Kefir is a symbiotic culture of bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms popularly used in modern gastronomy to obtain a delicious fermented drink. The base of the drink can be milk, coconut water or exclusively water, from where it prevents the drink of water kefir, with multiple benefits for health.
What is kefir?
Kefir are grains made up of different bacteria, mainly from the Lactobacillus group, as well as other microorganisms rich in lipids, sugars, vitamins, proteins and minerals. In a natural way, these grains generate fermentation and from there the kefir originates. Its name comes from Turkish, translated into Spanish as “blessing” and since ancient times, kefir has been used in Asia and the Middle East for its healing properties.
The microorganisms inside the kefir
Within kefir, 20 families of microorganisms have been found, the most relevant being:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus helveticus
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens
- Lactobacillus paracasei
Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens is responsible for producing Kefiran, an important component for the fermentation process and the resistance of kefir towards stomach acids. In addition to the many probiotics that are made up of it, kefir also contains certain yeasts such as:
- Candida Kefyr
- Saccharomyces unisporus
These yeasts collaborate in the synthesis of any lactobacillus, which later will make possible the digestion of lactose in the body.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live naturally in our digestive system, with the basic function of absorbing nutrients and stimulating the intestinal flora. In addition, they protect us against external malignant agents that threaten the immune system, since a good part of its cells is found in the digestive tract.
To maintain body well-being and prevent intestinal discomfort, a balanced diet accompanied by the consumption of probiotics is usually recommended. That is why water kefir is a healthy and beneficial option for the body.
Properties of water kefir
In addition to the numerous beneficial bacteria contained in kefir, this fermented drink has stimulating properties for the intestinal flora and regulates the amount of microorganisms that are located in the digestive tract. In addition, water kefir reduces the lactose content, allowing lactic acid to be synthesized when it comes into contact with our body and intolerance is less.
As a drink, it has a more subtle flavor compared to its companion, milk kefir. In its preparation, there is a tendency to add fruit juice or sugars to make the taste more pleasant. One of the reasons why water kefir has been gaining popularity in recent years is its easy preparation at home.
In addition, the fermented kefir drink represents a healthy alternative if you want to ingest liquids low in sugar, replacing chemically processed soft drinks.
Benefits of water kefir for health
Intestinal flora stimulator par excellence
Due to the amount of microorganisms it contains, ingesting water kefir quickly stimulates healthy bacteria in the digestive system and regulates the activities of the intestinal flora in case of failure.
Provides minerals to the body as a healthy isotonic drink.
Immune system enhancer
It stimulates the cells that are in the immune system so that they work correctly in case of a loss of defenses.
It is a natural antibiotic
Within the composition of water kefir are different acids capable of eliminating any pathogen that threatens the body’s well-being.
Among the different properties of water kefir, being a natural anti-inflammatory makes it a home option to treat burns and restore dead cells.
Helps relieve allergies
The presence of asthma and some allergies are caused by inflammatory problems. Kefir naturally helps inflamed cells in the lungs and airways, which is why taking it contributes significantly to counteracting respiratory problems. Its consumption is beneficial because the microorganisms present in this probiotic directly attack the malignant entities that weaken the immune system, and therefore, reduce the outbreaks of allergies.
Relieves skin problems
For acne problems, constant rashes, psoriasis, eczema, among other skin conditions, they recommend including water kefir in the routine so that the bacteria that compose it attack harmful cells and restore balance in the immune system. In addition, the presence of the kerifan provided by the fermented drink improves the healing process in the skin and creates a protective layer on the affected tissue.
How to take advantage of the benefits of water kefir?
To maintain body well-being, it is advisable to include water kefir in the diet on a regular basis. There are a number of ways to take advantage of the properties and benefits of liquid kefir, from adding it to morning smoothies or pairing it with oatmeal for breakfast to turning it into a salad dressing.
Of course, this is not as creamy as milk, so it is not recommended to use it as a substitute for dairy products in culinary recipes. If you want to drink a daily glass of water kefir alone, you can add lemon, mint and cucumber to enhance its properties.
Some considerations with kefir
All types of kefir, whether in grains, milk, coconut or water, it is advisable to keep it refrigerated in glass containers. Avoid plastic containers as much as possible, as they tend to release toxins that, in combination with the acidic microorganisms in the fermented drink, can damage it.
Water kefir can be found in organic product stores, but it is also possible to prepare it at home and thus ensure that all the care is taken so that the drink is at its best in flavor and healthy properties.