The Health Benefits of Kefir Milk are M-A-N-Y
Before I get to the many health benefits of kefir (specifically kefir milk since that’s what I have the most experience with), I’ll briefly share my own digestive “issues.” Not to brag, mind you, but rather to allow you to see if you recognize your own experiences in mine.
If kefir milk has provided relief for me, there’s every reason to believe it’ll do the same for you.
My Digestive Problems
First of all, I believe my digestive problems all stem from a gluten intolerance that went undiagnosed for years. And I do mean YEARS. Like most people who are gluten intolerant, have wheat/gluten allergies, or are celiac, the symptoms we experience (especially early on) are simply too easy to blame on a million and one other things.
- seasonal allergies
- “nervous stomach”
Only recently are people beginning to realize that food intolerances are the first place they should look – not the last.
Unfortunately, like millions of other people, by the time I realized that, essentially, I was poisoning my body, the damage had been done. My oldest daughter, Emily, is in the same boat I am. I’m just grateful that she didn’t “poison” her body for the number of years I did mine. Even still, she, too, has many digestive issues now that she could have avoided if we’d only knew what we didn’t know!
Basically, the damage has forced us to look at each bite and each drink we take with extreme caution. Things most people take for granted – like sitting down and enjoying a great meal – can never be taken for granted when it could mean pain, a life-threatening allergic reaction, or two weeks of what feels like a wicked bout of intestinal flu.
Emily has undergone tests and scopes in efforts to diagnose just how much damage has been done. She’s much braver than her mother, which is why I just typed, “Emily has undergone tests and scopes…” rather than “we have..”
I’m a chicken – there I said it.
They found that, in addition to chronic “silent reflux,” (don’t let the name fool you, silent doesn’t mean painless – it may actually be the worst named condition of all time) she now has Barrett’s Esophagus (a serious complication of GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease). About 10% of people with GERD develop Barrett’s esophagus. Left untreated, it can lead to cancer of the esophagus.
My own GERD/acid reflux is not “silent.” He’s many things but silent he is not.
Both Emily and I have to make certain not to eat anything for at least two hours before bedtime. Eating anything within that time frame will lead to food coming up into our mouths while we’re sleeping – causing choking, vomiting, burning, pain, and… well… a heckuva miserable night.
In addition to GERD, I have a hiatal hernia – which, if we’re being honest, here – is my least favorite thing in the world. Many individuals who have hiatal hernias never even know they have them.
Why can’t anything I have ever be silent?
On top of these lovelies, because I’m gluten intolerant, if I come in contact with so much as a crumb of bread, my stomach makes life miserable for me. Fortunately, I’ve become an expert at detecting gluten and that seldom happens anymore.
However, because of the other issues and the damage that has been done, my digestive track doesn’t exactly work on all cylinders. I have to eat much more slowly than most people and, when it comes to digesting what I’ve eaten, my body is the human equivalent of a sloth. I’ve found, however, that Papaya digestive enzymes are a Godsend. They are amazing and if you have any digestive problems, I highly recommend Papaya Enzymes.
Health Benefits of Kefir Milk
Okay, now on to what’s really important – how Kefir milk can help you, whether you recognize your symptoms in the ones mentioned above or not.
Almost weekly, people are discovering new benefits of kefir. As more and more of us drink it daily, we find different reasons to love it. A quick Google search for “Health Benefits of Kefir” will blow your mind. I recently read that many women, as soon as they feel a yeast infection coming on, will drink kefir milk.
The infection goes away immediately – without the use of any medications.
I’ve also read that a lot of people who normally suffer from insomnia have found an evening glass of kefir milk to be the answer they’ve been looking for.
Health Benefits of Kefir:
- As I said above in my riveting digestive health confessional, eating late at night (due to GERD) is a surefire path to agony for me. However, I’ve found that if I drink a glass of kefir milk at bedtime, I don’t have any reflux whatsoever. NONE. It’s as though the kefir milk stands guard between my stomach and my esophagus and flat out refuses to let any torch carrying demons pass. Is there any wonder I love kefir milk so much?
- Kefir is a more powerful probiotic than yogurt. Research suggests kefir has three times more probiotics than yogurt. Probiotics help protect and strengthen the immune system and help keep harmful bacteria out. Probiotics have many digestive benefits as well.
- Kefir has powerful antibacterial properties.
- Kefir is a great way to get more protein – making it ideal for vegetarians or anyone who follows a restrictive diet.
- Kefir helps protect your bones and lowers your risk of osteoporosis.
- Kefir improves lactose intolerance. People with lactose intolerance can drink kefir milk without issue.
- Researchers believe that kefir is actually protective against cancer.
- Kefir is a good source of several B Vitamins.
- Kefir may improve symptoms from allergies and asthma.
- I experienced something with kefir milk that a lot of people have raved about – it improves your quality of sleep. Many people, after they begin drinking kefir regularly, report sleeping deeper, waking less often, and waking up feeling more rested than before.
How to Get Kefir Milk
I make my own kefir milk, but you can find great kefir milk in your grocery store’s dairy section. Before I got my own kefir grains and began making my own, we drank Lifeway Kefir. We actually still buy it to enjoy the different flavors.
Some members of my family like to mix the homemade kefir milk with Lifeway’s flavored kefir milk to jazz things up. Their Blueberry and Strawberry Kefir Milk are both fantastic.
I’ll often blend my homemade kefir with a little of Lifeway’s flavored kefir for a great smoothie. The combination of Lifeway’s Strawberry Kefir Milk, my homemade kefir milk, and a banana makes a delicious smoothie.
Making your own kefir milk is something I highly recommend if you have the time and can commit to the daily process. It takes only about 5 minutes each day, but for people who work outside of the home, an extra 5 minutes can seem like 30 minutes to the rest of us.
Personally, I “feed” my kefir grains and make my kefir milk each morning. You can choose the time of day you want to do the process, but I don’t personally recommend the evening. I like getting it done first thing. Plus, then I’ve got the jar of kefir milk to enjoy during the day.
I bought my kefir grains and learned all I know from the Kefir Lady. There are other people online, of course, where you can order your grains, and there are countless videos on YouTube about making kefir milk. However, you just aren’t going to beat the kefir lady.
Besides, she loves goats. How can you not going to trust someone who loves goats?!
How Does Kefir Milk Taste?
Delicious! It seems that kefir milk is one of those things that some people enjoy the flavor of more so than others. It floats my boat – as in totally floats my boat. I think it’s creamy, delicious, and perfect. If you like yogurt, you’re probably going to agree with me.
Here’s what I’d do first, if I were you: Buy a carton of Lifeway Kefir Milk and see how it goes. The strawberry or blueberry are the ones I’d start with.
If you choose to try to make your own kefir milk, it’s something you’re going to enjoy immensely. It’s a fun, even relaxing, daily ritual and produces a delicious drink. I’ve also made kefir cheese (similar to cream cheese) and kefir cream (similar to sour cream – pictured above) with my kefir milk.
I hope you’ll give kefir milk a try – whether you have any digestive issues or not. The taste and health benefits make kefir milk a no-brainer. However, if you DO have GERD, acid reflux, frequent indigestion, or any other digestive issue or ailment, I’m all but begging you to give it a try.
It’s made a huge difference for me and I’d love to see it have a chance to do the same for you.
Read What Others Are Saying About Kefir: