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Health Benefits of Homemade Kefir

5 years ago I was diagnosed with PKD both my liver and kidneys are covered in large cysts, it's a genetic condition and there is no cure. I do everything I can to keep healthy and kefir is my new daily dose of goodness!

The name kefir comes from the Turkish word “keyif,” which refers to the “good feeling” a person gets after drinking it.

The drink is a combination of milk and kefir grains and contains live bacteria and yeast.

Nutritionists and healthcare professionals suggest that regularly drinking kefir may improve health in 2 - 4 weeks. Having a few health issues of my own try and do what I can to keep myself healthy.

The health benefits

The several health benefits of kefir include improving heart, gut, kidney, liver, and skin health. In 2017 Dr. Michael Moseley performed the first NHS human trials with kefir on the BBC 2 television show ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor,’. The study involved 30 volunteers, split into three groups, who drank either a probiotic drink or a fermented drink or ate a prebiotic diet. Measured across four weeks, the study revealed that kefir was the most powerful of all probiotic foods available today for gut health.

I drink kefir as it is really good for the kidneys and the liver. The antioxidants present in kefir can reduce oxidative stress to the kidneys. Also, the probiotics in kefir can help filter out the toxic waste in our bodies. As a result, this reduces the load on the kidneys and keeps them healthy.

Store Bought Kefir vs Homemade Kefir

Whilst the bought kefir is an easy option buying it every day is costly, plus it's not great for the environment as it is mostly packaged in plastic bottles. The real kefir that you make at home is healthier than the one you might buy at the supermarket.

Milk kefir in its natural state is not designed to be a sweet and delicious drink: it is tangy, sour, and thickened, more like yoghurt than milk. It should not be pasteurised or adulterated in any way by heat, light, or freezing.

Some shop-bought ones have added carbonated water to give you that extra fizz, however homemade is more cultured and better for you.

Homemade kefir is simple and cheap to make because it only requires two key ingredients and minimal equipment.

I would suggest using organic fresh kefir grains

To make your own kefir from home you will need.

  • Whole Milk, Cow’s Milk, or Goat Milk

  • Kefir Grains

  • A wide-mouth jar

  • Cloth for a lid and a rubber band

  • A non-mental strainer or fine sieve

  • Wooden spoon

How to use kefir

People can use kefir in the same way as milk and pouring yogurt. Try:

  • drinking chilled in a glass

  • pouring on cereal, oats, or muesli

  • adding to smoothies

  • eating with fruit

If you want to maintain your own colony of kefir grains then you need to either buy some organic grains or make friends with someone who has grains. I was really lucky as my sister had cultured enough to share with me and now I'm sharing mine with friends and family! There is something joyful about growing a live product in your kitchen and I love having little jars of science in my fridge, however, it's important to remember that this is a live product, and storing it correctly is important. You can watch how to make it and store it on this link.

If you go away you can leave your grains for up to 4 weeks in the fridge, just strain them and leave them in a sealed plastic pot.

I recommend experimenting with it, happy kefir keeps multiplying which means you will be able to share yours too! However, if you want the real deal, I would definitely make your own.

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