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Kefir – a positive step towards gut health

Recent research has revealed a link between your gut health and various mood and behavioural disorders.
Depression, joint pain, eczema and bloating can all be traced back to the billions of microbes in your digestive tract that influence your health.  Microbes are the good guys that help digest your food and maintain your immune system. They also serve as protection against infection in your intestines and help to get rid of environmental toxins. They also produce B vitamins and vitamin K, which helps your blood clot.

It is essential to keep a good balance between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria in your gut.  An imbalance in your gut could product the following symptoms.

  • Gas and bloating
  • Leaky gut
  • IBS
  • Allergies or food sensitivities
  • Weight gain
  • Skin issues like acne and eczema
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Joint pain

Say hello to Kefir, a fermented drink traditionally made using cow’s milk or goat’s milk that is hugely popular in the natural health community. High in nutrients and probiotics, it is very beneficial for digestion and gut health.
It is made by adding kefir grains to milk. These are grain-like colonies of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that contain up to 61 strains of bacteria and yeasts, making them a rich and diverse probiotic source.  Over a period of around 24 hours, the microorganisms in the kefir grains multiply and ferment the sugars in the milk, turning it into kefir.  Then the grains are removed from the liquid and can be used again.
Dairy-free versions of kefir can be made with coconut water, coconut milk or other sweet liquids.

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The health benefits of kefir include:

  • Kefir contains the probiotic Lactobacillus kefir and the carbohydrate kefir, both of which protect against harmful bacteria.
  • Kefir  can improve your bone health and lower the risk of osteoporosis.
  • The  probiotics found in kefir may help with digestive problems as it helps restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut.  What’s more, ample evidence suggests that probiotics and probiotic foods can alleviate many digestive problems  such as  irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers caused by H. pylori infection and others .  It also alleviates heartburn and acid reflux.
  • Kefir is low in lactose. People who are lactose intolerant can often drink kefir without any problems.
  • Kefir  may improve allergy and asthma symptoms
  • Many users report that sustained consumption of kefir has got rid of their sugar cravings.

Kefir  start up kits are available in some health food stores as well as online.

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