What is Kefir?

kefirKefir is a healthy yeast that has been used to ferment dairy products to create “curd” as far back as the ancient “Vedic” health texts called the “Aryuveda” in ancient India. It was also seen as a “gift from the gods” by the ancient Caucus region people (Russian area).

It has been used in Russian culture and families for ages and I was talking to a Russian friend recently about Kefir and they told me there are many types of Kefir that they regularly use in Russia to help make naturally cultured foods containing lots of good healthy bacteria and yeasts for the body and gut health. Perfect for the young breast feeding child to go onto a diet rich in naturally fermented healthy bacteria and yeasts to keep the gut strong and healthy.

Recently you might have heard about Coconut Kefir made from Young Green Coconuts – the water inside the coconuts is taken and Kefir added and fermented to give a great dairy free option perfect for those on dairy free diets: such as children on special food intolerance diets, or adults who get congested sinus areas, or allergic with dairy.

coconut-palm-treeKefir is a yeast that when fermented in the coconut water, or dairy creates a very healthy bacterial and yeast culture that helps cleanse the colon of unhealthy yeast and bacteria. Ideally we want the gut to have a very healthy mucus lining that the healthy bacteria can sit in and grow and thrive on. Kefir helps with this.

Recently a young nine year old girl came along to see me with her mum. She had bloating and her gut had too much “gas”. We started her on a Kefir coconut sipper drink and within a week her gut was no longer gas filled and her hold body shape around her abdomen was smoothing down. She also had a Vitamin D deficiency which we are fixing up with some Vitamin D drops and sunshine. Vitamin D helps the gut lining. Once she ran out of Kefir her gut started to get a little “gassy” again. So mum will keep her on regular Kefir sips and cultured foods to help her keep a healthy gut bacterial system.

Unhealthy yeast and bacteria tend to puncture the gut wall, send tendrils through the gut and into the body, or create toxins and invade the body systems, so it is important to use foods that nourish the healthy gut immune system inside. Kefir actually helps to kill off the “bad yeasts” and restore a balance.

The best idea is to start off sipping small amounts and build up so you don’t kill off too many unhealthy yeast, or bacteria at once and create what is called a “die off” effect with a gut upset, or a feeling of shivers, or mild fevers as the gut cleans toxins out of the body.

You can get Kefir starter kits from Wholefood stores. You can get young green coconuts from the same places too. Or call and talk to Anita at www.thekefircompany.co.nz

My favourite Kefir product is the Kefir Sipper bottles I have been trying from Anita who founded the Kefir Company and makes big batches of Young Green Coconut Water Kefir each week with her husband and family business here in Auckland. See www.thekefircompany.co.nz

She can courier coconut fermented Kefir right to your door! It lasts about 2-3 weeks in the fridge and is best consumed fresh within a week or so. Fresh batches are key. It can be quite something making it every week yourself so you might like to order a supply ready-made.

I started looking into the health benefits and it seems taking regular Kefir helps:

  1. Support the body’s cravings for sugar or carbohydrates and helps decrease them.
  2. Supports cleansing of the body gut system.
  3. Kefir is rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium which in turn help the endocrine (glandular) hormonal systems in the body (adrenals, thyroid, ovaries, pituitary).
  4. Kefir type cultures and healthy gut bacteria are important for mood, normal menstruation, normal sex hormones, good sleep and so on.
  5. Kefir helps you digest your food – so it is good to take a little with meals.
  6. Kefir assists with regular bowel function so a good idea for those with irritable bowel or constipated bowel.

It seems like a lot of us could do with more naturally fermented foods in our diet so we can remove toxic bacteria, yeasts and so on and keep a good cleansing gut system.

Check out the Kefir packets, or starter instructions in the Donna Gates:Body Ecology Diet book, or visit your local wholefood store or call Anita at the Kefir Company if you’d like to know more.