What You Need To Know: While cultures around the world have been enjoying the health benefits of kefir for centuries, we’re finally catching on: this slightly fizzy fermented milk (or coconut) product, which can be enjoyed as a drink or eaten like yogurt, is packed with tiny friendly micro-organisms that help balance your “inner ecosystem.” In fact, it’s known to be one of the most powerful probiotic foods in existence! It’s no wonder that kefir is derived from a Turkish word, keif, that literally means good feeling. Although kefir is normally a dairy product, kefir grains can also be cultured in coconut milk, which is a fantastic alternative for our vegan and dairy-free friends! More on that later…
Why You Should Try It: We’re obsessed with anything and everything having to do with good digestion here in the Chalkboard office (have you read Clean Gut?). If it’s good for our tummy, we’re sold! We are singing kefir’s praises because the powerful combo of beneficial flora in kefir may help protect against gastrointestinal diseases, and has been shown to improve digestion in those with lactose intolerance. Kefir also boasts anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, taming inflammation in the intestinal tract.
Although they are similar, yogurt and kefir are definitely not synonymous when it comes to health benefits. Both are known for their probiotic qualities, but only kefir has the power to actually colonize the intestinal tract with beneficial flora, a feat most yogurts cannot accomplish! And beyond its supernatural digestive powers, its high phosphorous, calcium and vitamin K2 content also promote healthy bones.
Still not convinced this zingy superfood is for you? Research has shown that kefir may have a potent anti-tumor effect. Drink up!
Let’s Get Together: If you’re looking for a yogurt-esque kefir, look no further than the organic variety by our pals at Lifeway. We love mixing it into a smoothie, slurping it with a spoon, or drinking bottled kefir straight from the bottle. For a dairy-free version that will rock your socks off, try KeVita in a host of delicious flavors, from pure coconut to strawberry acai to lemon ginger. Your tummy will be smiling in no time.