What is Kefir? What are the benefits of kefir?
Kefir, milk and dairy products are the main source of calcium, which has many important functions in the body, especially in the protection of bone health, and is one of the minerals that people need throughout life.
Kefir, milk and dairy products are the main source of calcium, which has many important functions in the body, especially in the protection of bone health, and is one of the minerals that people need throughout life. It is important to consume at least 2-3 portions of milk or dairy products daily throughout life in order to maintain healthy bone formation, growth and development during childhood and to prevent bone damage-related diseases such as osteoporosis in old age. Kefir obtained from milk is a very valuable food type that meets the calcium and protein needs while also bringing numerous negative benefits on health thanks to the probiotic bacteria it contains. It is recommended that healthy individuals consume kefir regularly because it protects health and protects against many types of diseases.
What is Kefir?
Kefir; It is an unsalted and sour-tasting drink, similar in taste and consistency to ayran, obtained as a result of fermenting cow, sheep or goat milk with a special type of yeast called kefir yeast. Originating from the Caucasus region and taking its name from Russian, kefir is a word meaning “enjoyable” in this language. Kefir, which contains all the benefits of milk, also has a high probiotic content. Probiotic bacteria, also called beneficial bacteria, are a group of bacteria that have many positive effects on the human body, such as regulating digestion, strengthening the immune system, balancing cholesterol and many more. Regular consumption of probiotic foods containing probiotic bacteria helps to maintain health due to all these positive effects and, as a result, to protect against many diseases. Kefir, one of the most effective probiotic foods, is one of the food types that individuals of all ages should make a habit of consuming, as it forms an important part of a healthy and balanced diet with its high nutritional value.
Health Benefits of Kefir
In addition to being a very valuable source of calcium, kefir is rich in B group vitamins, vitamin K and some other vitamins and minerals. For people whose milk causes indigestion problems, kefir consumption can help meet their calcium needs without causing these negativities. Containing over 75 different types of probiotic bacteria, kefir is also a functional food that brings numerous health benefits. Here are some of the benefits of kefir…
Strengthens the Immune System
Probiotic bacteria found in kefir are very effective in strengthening the defense system in the body. By improving the beneficial bacterial flora in the intestine, it prevents the situation called dysbiosis, where beneficial bacteria decrease and harmful bacteria increase. In this way, it strengthens the immune system and protects against diseases.
Beneficial bacteria in the intestine are needed to maintain regular digestive activities. Kefir, an important probiotic, helps prevent problems such as diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating, and intestinal cramps by supporting this bacterial flora.
Balances Blood Pressure, Protects Against Cardiovascular Diseases
Probiotic bacteria in kefir act just like statins, which are cholesterol-lowering drugs, and help balance cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it helps balance blood pressure and eliminate these problems in hypertension patients and individuals who complain of low blood pressure, weakness, fatigue and dark eyes during the day. Thanks to all these effects, kefir provides significant protection against cardiovascular diseases. Click to get detailed information about blood pressure.
Beautifies the Skin, Helps Heal Dermatological Diseases
Kefir has positive effects such as increasing skin elasticity, maintaining moisture balance, and delaying skin problems due to aging. While it makes the skin have a more pleasant and bright appearance, it also helps to quickly heal wounds and burns and treat dermatological diseases such as eczema. It also ensures that hair and nails grow healthy and fast.
Protects Muscle and Bone Health
Most of the bones consist of calcium mineral. Calcium, one of the minerals needed most throughout life; It should be taken into the body as much as needed to continue bone formation during the growth period and to prevent bone destruction in older ages. It is essential to meet the calcium requirement to maintain muscle activities smoothly, prevent cramps and increase muscle strength. Kefir, which is a very important source of calcium, is very useful for maintaining muscle and bone health.
Protects from Liver and Kidney Diseases
Kefir, which is a liver and kidney friendly food, helps prevent harmful side effects of medication users. It helps dissolve kidney and gallbladder stones. It also supports the health of the liver and kidneys by preventing urinary tract infections, kidney and liver infections.
Helps Lose Weight
Kefir, which is a healthy and nutritious food, accelerates the metabolism, prevents hunger crises as it provides a long-lasting feeling of satiety, and contributes to increasing the success rate in weight loss diets. At the same time, it ensures that the digestive system works smoothly, preventing constipation and bloating problems, and helps the body reach the desired form.
Strengthens Cognitive Functions
There are scientific studies showing that regular kefir consumption is associated with the development of intelligence, language development and cognitive functions in children. It can also be felt by adults during the day, helping to prevent problems such as fatigue and drowsiness, and increasing concentration and vitality.
When Should Kefir Be Drinked?
One of the most frequently asked questions of individuals who care about healthy nutrition and want to make kefir consumption a habit is when to drink kefir. Kefir, which is a natural food, does not have a specific time during the day when it should be consumed. Therefore, it can be consumed at any time of the day. However, especially for people with iron deficiency anemia, it is beneficial not to consume kefir, which has a high calcium content, together with foods with high iron content. Foods with high iron content include red and white meat, eggs, fish, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables. Since their consumption usually occurs during main meals, kefir consumption can be preferred as snacks. People with stomach sensitivity or reflux disease should also avoid food consumption for 2 hours before going to bed. For these people, kefir can be consumed as a mid-afternoon snack or as a snack 2 hours before bedtime.
How to Make Kefir Diet at Home?
Kefir is a very healthy type of food. For this reason, it is one of the foods used for detox purposes, which is the subject of some practices such as the kefir diet at home. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is of great importance in terms of maintaining the body’s daily functions smoothly and protecting against diseases. For this reason, strict diets focusing on a single food are not recommended for health reasons as they have not been fully proven by scientific studies. Especially in periods when digestive problems are intense, cholesterol is high and probiotics are needed, kefir diet at home can be consumed by meeting all daily milk and dairy products needs from kefir. Therefore, you can follow a kefir diet by adding 1 glass of kefir at each snack to your nutrition program consisting of 3 main meals and 3 snacks.
Side Effects and Harms of Kefir
Although kefir is a food that is famous for its benefits and has endless positive effects on health, as with all food types, it can cause undesirable results when consumed excessively or by people with certain diseases, and in such cases, side effects of kefir may occur. Consuming kefir may be dangerous, especially for some people who have a disease under treatment and who use regular medication. Therefore, these people, especially if they are new to kefir, should first consult their doctor and start consuming kefir in accordance with the doctor’s recommendations. Although very rare, some people may experience side effects such as stomach sensitivity, cramps, and constipation due to kefir consumption. In this case, it can be checked whether these problems disappear by stopping kefir consumption. Kefir consumption may be unsafe for kidney patients due to its high phosphorus content. The yeasts in kefir may cause different types of reactions in people who have diseases that affect the immune system or who use immunosuppressive drugs. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and diabetics should avoid consuming kefir without consulting a physician. In addition to all these, it should be known that kefir should not be given to babies under 1 year old.