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Health Benefits of Kefir

Hippocrates said that our food is our medicine and our medicine is our food. Nothing illustrates this more than the probiotic food kefir. Kefir is made using "grains" to ferment any kind of milk (goat, cow, coconut, etc.), incorporating their beneficial organisms to create the cultured product. The grains look like clumps of cauliflower but are actually clusters of healthy yeasts and bacteria.

Kefir is pronounced Ke-Feer', according to the dictionary, but is more commonly pronounced Kee' fir or Keff ' ir. It means "feel good" in Turkish. It is a complete protein and is high in minerals and vitamins, especially the B vitamins. Homemade kefir contains up to 35 strains of good bacteria and yeast (as opposed to yogurt, which contains a handful). Bottled kefir purchased at the store may contain up to 10 strains, but often includes unwanted additives. Kefir, therefore, is best when it's homemade.

According to Gabriel Cousens in his book Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine:

Because of kefir's ability to establish healthy bowel flora, it is beneficial in preventing many gastrointestinal disorders. Some researchers have found that kefir also exudes bacterial inhibitory factors, which prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. In this sense, it actually acts as a natural antibiotic. Some studies show that kefir whey neutralizes most pathogenic bacteria within 24 hours.

A peer-reviewed study conducted in Japan found that kefir has the ability to protect against harmful levels of radiation. According to the abstract's conclusion:

This study indicated that kefir protects colonic crypt cells against radiation-induced apoptosis, which was most pronounced in the stem cell region of the crypt The antiapoptotic effect of fermented milk kefir was due to the inhibition of caspase-3 activation.

Dairy kefir also contains tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids known for its calming effect on the nervous system. The tryptophan in kefir, in combination with its calcium and magnesium, makes for a soothing and relaxing drink. And kefir is often fine for those who are lactose-intolerant, because the yeasts and bacteria eat up most if not all of the lactose in the milk.

What about fungal infections like candida? Dr. Orla-Jenson, a noted Danish bacteriologist specializing in dairy research, states that "kefir digests yeast cells and has a beneficial effect on the intestinal flora."

Dominic Anfiteatro, an Australian native, has been studying kefir and its health benefits for years. He considers kefir to be a "probiotic gem" cultured with a "probiotic jewel" (kefir grains). His kefir expertise is unparalleled. Visit his website to find out more.

Once the grains have been procured, kefir is easy to make. See our How to Make Dairy Kefir article for a step-by-step look at the kefir-making process.


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" age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

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"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

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"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

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"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

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