Kefir is a fermented milk drink, similar in flavor, but superior in content to yogurt (and thinner, so it's drinkable). Kefir is loaded with probiotics (beneficial bacteria), which colonize a healthy gut. Also, kefir contains a good strain of yeast that helps to remove the bad yeasts – good news for those who have Candida (that’s most of us, actually).
Did you know that the majority of your immune system is in your gut? It is an easy statement then, that a kefir beverage supports immunity (like crazy!!)
If you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll like that kefir eats the dairy lactose in the fermenting process, essentially gobbling it up. By the time it’s kefir, the lactose is gone – people who are generally lactose intolerant have no issue with kefir and can still enjoy all the “cultural” benefits. Side note: my previous post on Dairy suggests that those with lactose intolerance may also enjoy RAW dairy products without issue, due their enzymatic activity.
If you’re Vegan or simply do not consume dairy products at all, you can still enjoy the health benefits of kefir in other forms, such as young coconut water kefir or fruit juice kefir, however, the grains used in fermentation are different from those used in dairy kefir and the resulting product has fewer (roughly half) the bacterial strains.
It’s easy to make your own and worthwhile because the store bought versions are a. much more expensive and b. have only about 20% of the bacterial strains that homemade can have – provided you are using grains vs. powder as your starter.
If you are new to the benefits of fermented foods, they are worth your investigation for the immense health benefits they provide. Kefir is just the beginning!
Check out these resources:
Chef’s note: You are right – I have previously suggested avoiding most, if not all consumption of animal based proteins, including dairy. If you find this "difficult to swallow" Kefir, especially from RAW dairy, if available in your area, is a healthier option to retain in your diet, due to the multitude of digestive and immune benefits it offers.