Do you know anything about kefir? Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly microorganisms, much like yogurt.
In recent health news, however, some health pundits say kefir may be more nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, ounce for ounce. Kefir could help in the reduction of lactose intolerance symptoms, in the stimulation of the immune system, and in lowering cholesterol levels.
And if that’s not a long enough list for you, kefir has been shown in clinical trials to be antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic. An antimutagenic food is one that inhibits genetic mutations that can lead to disease. One common mutagen that causes these harmful mutations is UV radiation. An anticarcinogenic food helps stop the growth of cancerous tumors.
Nutritionists suggest that kefir may hold an edge over yogurt when it comes to nutritional value, too, as the fermented milk drink contains complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B-vitamins.
For those who are lactose intolerant, the beneficial yeast and friendly bacteria in kefir consume most of the lactose (or milk sugar). So when you eat kefir on an empty stomach first thing in the morning for breakfast, you shouldn’t experience any of the usual symptoms of lactose intolerance like stomach cramps and or diarrhea. The kefir simply breaks down the lactose; so you should find you can easily digest your breakfast.
One more note about the difference between kefir and yogurt. Yogurt contains what are called “transient beneficial bacteria.” These bacteria keep your digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that live there. But kefir may be able to go a step further and actually colonize the intestinal tract.
Kefir also contains beneficial yeasts that attack and get rid of destructive yeasts in your body. The kefir yeasts penetrate your mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria hide out. In this way, kefir could help your body become better at resisting such pathogens as “E. coli” and intestinal parasites.
Here’s one final health tip: use kefir to restore the good bacteria in your body after antibiotic therapy.
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