Kefir is a unique cultured dairy product that is one of the most healing foods on the planet. Containing healthy strains of friendly bacteria, such as lactobacilli. It has incredible medicinal benefits for healing issues like leaky gut, IBS and Crohn's disease.
Its unique name comes from the Turkish work “keif”, which means “good feeling”. For centuries, it has been used in European and Ayurveda medicine due to the wide variety of conditions it has been known to cure.
Kefir is a drink that cools and soothes as it refreshes which makes it ideal for those heated Pittas. It has a sour taste and is easily digestible even for Vatas who tend towards a finicky digestion. Kefir can aggravate sluggish Kapha though, so see below variations on how to add warming spices like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, or cardamom for Kaphas. There are also variations for Vata and PItta.
So, whats so great about kefir? It is good for gut health and regenerates intestinal flora, especially good for Vatas. It cools and cleanses the intestines making it an excellent Pitta choice and is a natural probiotic. Loaded with minerals and vitamins - kefir plays a huge role in well-being. It has a grounding and stabilizing effect on the mind and helps in strengthening immunity by increasing your digestive fire (metabolism).
Kefir is one of the highest probiotic foods you can eat with several important probiotic strains. And homemade kefir far outranks any store-bought variety.
Consumption of fermented foods has been shown to kill several different types of cancerous tumors in animal studies. The Journal of Dairy Science, for example, published a study that evaluated the immune cells in mice and discovered that regular kefir consumption helps stop breast cancer growth. Kefir also helps with detoxification. Studies have shown that drinking kefir regularly can help kill toxins and fungus's.
Next time you get an infection - try kefir instead of an antibiotic. According to the University of Cork who compared Lactobacillus probiotic preparations, and conventional antibiotics. They found that in all their animal studies - a positive effect was seen and the animals were protected against infection by taking the probiotic. In fact, the researchers discovered that probiotics worked as well as or even better than antibiotic therapy in not only eliminating the infectious agent, but in resolving symptoms.
Kefir is also an effective natural treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. A study published in a Canadian medical journal found that probiotic rich foods, including yogurt and kefir, can help heal IBS and reduce bowel inflammation.
A 2014 study published in the journal of Osteoporosis International found that consuming kefir benefits bone density and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The researchers found kefir works by increasing the absorption of bone building minerals of calcium and magnesium. The probiotics in kefir improve nutrient absorption of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2.
Coconut Kefir Breakfast
Prep time: 10 minutes. 1 serving
- 1 cup creamy coconut kefir (see below)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries, strawberries, or chopped mango
- 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds, hempseeds or raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon frozen apple juice concentrate or brown rice syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom or ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh miny leaves.
Mix all the ingredients in a serving bowl and enjoy!
Creamy Coconut Kefir
- 3 young coconuts
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 packet kefir starter kit
To make the coconut cream, place one coconut on its side. Use a sharp knife to scrape and shave down the pointy tip of the coconut to reveal the brownish, inner shell. Cut the top off the coconut by tapping around the circumference of the exposed inner shell with the square corner of the knife, creating a lid that comes right off.
Pour the coconut juice into a blender. Use a spoon to scrape out the coconut meat and put it in the blender. Repeat wit the two remaining coconuts.
Put the almonds, cashews, cinnamon, and cardamom in the blender with the coconut. Process on high speed until creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the blender jar.
Pour the coconut mixture into a large saucepan. Cook over low heat till its about body temperature. Do not boil! Remove from the heat. Stir in the kefir starter. Pour the mixture back into the blender. Process until creamy. Pour the kefir into large, glass jars. Refrigerate for 3-5 days, or until the mixture becomes thick and sour, like yogurt. You can store this for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
For Vatas: Garnish each serving with 1/2 cup soaked prunes or raisins and 1/8 teaspoon cardamom.
For Pittas: Add 1/4 cup chopped medjool dates or figs.
For Kaphas: Blend with 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
If you would like more healing meals, take a look at my recipe subscription program which gives you five meals a week that is based upon your metabolic type (your dosha) and is correct for the season.
Good health starts with good digestion!