NUTRITION

The Health Benefits of Kefir - Continued

By Temma Ehrenfeld @temmaehrenfeld
 | 
October 18, 2017

In animal studies, researchers report that traditional kefir lowers total cholesterol and improves the ratio of “good” vs. “bad” cholesterol.

Kefir applied in a gel can help wounds heal. It has also promoted bone growth in people with osteoporosis.

Kefir has even shown the ability to fight more than one kind of cancer growth. Studies have found early encouraging evidence that kefir could have an effect on breast, colon, and skin cancers as well as leukemia and sarcoma. In one study, kefir cut the growth of breast cancer cells in a test tube by 56 percent.

Kefir may help tame the immune response in allergies, including asthma.

How to make kefir at home

Kefir was originally made in the Caucasian mountains by taking a grain formed by fermenting milk and letting it interact with unfermented milk in a sheep or goat skin bag. Today, commercial kefir products grow from starter cultures isolated from kefir grain, rather than the grain itself. If you decide to make kefir at home, you can buy the grain online or in a store.

For pointers, check out this video on making kefir with milk (to use almond milk, look here). You can also make yogurt and kombucha at home, which contain different probiotics.

The basic recipe isn’t difficult. Put 1 to 2 tablespoons of kefir grains into a small jar with about 2 cups of milk, leaving an inch of room at the top, cover it tightly, and let it sit for 12 to 36 hours. Strain out liquid, and set aside the original kefir grains, which you can use again in a new jar with milk.

 

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Updated:  

October 18, 2017

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN