I bought some kefir grains two days ago from a lady in The Big City, and I made my first batch of kefir. Here's what I did:
- Bring kefir grains home.
- Put them in a glass quart jar (I used a pickle jar that I had thoroughly washed out with filtered water).
- Fill the jar with whole milk.
- Let the jar sit on the counter for 24 hours.
- Strain the fermented result into another jar, put the kefir grains back into the first jar, and fill with milk again.
- Drink the first batch of kefir while a new batch is brewing.
I basically filled a jar with milk and kefir grains and let it sit for a day before drinking the results. So easy. No reason to feel so pleased with myself, right? It's not like I did much.
And, yet, I am pleased with myself. Making and drinking kefir is one step closer to gut health.
Here are the facts:
- While yogurt contains 2 -- 7 types of live cultures that help heal the gut, kefir contains 10 -- 30 (or more).
- Kefir contains 100% mesophilic strains, which culture at room temperature. Yogurt contains mostly thermophilic strains, which require heat to culture.
- Kefir cultures eat the lactose in dairy milk. When the kefir is fully fermented, even people with lactose intolerance are able to stomach dairy kefir because all the lactose has been consumed, making the result very digestible.
- Kefir grains are hard to kill. As long as you feed them and don't expose them to extremes in temperature, they'll thrive. The best way to feed them is to keep making kefir. You can even store them in the fridge when you don't want to make kefir so the grains will go dormant but won't die (just feed them a little new milk once a week).
- Kefir grains multiply. Your initial supply will grow so you can make larger quantities of kefir or give some of the grains away to friends and family.
- You can also use nut milks or coconut milk to make kefir, though you'll need to make dairy kefir every two or three ferments to fully feed the grains (they need the lactose).
- Making kefir is so easy you'll wonder why you never tried it before.
- Kefir grains contain no actual grain and are naturally gluten-free. They kind of look like blobs of tapioca pudding.
- The beneficial bacteria cultures in kefir stick to the lining of the alimentary canal (your digestive system) and help heal leaky gut syndrome and repair the gut lining. Yogurt cultures also help heal the gut lining, but they only stay in the system for about a day.
Why Drink Kefir?
Kefir cultures produce the kind of beneficial bacteria and yeast that your gut needs to be healthy. A healthy gut is able to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat and correctly distribute those nutrients to the rest of your body. The more diverse your microbiome is (the microbiome is the ~3 1/2-pound collection of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that live in your gut), the healthier your gut will be. The healthier your gut is, the healthier you will be overall. You'll be able to absorb nutrients for energy, all your body processes will be working at optimal levels, and you'll even think more clearly and feel more optimistic.
Think of your gut lining as a shag carpet. The pile of the carpet is the villi, little fingers that increase the surface area of your gut lining. When the balance of beneficial bacteria and yeast in your gut gets upset, flora like candida yeast begin to flourish. The pile of the shag carpet gets cut down, and the backing of the carpet begins to crack, allowing small bits of improperly digested food to get into the bloodstream. These particles of food alert your immune system, which rushes to deal with the intruders. This immune response causes inflammation in the body, and that's a good when it is needed to heal a wound on a temporary basis; but constant inflammation from an immune system always on high alert causes a grocery list of chronic and serious illnesses. The doctor who wrote Gut and Psychology Syndrome blames leaky gut for everything from asthma to schizophrenia.
When your gut flora is imbalanced, the thugs of the bacterial and yeast world take over. They make you crave sugar and processed foods because that's what the thugs need to survive and thrive. They also make you feel tired and depressed.
A healthy gut, on the other hand, loves healthy foods like plants. When your gut is healthy, the ruling culture is one of calmness and happy productivity. The thugs are held in check and are forced to be good citizens.
Kefir alone won't heal a leaky gut and reduce body inflammation--especially if you haven't changed your bad eating habits--but it's one great weapon in the battle to a healthy microbiome. It packs a powerful probiotic punch. If you're drinking kefir while eating a diet very high in vegetables (raw and cooked), fruits, and some quality protein from meat sources, and with little to no processed foods or junk foods, you'll be able to heal the gut and keep it healthy.
This is long enough, so I'll stop. I'm just so happy that something so healthful is so simple and easy to make and produces so many good results.
If you want to learn how to make kefir, this is where I bought my kefir grains and learned the simple process of making kefir. Just do a search on making kefir, and you'll find plenty of resources.