Originating in the mountainous region of Russia it was a process used to preserve milk and its consumption is thought to have contributed to the longevity of its people. It’s sort of like keeping Goldfish. You have to tend to them every couple of days or they may die! The final product ‘kefir’ can be bought from health food stores. Worth giving it a taste before you embark on raising your own.
SO WHAT IS KEFIR? Kefir is a fermented drink that is made through the action of bacterial and yeast microorganism on milk. It is made by adding ‘kefir grains’ (starter culture) to milk (they look a little like cauliflower florets). When the grains are added to milk, the grains shed and the microorganisms inoculate the milk. The grains keep growing while fermenting and these are used for subsequent fermentations.
KEFIR VS YOGHURT
Both Kefir and Yoghurt are cultured milk products however they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yoghurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for friendly bacteria to reside in. However kefir colonises the intestinal tract, which yoghurt does not do.
Kefir also contains strains of bacteria that yoghurt doesn’t have e.g. Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species. It also contains beneficial yeasts which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, and remove pathogens and strengthen the intestines. Therefore, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E.coli and intestinal parasites. Kefir has been used through history to treat a range of health conditions.