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What are the benefits of kefir?

Monday, September 6, 2021

Being part of the lower arm of probiotics, one of the functional food types, kefir is a fermented milk product that contains yeast and bacteria and it has many benefits.. Kefir, which is the most commonly consumed product after yogurt, is a dairy product; A ayran-like beverage made from cow, sheep and goat milk, which contains high amounts of B1, B12 and K2, calcium, magnesium, biotin, folic acid, amino acids, enzymes and probiotics.

There are many beneficial microorganisms in the content of kefir, which is made by adding kefir culture or kefir grains to fermented milk. It has an important place in fermented milk products with its probiotic feature. For this reason, it is known that it has many benefits such as gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular health and strengthening the immune system.

Kefir is a product that can be consumed alone or with the addition of fruit, and can be used instead of milk in cakes and cakes and it has many benefits.. Before answering the frequently asked question on how to make kefir, it is necessary to understand what is kefir.

What is kefir?

Kefir, which has been consumed for the treatment of diseases in the North Caucasus for many years, has become popular worldwide over the years. Today, almost all European countries and the United States also made kefir production, was produced as packaged in the 80s for the first time in Turkey.

Kefir itself is like a small cauliflower, consisting of yeast and bacteria, close to white, jelly-like spheres. Kefir is a fermented milk product mostly made by fermenting cow, sheep and goat milk with kefir culture. It has a creamy consistency, moderately acidic and slightly soury flavor. Being a good source of phosphorus and biotin, kefir is rich in vitamins B1, B12 and K2, calcium, magnesium, biotin, folic acid and amino acids.

Kefir, which can be consumed by people of all ages, has many positive effects on human health. Kefir, also called yogurt of the 21st century, contains all the nutrients contained in milk, as well as its nutritional value thanks to the microorganisms formed by fermenting it with kefir culture.

As a result of some studies, kefir has been found to be beneficial for human health due to its antibacterial, immunological, antitumoral and hypocholesterolemic or, in other words, cholesterol-lowering effect.

Since it contains bacteria that help digestion, it can be consumed regularly, especially by people with digestive problems. Compared to milk, kefir, which has a much lower lactose content, can be consumed by people with lactose intolerance after consulting a doctor.

What are the benefits of kefir?

It produces microorganisms, bioactive substances and enzymes in the content of the product obtained by fermenting milk with kefir culture or in other words, fermenting it. During the fermentation process, microorganisms increase the nutrient availability by converting the chemical structure of the raw material.

Thus, the resulting product gains bioprotective effect. This conversion, which improves food safety, also leads to the breakdown of toxic components, leading to the production of antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds. Food supplemented with bioactive ingredients turns into a healthier food.

Studies have proven the positive effect of fermented prebiotic and probiotic milk products on human health. Kefir, which was used in the past in the treatment of cancer and allergic diseases, especially tuberculosis in Russia, is known to increase the secretions of the stomach and pancreatic organs today.

Since it is also rich in essential amino acids, tryptophan, calcium and magnesium minerals, kefir plays an active role in relaxing the nervous system. Kefir, which is thought to have a relaxing effect on metabolism when consumed daily, has also been shown to have a positive effect on liver and kidney functions.

It also plays an important role in the regulation of intestinal flora with its intense microorganisms and probiotic properties. In addition to prebiotics, which serve as nutrients for the nutrition of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, probiotics that provide intestinal flora and microorganism diversity are also very useful for the intestines.

According to a limited study, if kefir is consumed regularly for 6 to 9 months, it is found that it improves intestinal disorders by 99%, insomnia problems by 60%, depression by 50% and high blood pressure by 30%. It is thought that the anti-carcinogenic effect is among the benefits of kefir.

It is thought that some enzymes that play a role in the formation of cancer cells due to DNA damage and mutation decrease their activities, increase acidity, increase the production of fatty acids and prevent cancer formation by accelerating cell death known as apoptosis.

In some limited studies, kefir, which has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, has been found to be effective on high cholesterol metabolism in an experiment on animals. It was also seen in the same study that HDL level, defined as high density lipoprotein, was not affected by kefir consumption.

According to another limited study, kefir has been shown to regulate blood sugar and prevent food allergies. Kefir, which causes the suppression of IgE and IgG1 response, is thought to have a positive effect on allergic diseases such as asthma and atopic dermatitis as well as food allergies.

As a result of such studies, problems such as blood pressure, digestive system and lactose intolerance have been shown to decrease with regular consumption of kefir. In addition to the limited studies showing that it has a positive effect on the immune system, it has also been found to have antibacterial effects against some pathogenic bacteria.

Containing all the nutrients contained in milk, kefir also contains the amino acids and fatty acids necessary for the body. When 1 cup of kefir is consumed per day, 20% of daily calcium and phosphorus needs, 19% of vitamin B2, 14% of vitamin B12 and 5% of magnesium need can be met. Other benefits of kefir are listed below in the light of many limited studies performed:

  • It helps prevent muscle contractions.
  • Prevents vascular stiffness.
  • It is effective in relieving chronic fatigue.
  • It prevents anemia.
  • Positive effects on skin, nail, eye and dental health.
  • It supports the treatment of urinary tract inflammation.
  • It is helpful in weight control.
  • Increases body resistance.
  • It speeds up the healing process.

While some of its known benefits have been demonstrated in limited studies, another part has been proved only by studies on laboratory animals. As with any foodstuff, excessive consumption of kefir can be harmful. Therefore, a specialist physician should be consulted before consuming kefir for the treatment of diseases. The physician should be consulted before consumption during pregnancy and lactation.

How is kefir made?

Kefir is a fermented milk product that can be bought at home or at markets. Home-made kefir must be stored in a glass container and in the refrigerator. Metal spoons should not be used during the construction of kefir, which can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 days.

Since it is fermented, the biggest feature that distinguishes kefir, which contains a small amount of carbon dioxide and alcohol, from other fermented products is that lactic acid and alcohol fermentation occur simultaneously. Industrially, kefir begins with the homogenization of the collected raw milk. After pasteurizing at about 95 degrees, it is cooled and inoculation using 2% to 8% yeast, it is left to fermentation for approximately 18 to 24 hours.

After packaging, it is ripened under a temperature of 3 to 10 degrees for a day and then stored at 4 degrees. It is sent to the markets with a cold chain. Like yogurt, kefir is a fermented milk product containing probiotics.

Although it is known to regulate the intestinal flora when consumed regularly, its effects on diseases are not yet proven. Therefore, the physician should be consulted for the treatment of the related health problem and information should be obtained from the physician regarding the suitability of kefir consumption together with the treatment arranged by the physician.

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