Kefir: Bet­ter Than Yogurt?

Kefir isn’t just an­other type of yo­ghurt. In fact, with up to 40 times the num­ber of pro­bi­otic or­gan­isms, it’s in a league of its own.

CLEO (Singapore) - - NEWS -

When you come across a cul­tured milk prod­uct, you’ll prob­a­bly as­sume it’s yogurt – es­pe­cially when it’s off-white in colour and has a tart and tangy taste. But it might ac­tu­ally be kefir. Yogurt and kefir are both made by fer­ment­ing milk to cre­ate healthy liv­ing bac­te­ria cul­tures, so they’re both a great source of pro­bi­otics and are rich in pro­tein, cal­cium and B vi­ta­mins. How­ever, there are also sev­eral dif­fer­ences be­tween them, and it helps to know, so you can make smarter snack choices. Af­ter all, we are what we eat, right?

Yogurt vs. Kefir

Kefir is fer­mented for a much longer pe­riod than yogurt, which re­sults in more ben­e­fits. For starters, kefir milk is 99 per­cent lac­tose-free, so it’s gen­er­ally safe for those who suf­fer from lac­tose in­tol­er­ance.

Kefir also con­tains three times more pro­bi­otic cul­tures, and up to 40 times the num­ber of pro­bi­otic or­gan­isms. A higher pro­bi­otic count is al­ways good for your health, as pro­bi­otics have been shown to boost im­mu­nity, im­prove di­ges­tive func­tion, re­lieve eczema symptoms and pre­vent uri­nary tract in­fec­tions.

In terms of taste, kefir has a thin­ner con­sis­tency and has a more sour taste com­pared to yogurt, but there’s noth­ing that can’t be solved with some honey, fruit or gra­nola.

Kefir in Sin­ga­pore

Some lo­cals make their own kefir, but you can also get kefir treats from Miss Kefir, a shop on Amoy Street that sells kefir par­faits, smooth­ies and scones.

“Af­ter The Straits Times ran an ar­ti­cle on fer­men­ta­tion last year, we no­ticed more in­ter­est among lo­cals,” says co-founder Ivevei Upatkoon.

If you’re con­sum­ing it for the first time, it’s best to in­crease your serv­ing size grad­u­ally. “Some peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence a re­ac­tion when they first start kefir, as the pro­bi­otics fight with the bad bac­te­ria in the gut and pro­duce tox­ins. Symptoms in­clude loose bow­els, gas, bloat­ing, con­sti­pa­tion or even a feel­ing of fever­ish­ness or nau­sea,” says Ivevei. “It’s a sign of heal­ing, but may be un­pleas­ant. We rec­om­mend tak­ing four ta­ble­spoons a day un­til the dis­com­fort sub­sides,” she ad­vises.

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