Wednesday, June 1, 2011

FUEL Better: Kefir

What Is Kefir?
Kefir is a creamy, cultured milk product with amazing health properties similar to yogurt. Kefir contains beneficial yeast as well as the friendly probiotic bacteria found in yogurt. This naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine to provide superior health benefits. Kefir is fermented or cultured milk, and has been used in such disorders as:
Intestinal stomach disease, chronic constipation, Allergic reactions, Control of high cholesterol, and Lactose Intolerance.

Kefir is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It contains easily digestible complex proteins, and has natural antibiotic properties. And for people with lactose intolerance, kefir’s beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase. Lactase is the enzyme that consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process.

Kefir can be made with cows', goats', coconut, rice or soy milk. One just adds the gelatin-like particles called “grains.” These grains are what make kefir unique. They contain the bacteria/yeast mixture clumped together with casein (milk protein) and complex sugars. The grains are what ferment the milk, incorporating their friendly organisms to create a cultured product. The grains are then removed with a strainer, and used over and over again.

Besides the friendly bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and amino acids. The partially digested, complete proteins in kefir are easier to digest. Kefir is also rich in tryptophan, the essential amino acid known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Kefir is also rich in calcium and magnesium and has an ample supply of phosphorus.

Kefir is a balanced and nourishing food that contributes to a healthy immune system. Kefir has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, herpes, cancer and chronic fatigue. People with sleep disorders benefit from kefir’s tranquilizing effects, as do people with depression.

Regular consumption of kefir can help prevent intestinal disorders, promotes bowel movement, reduces flatulence and creates a healthier digestive system. Kefir is a great remedy for digestive disorders. In fact, kefir’s cleansing effect on the body helps establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity. 
Find it at: Health Food stores, Corner Market, or Kroger 

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