The popularity of the fermented probiotic drink kefir has increased dramatically in recent years. It has been around for centuries, but is now cheap and readily available at most supermarkets. Health-wise, kefir can do you a world of good. The health of your bones, immune system, liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, and even your risk of developing cancer can all benefit from this. But if you consume this nutrient-rich drink at the wrong time, you may miss out on them all.
When do you recommend having a glass of kefir? Kefir is best consumed on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. If there are no other factors affecting the absorption of the nutrients, your body will be able to do so more efficiently. Some experts recommend drinking it before bed, but this isn’t recommended for everyone. The main advantages of consuming kefir or kefir products will be discussed today. We will also briefly discuss its nutritional value, the best time of day to drink it, and the best way to incorporate it into your daily routine.
What Is Kefir?
Kefir is a term that everyone has heard of, but few people actually understand what it is. If you’re one of them, get ready for a change in your life! Kefir, also known by the spellings kephir or kefier, is a fermented milk beverage that tastes a lot like plain drinking yogurt. The North Caucasus region is where this beverage first appeared. Russia, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe are where it is most popular. It wasn’t until many years later that it started to catch on in other Westernized nations around the world.
Today, kefir is made by inoculating animal milk with kefir grains, which is much simpler and quicker to produce commercially than the traditional method. As you may already know, kefir is regarded as a healthy beverage. It contains a wealth of nutrients and may have health advantages, like the majority of fermented foods. Let’s examine some in more detail!
Nutrients In Kefir Milk
If you enjoy tracking macronutrients, there are numerous articles on the specific amounts and percentages of nutrients that kefir provides. This is simply a high-level overview to give you an idea of what you’re consuming! To begin, all of these amounts are based on 1 cup of low-fat kefir milk. Buying full-fat kefir will obviously affect the majority of the numbers.
Kefir, like most dairy products, contains a reasonable amount of animal protein, about 9 grams per cup. It is also high in carbohydrates with only about 2-3 grams of fat. Remember, this is a low-fat kefir option, so keep the fat to a minimum!
Kefir is high in calcium and contains about 24% of your daily requirement (daily recommended intake). It also has high levels of vitamins B2, B12, and D. In terms of minerals, it is abundant in phosphorus and magnesium. This fermented milk beverage is also high in bioactive compounds such as organic acids and peptides.
What Benefits Does Kefir Offer Your Body?
Kefir can be extremely beneficial to your health in a variety of ways. We will divide them into smaller chunks so that we can discuss each in more detail. Now, we won’t go into too much detail on each or cover all of the advantages. However, the topics that will be covered today are ones that have been studied and, to some extent, proven!
Kefir Is An Exceptional Probiotic
Kefir has been found to be an even better probiotic than yogurt, containing more than 60 strains of bacteria and yeast! Remember, these are all beneficial bacteria and yeasts. These microorganisms assist with weight management, digestion, and overall mental health!
Kefir Has Antibacterial Qualities
Kefir contains some probiotics that may be useful in preventing and treating infections. One specific strain, known as Lactobacillus kefiri, is only present in this beverage. Another element that aids in the prevention of bacterial infections is kefiran, a special carbohydrate found in kefir milk.
Kefir Improves Overall Bone Health
This includes strengthening your bones and preventing bone diseases such as osteoporosis. It can help reduce the risk of bone fractures in the long run! But what is the source of this advantage? It is primarily due to the high calcium content. However, another lesser-known vitamin that aids calcium absorption is vitamin K2 — kefir is actually high in this nutrient!
Kefir Aids In Digestion
The probiotics in kefir, like those in most fermented beverages, aid in redressing the bacterial imbalance that many people experience in their digestive systems. It assists in treating diarrhea, can lessen IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms, and aids in easing stomach cramps brought on by food poisoning. Additionally, it can lessen bloating, acid reflux, and flatulence.
Kefir Improves Liver And Kidney Health
Kefir can help reduce fatty liver syndrome, which is caused by an excessive buildup of fat around the liver. Kefir also aids in the reduction of cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the liver. Kefir may help your kidneys by decreasing the amount of creatinine and uric acid in your body. Both are extremely toxic in large quantities.
Kefir May Help Reduce The Effects Of Cancer
We were very excited about this one! According to studies, kefir’s probiotics were more effective than yogurt at reducing the number of cancer cells in human breast fat; kefir did so by 56% as opposed to yogurt’s 14% reduction. Now, it is clear that much more research on these effects is necessary. But as we all know, probiotics only help in the fight against and prevention of cancer.
Best Time To Drink Kefir
Many people want to know when is the best time to drink kefir because it may affect the effectiveness of the fermented drink. It’s similar to taking medication. Some medications must be taken after a meal to avoid irritating your stomach lining. Kefir is best consumed on an empty stomach, not because it has any negative effects on your body, but because your body will absorb the most nutrients this way! The majority of people prefer to take it first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach).
Many experts also advise drinking some kefir before bedtime because it contains an amino acid (tryptophan) that promotes better sleep. You will still consume and absorb all of its nutrients. However, many people still advise against it. This drink is very filling, so you can drink it with or without food. Just don’t overeat because you consider kefir to be a drink. It can actually be a meal, as many people do.
How Much Kefir Should You Drink?
Consult your physician or dietitian about this. Most kefir has advantages, and some people drink up to three cups a day. Even healthy things can become unhealthy if they are consumed in excess. Consider it in this way. Each cup of kefir has about 161 calories. In other words, 3 cups will have about 483 calories, which is more than most nutritious meals do. That represents about a third of the daily recommended calorie intake for many people.
So even though you consume a lot of nutrients, you might not feel satisfied all day. Additionally, you won’t get some of the nutrients that other ingredients provide. So, if you’re just starting out with kefir, stick to just one cup per day. But many claim that three cups are also acceptable. Once more, taking it in the morning on an empty stomach is the best time to do so. But always weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the dosage you are taking.
How Long It Takes To See Results
If you consume at least one cup of kefir per day, it will take your body 2-4 weeks to noticeably improve your overall health. That being said, if you experience any side effects (such as allergic reactions or intolerance), discontinue use of kefir immediately.
Are There Vegan Kefir Products?
Kefir is obviously not a vegan product. It is mostly made from cow’s milk, but sheep and goat milk are also used to make kefir. Vegan kefir milk is still available; it can be made with coconut cream, plant-based milk, or water. In addition, more products that cater to a variety of other dietary requirements have been developed. Vegan kefir water is also becoming increasingly popular and widely available.
Side Effects Of Drinking Kefir
Unfortunately, not everyone will benefit from this product because many people have allergies or a lactose intolerance. Therefore, this is obviously inappropriate for them. If dairy and lactose are the issues, you can purchase a lactose-free or vegan alternative to kefir milk. However, you should completely avoid these products if you have a kefir grain allergy.
When first starting to take kefir, some people report side effects like bloating, nausea, constipation, and stomach cramps. Your system is becoming accustomed to the massive influx of probiotics, which is why this is happening. If you keep taking kefir, these side effects will typically go away. Stop drinking kefir if they don’t, or see a doctor.