Today I would like to talk a bit about something which can connect me to my home country. I decided to talk a bit about a product that you may not all be familiar with. Kefir is a very popular and often consumed product in Eastern Europe including Ukraine. It originates from the Caucasus Mountains. The name “Kefir” originates from the Turkish word “Keif” and means “to feel good”
Kefir is a cultured milk product which is often viewed as a yogurt by many non-east europeans. It has somewhat tart and even sour taste. It is either made from kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter. Grains are made of yeast and bacteria. Usually sold as a kind of drink and can be plain or flavoured.
Kefir is a good source of probiotcs which helps to boost our immune systems. It is often viewed that kefir has three times the source of yogurt due to fermenting milk with 10 – 20 different types of yeasts and bacteria while yogurt is fermented with a few types. Each 175 gram product provides about 20 per cent of the daily recommended amount of calcium. One more point to remember is that kefir improves lactose digestion over milk with substantially reduced or even no symptoms of lactose intolerance. Further to benefits, kefir is a good source of proteins. A single serving of plain kefir contains 10.5 grams of protein with less than 100 calories. This drink is also a good source of B vitamins. Among them are B12 vitamin which is important for blood and nervous system and B1 that helps to deal with stress. Also, kefiran (which is available in kefir) is a benefit for our health that reduces cholesterol and blood pressure. Lastly, one more positive point is that kefir can be made of two types. Milk kefir (more traditional version) made from dairy and non-milk version made from water. It is for sure a great alternative for those that are lactose intolerant.
The only negative which may be a problem for many of us is the quantity of sugar per serving. Though one 175 gr serving is expected to have somewhat 6 gr of sugar, this product may be filled with sweeteners that may boost the calorie amount. Therefore it is often suggested to watch the amount of sugar, because its quantity may vary substantially.
All in all, kefir is a nice yogurt like product which has a large amount of benefits for our organism and has a nice somewhat tart and even sour taste.