What is kefir?
Kefir, which has been consumed for many years in the North Caucasus for the treatment of diseases, has become popular around the world over the years. Kefir, which is produced in almost all European countries and America today, was produced in packaged form in Turkey for the first time in the 80s. Kefir itself resembles a small cauliflower, consisting of jelly-like spheres, close to white in color, consisting of yeast and bacteria. Kefir is a fermented milk product, which is most often made by fermenting cow, sheep and goat milk with kefir culture. It has a creamy consistency, moderately acidic and slightly sourish aroma. Kefir, which is a good source of phosphorus and biotin, is very rich in vitamins B1, B12 and K2, calcium, magnesium, biotin, folic acid, amino acids. Kefir, which can be consumed by people of all ages, has many positive effects on human health. 21. kefir, also called the yogurt of the century, contains all the nutrients contained in milk, as well as its nutritional value is high thanks to the microorganisms formed by fermentation with kefir culture. As a result of some studies, it has been found that kefir is beneficial for human health due to its antibacterial, immunological, antitumoral and hypocholesterolemic, or in other words, cholesterol-lowering effect. Since it contains bacteria that help digestion, it can be consumed regularly, especially by people who have digestive problems. Kefir, which has a much lower amount of lactose compared to milk, can also be consumed by people with lactose intolerance after consulting a doctor.
What are the benefits of kefir?
The microorganisms in the product obtained by fermenting milk with kefir culture, or in other words, fermenting, produce bioactive substances and enzymes. During the fermentation process performed
microorganisms increase the availability of nutrients by transforming the chemical structure of the raw material. Thus, the resulting product acquires a bioprotective effect. This transformation, which enables the improvement of food safety, also leads to the breakdown of toxic components and ensures the production of antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds. The food, supplemented with bioactive components, turns into a healthier food. Studies have proven the positive effect of fermented milk products with prebiotic and probiotic properties on human health. Kefir, which was used in the past to treat cancer and allergic diseases, especially tuberculosis in Russia, is now known to increase the secretions of the stomach and pancreatic organs. Due to the fact that it is also rich in essential amino acids tryptophan, calcium and magnesium minerals, kefir plays an active role in relaxing the nervous system. Kefir, which is thought to have a relaxing effect on metabolism when consumed daily, has also been shown to have a positive effect on liver and kidney function. It also plays an important role in the regulation of intestinal flora with its dense microorganisms and probiotic properties. In addition to prebyotics, which serve as food for the nutrition of beneficial bacteria that exist in the intestines, probiotics, which provide intestinal flora and a variety of microorganisms, are also very useful for the intestines. According to a limited study, kefir has been found to improve intestinal disorders by 99%, insomnia problems by 60%, depression by 50% and high blood pressure by 30% if consumed regularly for 6 to 9 months. Among the benefits of kefir is considered to be the Decarcerogenic effect. It is believed that due to DNA damage and mutation, some enzymes involved in the formation of cancer cells reduce their activity, increase acidity, increase the production of fatty acids and accelerate cell death, known as apoptosis, preventing the formation of cancer. Kefir, which has also been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in some limited studies, has also been found to have an effect on high cholesterol metabolism in an animal experiment. It was also seen in the same study that the level of HDL, defined as high-density lipoprotein, is not affected by kefir consumption. According to another limited study, kefir has been shown to regulate blood sugar and prevent food allergies. Kefir, which causes the suppression of the IgE and IgG1 response, is thought to have a positive effect on allergic diseases such as asthma and atopic dermatitis, as well as food allergies. As a result of such studies, it has been shown that problems such as blood pressure, digestive system and lactose intolerance also decrease with regular consumption of kefir. In addition to limited studies showing a positive effect on the immune system, it has also been found to have an antibacterial effect against some pathogenic bacteria. Kefir, which contains all the nutrients contained in milk, also contains amino acids and fatty acids necessary for the body. When 1 cup of kefir is consumed per day, 20% of the daily calcium and phosphorus needs, 19% of vitamin B2, 14% of vitamin B12 and 5% of the magnesium needs can be met. In the light of many limited studies conducted, other benefits of kefir are also listed below:
* It is helpful in preventing muscle contractions.
* Prevents arteriosclerosis.
* Effective in relieving chronic fatigue.
* Prevents anemia.
• It has positive effects on skin, nail, eye and dental health.
* Supports the treatment of urinary tract inflammation.
* It is helpful in weight control.
* Increases body resistance.
* Accelerates the healing process.
Some of its known benefits have been demonstrated by limited studies, while another part has only been proven by studies conducted on laboratory animals. As with any food item, excessive consumption of kefir can be harmful. Therefore, a specialist physician should definitely be consulted before consuming kefir for the treatment of diseases. A physician should be consulted before consumption during pregnancy and lactation.
How to make kefir?
Kefir is a fermented milk product that can be made at home, as well as purchased at grocery stores. Kefir made at home must necessarily be stored in a glass container and in the refrigerator. Metal spoons should not be used during the making of kefir, which can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days. The main feature that distinguishes kefir, which contains a small amount of carbon dioxide and alcohol due to its fermentation, from other fermented products is that lactic acid and alcohol fermentation occur simultaneously. Industrially, kefir begins with homogenizing the collected raw milk. After pasteurizing at a temperature of about 95 degrees, it is cooled. after the inoculation process is performed using 2% to 8% yeast, it is left to ferment for about 18 to 24 hours. After packaging, it is ripened for a day under a temperature of 3 to 10 degrees, and then stored at a temperature of 4 degrees. It is sent to markets by cold chain. Like yogurt, kefir is a fermented milk product with probiotic ingredients. Although it is known that it regulates the intestinal flora when consumed regularly, its effects on diseases have not yet been conclusively proven. Therefore, a doctor should be consulted for the treatment of the relevant health problem and information should be obtained from the doctor about the appropriateness of kefir consumption along with the treatment organized by the doctor.