Fermented Foods: K is for Kefir

It has taken 100 years, but Nobel Laureate Elie Metchnikoff’s Theory of Longevity is astoundingly researched, transformed and commercialized to benefit the world. Comparative genomics in today’s “probiotics” fits the definition, that we harvest “a live microorganism, which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.”

Following his own pioneering discoveries as an immunologist, Metchnikoff drank sour milk (a practice mentioned in the Bible) every day, to gain beneficial bacteria in his gut. He died in 1916 at the old age of 71 (i.e., the life expectancy in France was 50). That’s because the gut houses 75% of the immune system.

Many people have not heard of kefir. But it is frequently listed as a top fermented food, robust in probiotics so glacially good for your bod! It’s a superfood!

Kefir is a fermented milk product from a cow, goat, or sheep (go organic and avoid the commercial cow hormone-clad variety). The raw form looks crumbled, as shown above on the left, and it tastes like a yogurt drink, therefore it’s commonly used in smoothies.

You can also purchase reusable kefir ‘grain’ although it’s just called that. It’s not of the grain variety of foods; it’s a mixture of beneficial yeast and bacteria. You can then make your own indefinitely supply of homemade kefir drink that is naturally carbonated, just by adding milk, straining and blending. Homemade kefir is a super-super food!

Health Benefits of Kefir:

  1. Probiotic microflora. Fermented sugars and carbs allow a plethora of probiotic microflora (i.e., good bacteria) to grow, causing gut protection and immunity-boosting; can be used in lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, and stomach ulcers.
  2. Provides essentials: Kefir has Vitamins: A, B2, B6, C, D, E, biotin, folate, niacin, and thiamine; Minerals: around 20% calcium, riboflavin, & phosphorus, small amounts of magnesium and iron, and trace amounts of potassium, zinc, copper.
  3. Decreased cancer risk. Studies suggest kefir helps colon and breast cancer.
  4. Decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Kefir may decrease obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and chronic metabolic syndrome.
  5. Detoxification. Kefir is high in lactate (i.e., lactic acid) concentration, therefore it can kill food-borne toxins. Examples are yeast and afalatoxin (mold found in nuts; responsible for peanut allergy).
  6. Improves immune function. Research suggests kefir can treat diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, and some have used it for lactose intolerance (it’s suggested to use goat’s milk and do a 24-hour skin test by letting a drop dry and then check for true inflammation on the wrist; if swelling occurs, one has a ‘real’ dairy allergy – talk to your doctor).
  7. Better bones. Kefir increases absorption of calcium and magnesium decreases osteoporosis.
The gut contains ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. Eating kefir increases the ‘good’ ones.


So perhaps we should be saying, “It’s time to make our kefir!”


The Alphabet Series: Immunonutrition

A is for

B is for Best Vegetable

C is for Categories of winter squash

D is for

E is for

F is for Fermented Foods

G is for

 H is for


J is for

K is for kefir

L is for

M is for

N is for

O is for

P is for papaya

Q is for

R is for

S is for winter squash

T is for

U is for

V is for vitamins

W is for watermelon

X is for

Y is for

Z is for








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