Kefir – full of probiotics which aid in digestive health. Read more why kefir in this week’s Supermarket RD’s Pick.
Kefir, pronounced “kee-fer”, is like a drinkable yogurt. Kefir is slightly sweet tasting like yogurt with a distinct tangy flavor. It also comes in a variety of flavors. While compared to yogurt often, kefir naturally has additional health benefits that yogurt lacks.
Like yogurt, kefir is filled with friendly bacteria called probiotics. However, kefir has many more strains of these probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote gut health. Yogurt contains two types of bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus while kefir contains several other strains of bacteria not commonly found in yogurt: Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter, Streptococcus and Pseudomonas species. Not only that, kefir also contains different strains of yeast like Candida, Kluyveromyces and Saccharomyces species. Another worth mentioning is that the beneficial bacteria contained in milk kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract while those found in yogurt provide food for the healthy bacteria found in the gut, keeping our digestive tract clean. (source)
With the multiple strains of probiotic bacteria, kefir is typically okay for lactose intolerant individuals. Like yogurt, which is made from fermented milk, kefir contains bacteria that aid lactose digestion. Kefir doesn’t produce symptoms of lactose intolerance because these bacteria help digest the lactose.
Personally, as someone who is a little sensitive to too much dairy, Kefir is a great dairy source for calcium along with numerous vitamins and minerals. When I first tried Kefier, I will be honest, I couldn’t handle the plain and I stuck with the flavored varieties until I began liking the tangy flavor. I like to enjoy a little glass everyday to get my probiotics without relying on a supplement.
Kefir can also be enjoyed as part of a smoothie, stirred in oatmeal, and even used to make a creamy salad dressing!
Disclaimer: Lifeway Kefir did not sponsor this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.