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What is Milk Kefir? [Benefits & FAQ]

How is your gut health? It’s likely you aren’t sure, and it’s not something you spend a lot of time considering. But your gut health has a knock-on effect throughout your body, including the efficiency of your brain. Milk kefir is a superfood that has grown in popularity recently because of the multitude of benefits for your health

Related: What Are Probiotic Drinks?

What is Milk Kefir?

Milk kefir is a cultured, fermented drink that may be made of any kind of milk - cow, goat, coconut, soy, rice, or sheep. It originated thousands of years ago in the mountainous regions between Asia and Europe. It’s similar to yogurt but thinner and easier to drink. Milk kefir is made from kefir grains cultured with milk. This mix of yeast and bacteria is fizzy (due to the carbon dioxide) and tastes slightly sour, tangy, and acidic. That may not sound appetizing, but milk kefir may be added to your favorite smoothie and thus transformed into a beverage you’ll look forward to consuming.   

The word kefir is derived from a Turkish word for good feeling. And kefir has some history in the Muslim culture where it was considered a gift from Allah.   

Let’s Clarify Some Terms

You may have heard other terms in connection with milk kefir like kefir yogurt, kefir milk, water kefir, kefir grains, and just plain kefir. It can be confusing, but here are the most important terms to know:

  • Kefir grains. These are a whitish, jelly-like substance that looks similar to cottage cheese. These grains are between 0.3 to 3 cm in diameter and contain yeast, bacteria, milk proteins, and complex sugar. 
  • Water kefir. This is made from a slightly different grain but has the same benefits as milk kefir. It works well for people who prefer not to drink milk. 
  • Kefir milk and kefir yogurt are both misnomers as neither is actually milk or yogurt. The texture is close, so the names work. 

The Benefits of Milk Kefir

Here are some of the many fantastic benefits to drinking milk kefir:  

Nutritional Facts about Milk Kefir

Every 250 ml of milk kefir contains

  • 145 kcal
  • 7.5 g of fat
  • 8.3 g of protein
  • 11 g of carbs
  • 333 mg of calcium
  • 383 mg of potassium
  • 28 mg magnesium
  • 0.7 mcg of B12

In addition to these and other nutrients, the most significant benefit of milk kefir is the amount of probiotics it contains. This ‘good bacteria’ populates your lower intestines and will greatly improve the health of your gut. Kefir grains may have as many as 30 or more good bacteria colonies and yeast.

Related: Probiotic Drinks Benefits [Buyer’s Guide]

A Healthy Gut

Drinking milk kefir can improve your digestion as the probiotics create balance in your intestines. It’s possible that lactose-intolerant people can still benefit from milk kefir as the process of fermentation tends to break down the lactose. You should consult a health professional before taking milk kefir if you have digestive difficulties because it can worsen some of your symptoms. 

Are you ready to take your gut health to a new level? Try our delicious, probiotic water kefir shots. Check out Sunny Culture today.

Strong Bones

Milk Kefir is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin K - all good for bone building. Without strong bones, you may become susceptible to osteoporosis and fractures. 

Support Weight Loss

Since obesity is linked to imbalances in the gut bacteria, restoring that balance may help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. More research is needed in this area, but it is promising. 

Lowers Cholesterol 

Studies show that kefir may lower high cholesterol. This is significant because high cholesterol leads to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.  

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is responsible for many ailments in the body, from IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) to rheumatoid arthritis. Probiotics have been proved to have an anti-inflammatory effect due to the LAB bacteria they contain.  

Antibacterial Properties

This may seem contradictory, but the bacteria in milk kefir makes it antibacterial by nature. This means that it will protect you from the wrong kinds of bacteria.  

Blood Sugar Control

A study conducted in 2015 revealed that participants who consumed 2 ½ cups of kefir each day experienced lowered blood sugar levels than the control group.  

Anticancer Properties

Animal studies have shown that kefir may inhibit the growth of some cancerous tumors. There is much more research to be conducted on this, but there is great potential that kefir can prevent and treat many kinds of cancer.

Is it Safe to Drink Every Day?

Now that you know how good milk kefir can be for you, how often should you drink it? A daily dose of milk kefir is optimal to gain all of its benefits. But listen to your body and respond accordingly. If you experience bloating or other digestive discomforts, you may be drinking too much.  

How Much to Drink and When

Most people drink between ½ cup to 2 cups of milk kefir per day. Generally, you can drink about a cup of milk kefir every day when your body becomes adjusted to it. In the beginning, drink your milk kefir at night before bed, as it has a calming effect. It is said to improve your sleep, reduce bloating, and give you energy the next day. Later, you may experiment with it at different times of day and stick with your best result. 

Related: How Many Probiotic Drinks Per Day Should I Take?

Milk Kefir in a Nutshell

So in review, it’s exciting to learn about the great benefits of milk kefir. It’s high in probiotics and nutrients and improves your digestion and gut health. This beverage also provides many other benefits, and it’s available to any of us. You can make it at home or purchase it ready-made in many delicious flavors. 

How to Get Milk Kefir

Are you ready to try milk kefir? With a bit of effort, you can make your own milk kefir in the comfort of your home. You can purchase kefir grains from almost any health store and follow simple directions to produce the fermented drink. However, before you invest in kefir grains, it would be a good idea to purchase ready-made kefir to see how you enjoy it. 

Our belief is that everyone deserves a healthy gut. Our journey has been motivated by three core values - wellness, quality, and joy. Are you looking for a healthy drink or shot that is crafted ethically and delicious? Visit Sunny Culture to learn more.

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