Kefir is win­ning a lot of public­ity as a health drink, but what is it, how do you use it, and what are the sup­posed health ben­e­fits?

Healthy Food Guide (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

What is it?

Kefir is a fer­mented milk drink brim­ming with gut-lov­ing bac­te­ria. It all be­gins with the ‘starter’ grains — white par­ti­cles made from milk, yeast cul­tures and lac­tic acid bac­te­ria. Th­ese grains fer­ment milk, filling it with over 20 strains of bac­te­ria and yeast cul­tures — more than yo­ghurt! This cre­ates a thicker, slightly sour-tast­ing milk.

Are there health ben­e­fits?

The live pro­bi­otics in kefir can im­prove your di­ges­tion and in­crease the ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria in your gut. The more ‘good’ bac­te­ria, the bet­ter! The yeast in kefir also adds an­timi­cro­bial prop­er­ties to the milk to help boost your im­mu­nity. Smaller stud­ies sug­gest kefir may even help to lower blood sugar and choles­terol lev­els.

How is it used?

With a slightly tangy taste, kefir can be drunk on its own, or you can try pour­ing it over ce­real or blend­ing it in a smoothie. You can even buy flavoured va­ri­eties, just like yo­ghurt. You’ll find it in the chilled milk sec­tion of your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket.

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