Kefir is all the rage these days, being found in health food stores across the country and countless recipes showing up on Pinterest. If you’re new to alternative health, kefir is a probiotic-rich fermented beverage, made with kefir grains and milk. It contains much more healthy bacteria for our digestive systems than yogurt, and is much simpler to make.
The health benefits of kefir are huge. Focusing on gut health is a primary concern of many, as we become more aware of the damage that the Standard American Diet is doing to our bodies.
Why is gut health so important? Because the gut is ground zero of your immune system. If your microbiome is in balance, then all is good with your health. Nourishing the good bacteria so that they fight the bad bacteria is how you do that. This is especially true if you’re already fighting a chronic illness such as an autoimmune disease or Lyme disease.
However, if we let the bad bacteria take over, you end up with leaky gut, parasites, and even depression and anxiety. That’s not something that anybody wants.
5 Health Benefits of Kefir
- Boosts Immune System- Kefir contains nutrients (such as folate) that help your immune system to wake up and protect your body.
- Provides Probiotics-It contains large amounts of probiotics, even more so than the Greek yogurt that it’s often compared to. These probiotics are important because they defend your body against harmful bacteria, which also boosts your immune system in the process.
- Makes for Stronger Bones– Our Standard American Diet is severely lacking in nutrients, especially Calcium. Calcium is needed to keep our bones strong, and when we don’t get enough of it our bones begin to deteriorate. Kefir made from whole fat dairy has high levels of calcium and other nutrients to help feed your body what it needs. But the health benefits of kefir don’t stop there!
- Nutrient-Dense- One serving of kefir contains 6 grams of protein, 20% of your daily calcium, 20% of your daily phosphorus, 19% of your daily B2, and even more. The best part is, during the fermentation process, most of the lactose is eliminated which means that even if you can’t normally eat dairy, kefir may not bother you.
- Minimizes Seasonal Allergies- According to Dr. Axe, kefir has been shown in some studies to reduce the inflammation in the lungs & airways, which led to reduced mucous buildup. This is a much better way to potentially help allergies than taking medicine!
One thing to keep in mind though is not all kefir is created equal. There are two main different types of kefir; milk kefir and water kefir. We personally make water kefir because we avoid dairy, and it’s so delicious! My husband will put blueberries or raspberries in the second ferment and make it taste like a fruity soda. The kids go nuts over it.
What’s your favorite way to nourish your gut?
This post was originally written in August 2017. It was updated in May 2019.