WHAT IS IT?
Kefir is a creamy cultured dairy product that is usually consumed as a drinkable yoghurt. Kefir can also be used to make smoothies, baked goods, soups, desserts, and dressings. There are more than 20 kefir products available, including premade smoothies, ice pops, and cheese.
WHAT’S THE HEALTH CLAIM?
“Kefir is a good source of protein, minerals, B vitamins, and calcium,” says Rachel Bratek, RD, LD, at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. “One cup of kefir contains almost the same amount of calcium as one cup of milk.” Kefir also offers gut-cleaning bacteria and yeasts that yoghurt does not contain. “Individuals with lactose intolerance may want to try this product because the yeast and bacteria within this food item degrade most lactose in the kefir, making it more easily digested. Just know that effects will vary for different individuals.”
Depending on the style, prices vary from `245 to `395 for a 500 ml to 1000 ml bottle of kefir. www.keehfur.com
As with any dairy product, kefir is a great source of calcium and protein. Be sure to check the label, however, to make sure the carb count works in your meal plan and stick to a 1⁄2-cup serving of liquid kefir or a single ice pop. “Based on preliminary research, kefir could aid in digestion and decrease actose digestive problems, such as gas and bloating,” Bratek says. “Just be sure to read the label. Some products contain a lot of added sugars—typically the kefir products that are flavoured. If you want to try kefir, opt for a variety that contains less added sugars.”
Adding avocado to a healthful meal may lower postmeal insulin rises, according to a study conducted at Loma Linda University in California. Researchers found that avocados may help with satiety and reduce the desire to eat more in people who are overweight. Avocado was found to increase satiety for the three hours following a meal by 26 percent, and the desire to eat decreased by 40 percent. Increased satiety is likely due to avocados’ high fiber content (each half contains 7 grams) and high fat content.