Superfoods have been taking the world by storm over the past few years. The emergence of unheard seeds, grains, and oils, are today becoming an ‘essential’ part of many Indians diet.
Kefir is one such superfood, which has been around for over 2,500 years and has only recently gained global popularity. To put it simply, an average bottle of Kefir is about 6-8x more impactful than regular yogurt. This can be attributed to a high number of probiotic bacteria that are present in Kefir due to the unique fermentation process.
How is it fermented?
The process of fermenting milk to produce Kefir provides probiotics – the healthy kind of bacteria that your gut needs. This involves adding Kefir grains to regular cow or goats milk. These grains are not like cereal or wheat grains but are more like little colonies of bacteria and yeast that resemble a cauliflower in appearance.
The grains are then left in the milk for approximately 24 – 48 hours, where they multiply and ferment the sugars that are naturally present – this process is effectively turning the milk’s lactose into lactic acid making it a suitable option for those who are lactose intolerant.
The grains are then removed from the liquid leaving you with a drink that contains approximately 30 – 40 strains of probiotic bacteria. Some bacteria that are commonly found in Kefir include Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Pseudomonas, Streptococcus name a few (results may vary basis the batch of Kefir that is being produced).
What are the benefits?
The probiotics found in Kefir help provide a healthy gut and therefore a healthy body. In addition to the high probiotic content, Milk Kefir is a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron & Calcium and has numerous health benefits like Improved immunity Supporting a healthy gut Facilitating regular bowel movements Improved skin condition Lowered blood pressure Weight management Reducing inflammation Reducing the risk of allergies. The probiotic content within Kefir has also been proven to be beneficial with those diagnosed with Diabetes
Kefir and Diabetes
Diabetes is, unfortunately, a global phenomenon that’s become increasingly hard to escape. Since Kefir is beneficial to the body’s physiology and promotes good gut microbes, it is often associated with helping those who suffer from Diabetes.
When it comes to managing diabetes, Kefir is known to have a low to moderate glycemic index, which helps control blood sugars. One of the key elements of the fermentation process mentioned above is the lactose in milk is turned into lactic acid – this is known to lower the pH of the blood. This acidity also favors glucose entry into the cells from the blood.
What to look out for?
While drinking the pure and natural form of Kefir is known to be safe to diabetics, remember to read the nutritional label before stocking up. Some flavors are known to have some added sugar so remember to opt for the natural or sugar-free variants of Kefir if you suffer from Diabetes.
Try before you buy: Remember to try small quantities in the beginning before moving to the average 180ml bottle. Consult with your doctor before buying the product in bulk.