Regular consumption of kefir modifies intestinal bacterial flora, promoting the growth of beneficial bacterial strains such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and at the same time is able to reduce the presence of species harmful to health, such as Clostridium Perfingens.
Kefir has antibacterial and antifungal properties, demonstrated in several in vitro models. In particular it seems to be able to help solve Clostridium Difficile infections. In vitro and animal studies have also shown potential anti-tumor and pro-apoptotic activities (i.e. to promote the death of cancer cells).
Several studies on animal models have demonstrated the kefir’s ability to reduce plasma levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, especially in animals on a high-fat diet. These results have not yet been sufficiently demonstrated in humans. One of the most important effects of microorganisms present in kefir is to have immunomodulatory activity, that is, stimulation of the immune system and reduction of intestinal inflammation. Kefir appears to have anti-allergenic and wound healing stimulation properties.
Kefir may cause side effects in some people with confirmed intestinal problems such as bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), Chron’s disease or very frequent intestinal transit. In this case prefer commercial lactic ferments with a known composition.
Always pay attention to the color of our kefir and the shape of our granules: if we notice a brownish color or granules take on unusual shapes and struggle to grow, it is likely to be contaminated: throw it right away!
To start producing kefir at our home and enjoy its benefits, two ingredients are enough: Kefir granules sold at the pharmacy or from friends who already own them, Milk. Two simple tools will then be needed: a glass container with a lid, and a strainer, better if plastic. To grow our granules we go to the following steps: In a glass container put 10g of granules and 100 ml of milk.
We can vary this proportion later depending on the degree of acidity and texture we want to give to our kefir. Close the lid, not completely, otherwise the granules will not be able to breathe! Let ferment for 16-48 h at room temperature. The fermentation time is variable: if we like the sour taste, leave the kefir longer.
Filter the kefir into a plastic strainer and collect the fermented milk in a glass. We can consume kefir immediately, use it in a smoothie or store it in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reuse the granules to prepare a new kefir.
If we want to stop production for a few days, we simply transfer the container with granules and milk to the fridge. When we want to resume using kefir, start from the beginning.
If we want to stop production for a long time, transfer the granules into a container with lid, cover them with milk and put them in the freezer with the container open. When it’s frozen, close the lid and store the granules as long as we want! They will resume lush growth as soon as production starts again.
Occasional consumption is not enough to take advantage of the beneficial properties of kefir or other probiotics. If we suffer from intestinal disorders, such as swelling or constipation, and decide to take care of our intestines, we should consume them for at least 2 weeks!
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