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    Kefir is a drink of fermented cow’s milk. [1]

    The fascinating origins of milk kefir grains

    Where does milk kefir originated from? To reach us, this popular fermented milk has actually crossed the ages and lots of adventures.

    The very first traces of kefir

    Milk kefir has been around for numerous thousand years. Its earliest traces were discovered in a 4,000-year-old burial place situated in the xiohe area of china.

    Kefir was therefore consumed in the ancient world! Throughout the ages, kefir has actually apparently been valued and taken in by numerous cultures around the world.

    Nevertheless, according to a number of historians, milk kefir has reached us today thanks to its excellent significance to individuals of the north caucasus.

    More than 2,000 years back, this area in between russia and georgia was populated by nomadic mountain individuals, who raised herds of goats and cattle for their milk.

    We tend to forget it, but fresh milk has an extremely short life span. Without a refrigerator, the best method to save it is to ferment it.

    The nomads of the caucasus fermented their milk in leather skins with kefir grains.

    Kefir became part of their daily life: when the shepherds took kefir from the bottles, they included new fresh milk to it, to make kefir continuously.

    This technique was passed down from generation to generation. Back then, kefir grains were really valuable and part of household heirlooms.

    Kefir grains: a magnificent present?

    According to legends, the kefir grains were given as a gift to the karachai people by the prophet muhammad himself. It is no wonder that they are attributed a magnificent origin.

    Kefir grains, also called “seeds of the prophet”, have nearly wonderful powers: they change milk into a healthy, safe and fortifying product that can be kept longer than the initial product. Kefir grains hold true magicians!

    From a scientific point of view, kefir grains are stated to have actually formed from adding and getting rid of milk in bottles of animal skins.

    The microorganisms in raw milk and those in the bottles would, eventually, have formed a cooperative nest of yeast and bacteria in the form of small gelatinous grains.

    Therein lies the magic of kefir grains: no one through the ages has succeeded in recreating kefir grains artificially.

    To develop kefir grains, you absolutely require … kefir grains! The grains were born from possibility, and then perpetuated through time.

    The kefir grains were long kept secret by the peoples of the caucasus. According to their beliefs, the grains would lose their “magical” powers if their presence were revealed to outsiders.

    To discuss it, or worse, to offer it away, was to dedicate a spiritual crime and to risk ruining an ancient tradition.

    Russia wishes to unwind the trick: espionage and seduction

    During the 14th century, russian scientists started to take an interest in the amazing longevity of caucasian mountain individuals.

    Some physicians attributed this vigor to kefir, and they obtained it to evaluate on clients. The earliest clinical research studies of the time declared that kefir helped deal with numerous health problems such as gastrointestinal disorders and tuberculosis.

    However, it was extremely difficult to obtain kefir, and russian scientists might not recreate it.

    They did not have the “magic” active ingredient: kefir grains. It was impossible to get their hands on it!

    A procession of doctors entrusted the mission of getting kefir grains to a single person– irina sakharova.

    This young woman, barely 20, finished with complete honours from a prominent cheese school, and won awards for developing a special approach of making butter.

    And as a bonus: she was beautiful.

    The young woman was sent out to spy in the court of prince karachai, bek-mirza barchorov.

    Her objective? To charm the prince, so he would provide her kefir grains and the secret to ferment kefir. Simple, right?

    The prince was certainly seduced. During her stay, sakharova received flowers and presents of all kinds, and the prince never ever took his eyes off her throughout the events.

    The young woman benefited from this attention and insisted that he offer her some valuable kefir grains.

    However, given the religious ban on sharing kefir grains with immigrants, barchorov declined to reveal his secret. Sakharova returned house empty-handed.

    However, on the way back, she was captured (!) By the prince’s men and reminded her court.

    The prince wished to wed her.

    Sakharova certainly declined the marriage. She got in touch with those who had sent her on espionage to try to get her out of this mess.

    The affair resounded through the course of czar nicholas ii. The declined prince was forced to offer compensation for his actions, running the risk of troubling relations in between the two individuals.

    He used jewellery, gold and treasures, however sakharova declined. She had a mission to satisfy, and did not plan to fail.

    Under the order of the czar, and at the continual demands of sakharova, the prince had to turn over the kefir grains to her.

    In 1908, irina sakharova brought the very first grains of milk kefir to russia.

    After russia, the world!

    Kefir quickly spread in russia. In the beginning, it was used in sanatoriums to deal with the sick.

    By the 1930s it was marketed on a large scale and rapidly became everyday food, as common as eggs or bread.

    Now, milk kefir is produced all over the world. It can be discovered under lots of names: tibetan mushroom, prophet’s seeds, snow lotus, kewra, talai, galodium, tara, and so on.

    Many cultures have actually embraced kefir and integrated it into their diet plans.

    In recent years, kefir has actually been discovered more and more on grocery racks, along with yogurts and other dairy products.

    Some artisanal producers still utilize the grains to ferment their kefir. However, the majority of industrial manufacturers produce it from selected powdered cultures.

    At the same time, kefir grains continued to be given from household to family and friend to friend.

    The culture of sharing has actually been preserved: by sharing our grains, we likewise share the understanding in order to perpetuate it.

    A living custom

    The milk kefir grains we have today are direct descendants of those born countless years earlier into the ancient world.

    Our access to it today is in part thanks to sakharova, however also thanks to the generations of ladies and males who have actually helped to propagate the grains through the ages.

    Would you like to be part of this lovely custom? You too can embrace milk kefir grains! [2]

    What is kefir?

    All the nutritional realities to know, according to signed up dietitians

    Kefir nutrition stats

    Serving size: 1 cup of lifeway plain low-fat kefir.

    • 110 calories
    • 2 g total fat
    • 10 mg cholesterol
    • 125 mg salt
    • 12 g total carbohydrate
    • 0 g fiber
    • 12 g total sugars
    • 0 g added sugar
    • 11 g protein
    • 90 mcg vitamin a (10% dv)
    • 5 mcg vitamin d (25% dv)
    • 390 mg calcium (30% dv)
    • 376 mg potassium (8% dv)

    Kefir vs. Yogurt vs. Probiotics

    Referred to as “the champagne of dairy,” kefir has double or triple the quantity of probiotic stress that you would discover in most yogurt. “kefir is a cultured probiotic beverage that is similar to drinkable yogurt in taste and texture, but that is where the resemblance ends,” states margolis.

    She includes that kefir is made with 12 live and active probiotic cultures with a longer fermentation process which leads to 25 to 30 billion advantageous cfu (colony forming units) per 8 oz serving. “it leads to a more varied culture than yogurt with 2 to 3 times more probiotics and a mix of both bacteria and yeast-based cultures, which is special to kefir.”.

    Margolis says that the probiotic activity is what produces kefir’s signature fizz and the increased lactic acid, among the by-products of fermentation, and provides kefir its unique taste and bit. “nutrition-wise, kefir is greater in protein when compared to non-greek yogurt,” margolis states. “kefir is also an outstanding source of vitamin d, when numerous yogurts are not a source.”.

    When it concerns kefir versus probiotics supplements, food constantly comes first. “one advantage is that the dairy buffers the probiotics from the stomach acid, allowing them to make their way through the digestive track and get to work,” margolis states. Plus, taking in probiotics in entire food kind, such as with kefir or yogurt, occurs with a complete plan of vital minerals and vitamins also. [3]

    10 unexpected health benefits of kefir

    1. Improves gut health

    Kefir is an abundant source of probiotics, which assist preserve the gut microbiome. Probiotics are healthy bacteria discovered in particular foods that help in food digestion. Our gut has a particular germs microbiome that keeps it healthy. Nevertheless, specific processed foods and lifestyle routines can disrupt this microbiome and cause bloating, indigestion, acid reflux and flatulence. Therefore, it is important to reestablish healthy germs into the gut. You can quickly do that by using probiotics.

    2. Enhances heart health

    Among the leading causes of heart health problems is way of life disorders. Illness like atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, hypertension, and so on, might damage heart health. The primary factor behind these disorders are the high levels of unhealthy fats, called hydrogenated fats, in our body.

    Research studies suggest that kefir may reduce cholesterol and serum triacylglycerol in the blood. These are unhealthy fats that may accumulate in the arteries and cause obstructions. In addition, the probiotic microbes in kefir can boost fat metabolic process in the body. They help form bile acids, which absorb and metabolise fats. By lowering unhealthy fats in the body, the threat of obtaining lifestyle-related heart issues decreases.

    Kefir can likewise decrease blood pressure or high blood pressure. The fermented products of the probiotics in kefir can help control high blood pressure. For instance, kefir decreases the development of the hormonal agent aldosterone, which increases high blood pressure.

    3. Enhances liver health

    Kefir can improve your liver health by lowering fatty liver syndrome. Fatty liver syndrome occurs when there is a boost in fat build-up in and around the liver.

    A research study suggests that kefir can minimize fat deposition around the liver. It can also lower cholesterol and triglyceride deposition in the liver by enhancing lipid metabolic process in the body. As a result, it reduces the content of excessive fat deposition throughout the body. It likewise assists keep organs healthy.

    4. Improves kidney health

    Kefir can lower the quantity of uric acid and creatinine in the body. The probiotic population in kefir can take in and break down toxic waste like uric acid and creatinine. As a result, this can be helpful for minimizing the kidney’s load.

    5. Enhances bone health

    Kefir is an outstanding source of calcium and vitamin k2, both required for healthy bones. Calcium is basically responsible for our bone health. The lower the calcium levels in our body, the weaker our bones get. Vitamin k2, on the other hand, assists in soaking up calcium into our bones. Therefore, we require to have a routine calcium intake and vitamin k2 to maintain our bone health. 100 g of kefir provides 120 mg of calcium, 20% of the suggested day-to-day consumption worth.

    Routine calcium and vitamin k2 intake can lower the possibilities and decrease bone diseases.

    Osteoporosis, a bone illness affecting the senior, causes pores or cavities in bones. As a result, this can make them extremely weak and simple to break. Also, kefir may assist in avoiding fractures and improving general bone health.

    6. Improves skin health

    Kefir can promote much healthier skin and minimize acnes. It can likewise enhance skin abnormalities like scars, burns, and even eczema. The cell membranes, bacterial metabolites and dead bacteria originated from the probiotics contribute in enhancing skin health. In addition, these compounds help in strengthening the skin barrier and preventing the development of other microbes.

    For instance, hyaluronic acid discovered in probiotics assists in injury recovery. In this case, it might assist heal scars on the skin. As a result, lots of cosmetic products have started incorporating hyaluronic acid to promote skin healing.

    7. Antibacterial properties

    Kefir reveals anti-bacterial properties versus numerous damaging bacteria. A research study demonstrates the antibiotic potential of kefir versus numerous kinds of bacteria and yeast. Kefirs antimicrobial effects were comparable to common prescription antibiotics like ampicillin. For that reason, kefir kills hazardous germs, helicobacter pylori, salmonella typhi, escherichia coli, streptococcus aureus.

    In addition, there are particular compounds called bacteriocins present in kefir which can likewise stop the development of harmful bacteria. Bacteriocin is a type of protein that can attack particular bacterial cell walls and eliminate them.

    8. Anti-cancerous residential or commercial properties

    A research study demonstrates the efficiency of kefir versus a particular kind of cancer in mice. In addition, the research study showcases a resistance increase after the usage of kefir. In addition, other studies have shown a reduction in breast cancer due to kefir intake by 56%. For that reason, kefir reveals promising results of kefir against cancer.

    Additionally, in kefir, bioactive substances, like proteins and polysaccharides, can directly act on cancer cells. They can interrupt the cell cycle and the development of cancer cells. By doing so, they trigger apoptosis, or the cell-death mechanism, in cancer cells.

    9. Anti-inflammatory

    Kefir helps supply anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Specific bioactive compounds present in kefir can minimize the inflammatory cells. Eosinophils are inflammatory cells that cause swelling and other allergic responses against foreign microbes. Therefore, kefir might be a potential treatment for allergic bronchial asthma.

    A research study recommends that the wound-healing residential or commercial properties of kefir are due to the probiotics. Likewise, injury recovery is because of kefir’s anti-inflammatory effects. Swelling is the body’s defence mechanism against germs and other microbes. Nevertheless, prolonged inflammation can be unsafe to the body and cause numerous health issues. For instance, it can cause diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other chronic illnesses.

    10. Kefir for weight loss

    Usage of kefir can result in regulation of metabolic process. It is due to the minerals, vitamins, and probiotics present in it. It helps in boosting metabolism. As a result, there is a decrease in extreme fat deposition in the body. It also helps eliminate hazardous chemicals and toxins from the body. In addition, the combined results of anti-inflammation, hypercholesterolemia and probiotics discovered in kefir might lead to a healthy weight loss.

    Drinking kefir can make you feel satiated. As a result, it minimizes the urge to binge eat or overindulge. In addition, replacing processed and sweet foods with kefir can promote weight reduction. It can likewise enhance gastrointestinal health by supplying an abundant source of probiotics. For that reason, it can assist you keep a healthy diet plan.

    How to utilize kefir

    Consume kefir as a drink. Consuming kefir is the most common way to consume it. Likewise, you can add it to healthy smoothies and particular dishes as well. For instance, we can use kefir to make probiotic ice cream or add it as a substitute for milk in baked items.

    The best time to consume kefir is on an empty stomach at the start of the day. As a result, it enhances gut health and digestion. Moreover, you might also take it in the evening before bed. Kefir consists of tryptophan, an amino acid which can promote much better sleep. Tryptophan assists increase the levels of the hormone melatonin, which controls the sleep-wake cycle.

    You can utilize kefir as a face mask. It can be used on the skin for 15-20 mins 2-3 times a week for ideal results. Integrate additional ingredients like honey, increased water, turmeric, avocado, olive oil, or eggs yolk into the face mask too.

    Healthy dishes utilizing kefir

    Homemade kefir

    • Serving size: 4
    • Preparation time: 5 mins
    • Components:
    • Milk: 4 cups
    • Kefir grains: 1 tablespoon


    1. Include one tablespoon of kefir grains together with 4 cups of milk into a container.
    2. Cover the jar and secure it in place.
    3. Set aside the pot at room temperature level for one day to ferment.
    4. Strain the liquid into glasses. You can store kefir in the fridge for two weeks.
    5. You can add sugar or honey to sweeten it.

    Keep in mind: to begin a brand-new batch, you may include the gathered kefir grains from the strainer back into the previous jar and include 4 cups of milk. [4]

    How much kefir to consume for weight reduction

    There is no set amount of kefir to consume for weight-loss since the kefir weight-loss link is mainly an online misconception developed to make you buy kefir products. Rather than focusing on kefir to reduce weight, utilize it as part of a well balanced diet with great deals of plant-based foods to nurture your body and your gut microbiome.

    How to drink kefir

    If you’re questioning how to use kefir, then it’s quite simple. You can include a glass of kefir to your daily dietary routine, but you can likewise use it to make easy, healthy salad dressings. In eastern europe, there’s even a kefir food: it’s a cold soup called okroshka that’s made from beetroot, cucumber, dill, and kefir, and it’s a great way to increase your diet with this health-promoting drink.fermented-foodsred foods: guide to health truths, food lists and dishes.

    When it comes to how much kefir each day, the response is basic: kefir in moderation and every day. Rather than bingeing on kefir in the hope that you will lose weight, include a glass of kefir to your day-to-day regimen to support your health.

    Exists a finest time to drink kefir?

    There’s no science to say whether drinking kefir early morning or night will alter anything regarding its health attributes. Nevertheless, it deserves bearing in mind some recognised practices that can help achieve and preserve healthy body weight, and basic health too. [5]

    5 downsides of consuming kefir

    5 drawbacks and side effects of consuming kefir consist of:.

    Causes allergic reactions: if you are allergic to milk, you must avoid drinking kefir since it might induce significant, life-threatening allergies. Kefir may be prepared with non-dairy “milk,” such as rice milk, which is safe for consumption if you have a milk allergy. However, discuss with your doctor before making any dietary changes in case you have food intolerances.

    Causes danger of diabetes: although some studies have actually reported that kefir is a helpful drink for individuals with diabetes because it reduces blood glucose levels, other types of kefirs, particularly fruit-flavored kefir, can include a lot of added sugar, which individuals with diabetes ought to prevent. People with diabetes need to read the labels to examine sugar levels in the beverage.

    Boosts the danger of infection: if you are going through cancer treatment or any other treatment that reduces immunity, you must avoid intake of kefir. The body immune system in people with cancer or suppressed resistance is compromised. Microbes present in kefir might trigger harmful impacts on the body such as infection or sepsis.

    May consist of alcohol: alcohol is produced spontaneously throughout the fermentation process. Although the amount of alcohol in kefir is normally less than one percent, children and people who are sensitive to alcohol or in recovery should understand this. Some brand names particularly claim that their item consists of no alcohol.

    Applies unfavorable impacts on the gastrointestinal system: kefir may cause intestinal side effects such as,.

    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Gas
    • Bloating
    • Stomach cramps

    All these negative side effects may diminish within a week. You are advised to decrease kefir usage till your body responds well to increased probiotics. [6]

    Unique preventative measures and cautions

    Children: kefir is perhaps safe for kids in between the ages of 1 and 5 years when taken by mouth for as much as 10 days.

    Pregnancy and breast-feeding: there is inadequate reliable info about the security of taking kefir if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and prevent usage.

    Aids and other conditions that weaken the body immune system: kefir consists of actively growing germs and yeast. There is some issue that individuals with a weakened immune system might be most likely to establish infections from these germs or yeast. [7]
    Kefir might offer some gastrointestinal benefits to those that can manage it, there could be negative side effects from consuming it. This is pretty much the case with all fermented foods. Everybody’s digestive system is different. For that reason, they might be fully efficient in handling kefir while it triggers a great deal of concerns in yourself. Listed below, we will be discussing what kefir is and some of the negative effects you can obtain from it. [8]


    Moderate interaction

    Be cautious with this combination.

    Medications that decrease the body immune system (immunosuppressants) connects with kefir.

    Kefir consists of live bacteria and yeast. The immune system usually controls bacteria and yeast in the body to prevent infections. Medications that decrease the body immune system can increase your possibilities of getting ill from bacteria and yeast. Taking kefir in addition to medications that reduce the immune system might increase the chances of getting ill.

    Some medications that reduce the body immune system consist of azathioprine (imuran), basiliximab (simulect), cyclosporine (neoral, sandimmune), daclizumab (zenapax), muromonab-cd3 (okt3, orthoclone okt3), mycophenolate (cellcept), tacrolimus (fk506, prograf), sirolimus (rapamune), prednisone (deltasone, orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

    Small interaction

    Be watchful with this mix.

    Disulfiram (antabuse) interacts with kefir.

    Kefir might consist of alcohol. The body breaks down alcohol to eliminate it. Disulfiram (antabuse) decreases the break-down of alcohol. Taking kefir in addition to disulfiram (antabuse) can trigger a pounding headache, vomiting, flushing, and other undesirable responses. Don’t drink any alcohol if you are taking disulfiram (antabuse). [9]


    Kefir is a healthy fermented food with a consistency equivalent to drinkable yogurt.

    This item is generally made from dairy milk, but a lot of nondairy alternatives are available.

    Studies recommend that it improves your immune system, aids in gastrointestinal issues, enhances bone health, and may even combat cancer.

    Begin with kefir today to make the most of this delicious, sour drink. [10]


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