Kefir is a fermented milk drink that looks same as yogurt prepared by kefir grains in cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir or Kephir is not proper grain but grain-like colonies of yeast and lactic-acid bacteria (LAB) and bears a resemblance to cauliflower.
Kefir is fermented at ambient temperatures for approximately 24 hours. Fermentation of sugars present in milk yields out a slightly sour, carbonated and alcoholic beverage, which has an almost similar texture and taste as yoghurt. In a symbiotic culture of lactic acid bacteria and yeast is prepared with color ranging from white to creamy yellow in which these kefir grains start fermenting. The composition of ingredients of milk changes as lactic acid bacteria from lactose and other substances on fermentation gives rise to pyruvic acid, acetic acid, and acetoin which are responsible for flavors of kefir.
How kefir is different from yoghurt?
After a long process of fermentation with kefir, the slow-acting yeast which convert lactose into ethanol and carbon-dioxide. Due to high concentration of ethanol, kefir has bubbly appearance and carbonated taste.
Is kefir beneficial for gut health?
The simple answer is yes. It provides various health benefits even, more than yogurts do. Some of them are discussed below, let’s have a look!
A powerful pro-biotic
Micro-organisms have various health benefits including gut health (digestion). As pro-biotic functions, kefir also enhances our gut flora, which boosts digestion by reducing the action of harmful bacteria on our food. Kefir is a much potent alternative over yoghurt and curd because it contains sixty-one different micro-organisms which increase the number of good-bacteria in our intestine that will boost up the digestion and gut-health.
Some probiotics in kefir like Lactobacillus kefir protects against infections by obstructing the growth of various harmful intestinal bacteria such as Salmonella, Helicobacter pylori and E.coli and helps to maintain the gut-health.
Probiotic, again, that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria mentioned above, reduces the problem of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), that will relieve the bowel movement of stools from the large-intestine.
Low in lactose
Our gut produces an enzyme called lactase which is crucial for the digestion of lactose and people who lack this enzyme have a problem in digesting milk, that’s why called as lactose intolerant. Kefir has very low levels of lactose and for this reason it can be tolerated by lactose intolerance people to some extent.
It is believed that probiotics present in the kefir inhibits the growth of colon cancer cells. It has been demonstrated in some in-vitro studies.
Kefir is also loaded with some micro-nutrients like calcium, phosphorus and vitamin B12. Since kefir is super healthy for our gut health, the probiotics of must be indulged in your routine.