To be honest, if it weren’t for dietetics, I would still probably have no idea what kefir is. I have heard of it plenty of times and read about it but it wasn’t something I tried personally until now.
I found this at Aldi for $2.50 but I have also seen it at meijer. However, at meijer, it is $3.50.
Flavor wise, I really liked the mango flavor. There are other flavors if mango isn’t your fruit of choice. At Aldi I also saw a berry flavored one and At meijer they had plain, strawberry, and I believe a blueberry flavor. I also heard that a new flavor is coming out, coconut! I would definitely love to try that one once it makes an appearance in stores. The most interesting thing I noticed was the strong yogurt flavor. So if you don’t like yogurt, you may want to skip trying this.
The really cool thing about kefir is that it can be enjoyed by people who suffer from lactose intolerance. Kefir is made by adding lactobacillus acidophilus and other bacteria that break down lactose to glucose and galactose. This creates a fermented milk product that is both sweet and lactose free. Because the bacteria in kefir digest lactose for their own use, thereby reducing the lactose content, people with lactose intolerance can enjoy not only kefir but also products like it, like yogurt.
Kefir vs Yogurt
A friend commented on this post asking what the point of buying kefir is when you have products like yogurt, which are also fermented and contain bacteria. I thought this a very good question and decided to add that info to the post because I’m sure there are other people wondering the same thing.
The biggest difference is the type of bacteria these two products contain. Kefir contains several strains of “friendly” bacteria that are typically not found in yogurt. Not only does it contain different strains of bacteria, but the bacteria found in kefir are also more beneficial. I’m not saying that the bacteria in yogurt aren’t beneficial, they just aren’t AS beneficial as the bacterial strains in kefir.
The bacteria that is found in yogurt help keep the digestive tract clean as well as provide food for the bacteria that live there so they can continue to thrive. The bacteria in kefir, on the other hand, help digest the food that you eat as well as help remove pathogenic yeast that reside in the body. In addition, the bacterial strains in kefir also help the body resist harmful pathogens like ecoli and intestinal parasites.
Another difference between the two is the size of the curd. The curd in yogurt is a bit bigger than the curd in kefir so kefir is also a bit easier for the body to digest.
Amp up your probiotic intake
Another important aspect I want to cover quickly is the importance of probiotics, which are found in fermented products like kefir and yogurt. Probiotics are not necessarily needed for a healthy diet but they can help with digestion as well as fight off infectious diseases by competing with the pathogens for food, nutrients, and survival. It is also believed that probiotics can help prevent many diseases and conditions such as:
- Ameliorate vaginal (bacterial and yeast), urinary tract and bladder infections
- Ameliorate inflammatory intestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Ameliorate food allergies and inflammatory, allergic conditions like asthma and eczema
- Reduce several risk factors for cardiovascular disease
- Reduce several risk factors for intestinal cancers
- Reduce the duration of gastroenteritis and rotavirus-induced diarrhea in infants
- Reduce the rate of childhood respiratory infections
- Ameliorate microbe-induced traveler’s diarrhea
- Help prevent tooth decay
However, more research is needed in these areas so do not think of probiotics as a cure for anything. Just think of them as happy little bacteria that can help your body, which essentially is true (well, I don’t know if they’re happy but let’s just pretend they are).
In addition, you may have also heard of prebiotics. Prebiotics are basically nondigestable carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics. When probiotics are combined with prebiotics, they form a synbiotic. Basically, this means that the prebiotic and probiotic work together to improve the flora in the intestinal tract. Some foods, like yogurt and kefir, are considered synbiotic in themselves because they contain both the food that probiotics need to thrive as well as the live bacteria (probiotics).
As mentioned above, probiotics are found in foods like yogurt and kefir whereas prebiotics are found in foods like whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, honey, and artichokes. Both of these can also be found in supplemental form as well.
Again, pre and probiotics are not required for a healthy diet. The bacteria that already reside in your intestine do a pretty good job at keeping your intestinal tract healthy as well. But sometimes we get a little “irregular” and it can be helpful to consume foods that contain pre and probiotics to help get yourself back on track.
I really liked this product. Since I don’t drink milk (can’t stand the taste), I would definitely consider this a great alternative. I do drink soy milk or almond milk every once in awhile but i am glad i found kefir as another great milk alternative.
- milk…scratch that -> Calcium does a body good (f00dventures.wordpress.com)