The term kefir is derived from the Turkish word “key if”, which means something like “well-being” or “good mood”. Kefir is healthy for a variety of reasons.
This is how to milk kefir is made
The term kefir is generally understood to mean milk kefir. To produce this, cow, goat, or sheep milk is mixed with the so-called kefir fungus (also kefir grain or Tibetan fungus) for one to two days. In the course of the fermentation process, lactose ferments and carbonic acid, and alcohol content of up to two percent are produced. Finally, the kefir mushrooms are removed again.
Why is kefir healthy?
- Kefir is probiotic – that’s why it’s considered healthy. Like other probiotic foods, it primarily contains so-called lactic acid bacteria, which are produced during fermentation. These support the intestines in the utilization of food and strengthen the immune system.
- Kefir is rich in nutrients: in addition to vitamins B2, B12, and D, kefir contains plenty of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
- Kefir may help lower blood pressure, according to a 2018 rat kefir study. Brazilian and US researchers compared two groups of rats suffering from high blood pressure: one was fed kefir for nine weeks, and the other was given no kefir. It turned out: In the kefir group, the blood pressure values fell significantly; not in rats that were not given kefir. The intestinal flora of the animals fed with kefir also showed a better composition. In addition, an enzyme in the brain that is involved in the regulation of the nervous system had changed. From the researchers’ point of view, this indicates that “cooperation” between the brain and intestines brought about improved blood pressure values. However, the study cannot answer whether these results can be extrapolated to humans.
Another advantage of the milk drink: kefir is also tolerated by most lactose-intolerant people. In the course of fermentation, the lactose (milk sugar) is broken down into lactic acid.
What is water kefir?
Water kefir is a drink made using a culture that resembles kefir grains. Unlike milk kefir, it is water-based. You can’t buy water kefir, but you can easily make it at home. The so-called water kefir ferment is a white powder that is available in health food stores.
Recipe water kefir
- 1-liter spring water or still mineral water
- 40 grams of sugar
- one dried fruit (unpreserved)
- water kefir ferment
- Put the ingredients in a jar. Stir well and leave covered for 48 hours at room temperature.
- Remove the fruit and carefully pour three-quarters of the liquid into a juice bottle. Make sure that the whitish sediment with approx. 200 ml of liquid remains in the preparation vessel.
- Seal the bottle airtight and leave the contents to mature for 12 hours (keeps in the fridge for about 4 days).
- Fill the starting container with 750 ml water, add 15 g sugar and new dried fruit and leave covered for 24 hours. You can repeat this process as often as you like.