Meet Ayran. The Unvarnished Truth About A Strange Drink That Saves In The Heat, Cures Hangovers And Calms The Nerves

We’re going to tell you what ayran is, what beneficial properties it has, and who it can be harmful to.

Aïran has been on the shelves of Ukrainian supermarkets, crammed in among bottles of kefir and other dairy products, for years, but many Ukrainians still don’t know what it is. Moreover, not even all employees of the supermarkets that sell it have any idea what it is. Let’s try to fill this gap.

So what is ayran?

Ayran is a fermented milk drink with a slightly salty flavor. It tastes something like salted kefir. That’s because the main ingredients of ayran are milk, fermented milk starter, water, and salt. If desired, dill, parsley, basil, cilantro, cucumber, and paprika are added to it. The result is a drink that is very refreshing in the heat. It’s a kind of milk tonic.

A brief history of the origin of ayran

Ayran is a traditional drink of Turkic peoples. Fifteen centuries ago, nomads poured milk into wineskins and added salt as a preservative. And when they were thirsty, they diluted it with water. This drink not only quenches thirst but also satisfied hunger.

According to some researchers, a drink very similar to ayran was known to the inhabitants of the ancient Greek city of Kerkinitida, which existed in the 5th-2nd centuries BC.

So this drink is very ancient.

Today it is popular in Turkey, Bulgaria, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

In each of the regions, it is prepared with certain peculiarities.

For example, milk for ayran can be made from cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, and even camel milk.

Ingredients of ayran

Ayran is rich in vitamins and minerals. It contains, figuratively speaking, almost half of the periodic table: magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, sulfur, iodine, selenium, and chlorine. And vitamins: groups B, D, E, A, C (ascorbic acid), PP, H.

In terms of nutritional value, 100 grams of the drink, depending on its density, contains 25 to 60 calories; approximately 1.5-2 g of fat, 1.4-2.9 g of carbohydrates, and 1.1-2.5 g of protein.

Aged ayran can contain up to 0.6% alcohol.

The benefits of ayran

As already mentioned, arrowroot is great for refreshing in the heat. Due to its composition, it normalizes the water-salt balance in the body, thus quenching thirst and facilitating the work of the kidneys.

That’s why, by the way, people with kidney disease are advised to drink ayran.

Also, ayran is a godsend for men and women who suffer from hangovers. All due to the same normalization of the water-salt balance. It also replenishes the supply of vitamins and minerals. Here, the effect of arrowroot is somewhat similar to the effect that brine has on the body of a person who has had too much alcohol the night before. Nausea recedes, vigor returns, swelling subsides, and hand tremors are eliminated. Experts even recommend not eating anything on the day of a hangover but drinking only ayran, so that the healing effect comes faster and the “patient” is in shape as much as possible.

The positive effect of arrowroot on intestinal microflora.

It restores it. Therefore, it is good to use it for those who have undergone or are undergoing antibiotic therapy, which is known to negatively affect the microflora.

The cardiovascular system is also beneficial from arrowroot: it saturates the blood with oxygen, increases the number of red blood cells, strengthens the walls of blood vessels, and lowers cholesterol.

In addition, arrowroot

  • improves the appearance of skin and hair (women even make special cosmetic masks from it);
  • strengthens the immune system, which is why it is good to drink in winter;
  • due to the fact that it contains magnesium, which relieves nervous tension;
  • increases potency in men;
  • relieves fatigue, including from intellectual work;
  • improves lactation in women.

The dangers of arrowroot

There is, so to speak, a dark side to anise. That are certain contraindications.

For example, it should be drunk with caution in case of gastritis, stomach, and duodenal ulcers (and in case of exacerbation of these diseases, it should not be consumed at all). It is also not recommended for exacerbation of pancreatitis and urolithiasis.

Those who have high acidity should be careful with it, as arrowroot can increase it even more.

And, of course, those who are lactose intolerant will not be able to enjoy this drink.

Norms of consumption of ayran

Everything is good in moderation, and ayran is no exception. The daily allowance of this drink for a person is two to three glasses. If you get too carried away with ayran, you can get diarrhea, as it has a laxative effect in large doses.

Nutritionists recommend that people who want to lose weight should organize fasting days once a week, during which they drink only ayran. A glass every two hours (no more than 2 liters per day).

On fasting days, it is better not to plan any exhausting physical activities. At the same time, you should not forget to drink plain water on these days.

Who produces ayran in Ukraine?

Since 2016, ayran has been produced by TM Yagotynske. Their product line consists of two types of ayran: classic ayran with 2.0% fat and ayran with dill with 1.8% fat. Both types are packaged in 450 g PET bottles.

Zlagoda TM from Dnipro sells ayran in 800-gram canisters. It contains 2% fat and only natural ingredients, no thickeners, flavors, etc. “chemicals”.

Halal ayran is represented on the market by TM Onur from Kyiv. The company produces its Turkish ayran with a fat content of 1.8% in a liter bottle.

Another producer of ayran in Ukraine is Molokiya in Ternopil, which produces it in 430 g Pure-Pak packaging and calls it “I RUN kefir drink.” By the way, it tastes the most like kefir among the other Ukrainian-made ayran drinks mentioned in this list.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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