good cholesterol rose quite significantly and they were really surprised how good their numbers were. It's a very interesting thing to understand how all this works.7,8 Beneficial microbes bring down cholesterol levels as they grow in the intestinal tract, they then consume some of the cholesterol that is present, incorporating it into their own cells. This means the cholesterol becomes unavailable for absorption from the intestine into the bloodstream, naturally lowering total cholesterol.

Yogurt and Fruit
7

Kefir's Calming Effect on the Central Nervous System

This is another one of the miracles that I have found kefir performs for me. When I'm super stressed, two to three cups of kefir, spread throughout the day, will calm me down and chill me out. Kefir contains many vitamins, minerals, and enzymes - calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folic Acid, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin D. Two cups of kefir has all the B12 you need in a day. Kefir has lots of amino acids. Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, and is known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system.9 These complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Because kefir also has an abundance of calcium and magnesium, and also has  important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves. I can testify to that!

These are just a few of the many things kefir has done for me. I'm not just spouting facts and studies, I've lived these experiences and love to tell others about them. When you make kefir, just know that it is so much more than you can imagine. Billions of microbes in a glass of kefir that are just waiting to help you. They can only do this if you give them the A-Okay. Now, don't you think it's time?

Would you like to see all the helpers in kefir? It's pretty impressive.

Bacteria and Yeasts in Milk Kefir

Species Lactobacillus

  • L. acidophilus
  • L. brevis
  • L. casei subsp. casei
  • L. casei subsp. rhamnosus
  • L. paracasei subsp. paracasei
  • Lb. fermentum
  • Lb. cellobiosus
  • Lb. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
  • Lb. delbrueckii subsp. lactis
  • Lb. fructivorans
  • Lb. helveticus subsp. lactis
  • L. hilgardii
  • Lb. helveticus
  • L. kefiri
  • Lb. kefiranofaciens subsp. kefirgranum
  • Lb. kefiranofaciens subsp. kefiranofaciens
  • Lb. parakefiri
  • Lb. plantarum

Species Streptococcus

  • St. thermophilus
  • St. paracitrovorus

Species Lactococcus

  • Lc. lactis subsp. lactis
  • Lc. lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis
  • Lc. lactis subsp. cremoris

Species Enterococcus

  • Lc. Ent. durans

Species Leuconostoc

  • Leuc. mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
  • Leuc. mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides
  • Leuc. dextranicum

Yeasts

  • Dekkera anomala / Brettanomyces anomalus
  • Kluyveromyces marxianus / Candida kefyr
  • Pichia fermentans / C. firmetaria
  • Yarrowia lipolytica / C. lipolytica
  • Debaryomyces hansenii / C. famata
  • Deb. [Schwanniomyces] occidentalis
  • Issatchenkia orientalis / C. krusei
  • Galactomyces geotrichum / Geotrichum candidum
  • C. friedrichii
  • C. rancens
  • C. tenuis
  • C. humilis
  • C. inconspicua
  • C. maris
  • Cryptococcus humicolus
  • Kluyveromyces lactis var. lactis
  • Kluyv. bulgaricus
  • Kluyv. lodderae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Sacc. subsp. torulopsis holmii
  • Sacc. pastorianus
  • Sacc. humaticus
  • Sacc. unisporus
  • Sacc. exiguus
  • Sacc. turicensis sp. nov
  • Torulaspora delbrueckii
  • Zygosaccharomyces rouxii

Acetobacter

  • Acetobacter aceti
  • Acetobacter rasens
kefir3

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Lots of people write articles about kefir, but few of those people have drunk and made kefir for 15 years. I am a believer that kefir is not just a food but a healer. Find out 7 ways it can help you too.

References:

  1. Y. Hata et al., “A Placebo-Controlled Study of the Effect of Sour Milk on Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Subjects,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 64, no. 5 (November 1996): 767–71: ajcn.nutrition.org/content/64/5/767.full.pdf
  2. J.Y. Dong et al., “Effect of Probiotic Fermented Milk on Blood Pressure: A Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials,” British Journal of Nutrition 110, no. 7 (October 2013): 1188-1194: abstract at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23823502
  3. A. Everard et al., “Cross-Talk Between Akkermansia muciniphila and Intestinal Epithelium Controls Diet-Induced Obesity,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, no. 22 (May 28, 2013): 9066–71: www.pnas.org/content/110/22/9066.full
  4. Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues by Martin J. Blaser
  5. Oral Delivery of a Probiotic Induced Changes
  6. Rodrigues, K. L., Caputo, L. R. G., Carvalho, J. C. T., Evangelista, J., & Schneedorf, J. M. (2005). Antimicrobial and healing activity of kefir and kefiran extract. International journal of antimicrobial agents, 25(5), 404-408
  7. Medrano, M., Racedo, S. M., Rolny, I. S., Abraham, A. G., & Pérez, P. F. (2011). Oral administration of kefiran induces changes in the balance of immune cells in a murine model. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 59(10), 5299-5304
  8. Furuno, T., & Nakanishi, M. (2012). Kefiran Suppresses Antigen-Induced Mast Cell Activation. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 35(2), 178-183
  9. The effect of kefir consumption on human immune system: a cytokine study