Saturday, 7 December 2013

kefir, magic elixir, champagne of raw dairy

Kefir is an incredible magic food which comes into being through the symbiotic activities of three living groups: humans, grazing animals and beneficial micro-organisms. The culture which, with human help, transforms animal milks into a supremely nourishing drink is actually a mixture of numerous kinds of friendly bacteria and yeasts. Our bodies are really a whole ecosystem and ideally our digestive tracts contain ten times more friendly micro-organisms than we have cells in our bodies; these support a healthy immune system and brain function. Kefir is the most powerfully probiotic food or supplement that we know of. It actively repopulates the gut, laying down a healthy mucus layer that micro-flora can flourish in, supporting the digestive and immune system.

The kefir culture itself is potentially immortal – if properly looked after and fed with milk, it can live indefinitely. The liquid kefir that it makes is a preserved living food and can keep for months. The particular nutritive properties of kefir are numerous. The culture rebalances the amino acids in animal milk making them more suitable for humans. In particular it increases the amount of tryptophan which is the raw material from which serotonin, the well-being biochemical, is made. Tryptophan tends to be lacking in modern diets as it is easily damaged by cooking. Kefir contains ample amounts of B vitamins including B12. Acetylcholine in it improves sleep and is good for memory, intelligence, learning, enthusiasm and general mood. It contains lecithin which helps in the assimilation of fats. It contains 'right-rotating' lactic acid (as opposed to 'left-rotating' lactic acid found in other yoghurts) which revives cells.

One of the great aspects of kefir is that it allows us to take advantage or the nutrition in dairy milk, for example the fat soluble vitamins A (retinol), D and K2 whilst avoiding some of the potential allergenic problems of dairy products. The culture breaks down the lactose into lactic acid and the casein into beneficial peptides.

Added to all this, kefir has an unusual, delicious and acquired taste. When bottled,  it undergoes a secondary fermentation and becomes slightly fizzy - the 'champagne of raw dairy'. 

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