5 Benefits of Adding Kefir to Your Menu Plan
Kefir is a cultured milk product a little like yogurt, but originates from Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. While you can purchase kefir that’s already made, you can also buy kefir grains at supermarkets and health food stores to make your own. Add activated kefir grains to goat’s or cow’s milk in a Mason gar, top with a coffee filter held in place with a rubber band, and leave it for 24-36 hours. Adding a bit of full-fat cream to your mixture will make your kefir thicker.
Why give kefir a try? Here’s a closer look at some of the health benefits kefir has to offer.
- Benefit #1 – Great Source of Probiotics – Kefir is a great source of probiotics, and it contains around three times the probiotics yogurt does. Probiotics help to keep harmful bacteria at bay and help boost the immune system. These probiotics are thought to reduce cancer risk, restore healthy bacteria in the gut, protect against infections, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Since it has around 30 different microorganisms, it’s a more potent source of these helpful probiotics than many other fermented dairy products.
- Benefit #2 – Excellent Source of Calcium – You get about 20% of your daily calcium from a serving of kefir, and calcium is important for your teeth and bones. Replace a serving of dairy with kefir and you’ll get the probiotic benefits and a good dose of calcium.
- Benefit #3 – Relaxing Effects of Tryptophan – Kefir includes the amino acid tryptophan, which is known for making you sleepy. Drinking it can have a relaxing affect and it’s a great pre-bedtime snack.
- Benefit #4 – Low Calorie Protein Source – It’s also a great source of protein and you won’t add a lot of extra calories to your diet with kefir. Non-fat, plain kefir has less than 100 calories in a serving, yet it comes with more than 10 grams of protein. Just avoid purchasing kefir that includes added sugars, since this increases the calorie content.
- Benefit #5 – Packed with B Vitamins – B vitamins are essential for your health, and kefir is a great source of these vitamins. It includes B12, which is important for energy and the nervous system, and it also has biotin, which makes it easier for the rest of your body to use other B vitamins.
Drink kefir just like milk or add to dishes that call for milk to enjoy these benefits. It’s a great addition to a healthy diet and will help you support your weight loss and fitness efforts.
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