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What is Milk Kefir?
Milk kefir is a probiotic dairy beverage prepared by fermenting milk with starter grains, which is actually a mixture of beneficial yeast and bacteria.
Milk kefir has gained considerable popularity in the natural health food sector primarily because of its nutrient content and the gut-friendly bacteria it contains.
Milk kefir grains consist of “Lactobacillus kefiri” bacteria. Milk is exposed to the bacteria for 24 hours after which the grains are strained out.
Milk kefir is a widely commercialized product and more rigorously researched than its lighter counterpart- Water kefir.
The type of milk used in making the kefir directly impacts the nutritional content of the kefir. Apart from that, milk kefir, in general, is rich in amino acids, vitamin K peptides and organic compounds which help in maintaining good health.
Health Benefits of Milk Kefir:
Owing to so much of research already been done on milk kefir, we are now equipped with the right statistics to back our claims of the health benefits of milk kefir.
Here are some advantages of having milk kefir at healthy intervals:
Being rich in compounds like biotin and folate, Milk kefir helps boost the immune system and amplifies the ability of body cells to protect themselves.
The bacteria found in the kefir helps fight against infection by slowing the growth of harmful pathogens. In a study, it was revealed that applying kefir actually catalyses the healing of wounds.
Increases Bone Density
Alongside the Calcium from the milk, milk kefir has bioactive compounds that help absorb calcium into the body and cease bone degeneration. Besides, the vitamin K2 present is known to be crucial in improving bone health and density.
With the probiotics increasing nutrient absorption and the milk containing all the essential nutrients, like phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2, it makes a balanced and natural nutrient supplement and even prevents Osteoporosis, a major concern for people today.
The probiotics in milk kefir don’t just assist in the digestive processes of the body but actually prevent a host of diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s and ulcers.
Moreover, it also aids the body’s immune system against disruptive diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal side effects caused by the associated medications.
Prevents Lactose Intolerance Symptoms
When it comes to having dairy products, it’s a bad news for some of us out there who have an aversion to dairy because of adverse reactions to digestive lactose.
This is where the bacteria in milk kefir does its magic, breaking down the lactose into lactic acid, making it digestible for lacrosse intolerant people.
Can Potentially Prevent Cancer
Kefir has the ability to fight against cancer due to its anti-carcinogenic property.
The probiotics slow down the enzymes that convert certain compounds into harmful carcinogens and thus prevents early tumours.
Kefir has proven to be instrumental in the destruction of colon and leukaemia cancer cells.
Apart from the aforementioned health benefits of milk kefir, it has a plethora of other benefits like detoxification, preservation of food, treatment of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, mitigation of symptoms of allergies and even asthma, reduction in body fat, healing of skin and many more.
Some proprietors of milk kefir also claim to have witnessed psychological benefits including treatment of anxiety and depression.
In all, milk kefir is amongst the most nutritious dairy alternative and even ranks above yoghurt.
If not for the tangy taste, you should be all up for your cup of kefir for its incredible health benefits.
Given the outraging benefits of milk kefir, how can you prepare it at home?
How to make Milk Kefir at home?
Preparing milk kefir is easy and often a DIY thing. Put your re-hydrated milk kefir grain in a glass jar and add sheep, cow or goat milk depending on your quantity selection.
Typically, I use 2 or 3 tablespoons of grains for two and a half cups of milk.
When done, cover the jar with a cloth and bind it with a rubber band to avoid the culture from coming into contact with fruit flies.
Leave the jar for 24 hours for fermentation to take place. Ensure the mixture is at room temperature or in a warmer environment lest the process will consume more hours.
After 24 hours, the kefir will have thickened and started to separate into whey and curds. If your kitchen is cold, you might want to add some 12 more hours or so to ensure the separation happens.
Stir up the jar so that its liquid again and pour the mixture into a strainer set inside another.
The kefir grains will be left in the sieve as the ready milk kefir will be in the jar.
The prepared milk kefir can be readily taken or kept in a refrigerator with a tight lid.