Traditional kefir continues to be a healing food and highly recommended to be combined with your diet for general health and well-being. This cultured milk-beverage was thought to have emerged on the northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains over a millennium ago. The modern age is again seeing kefir on the comeback trail though it sees to have gone out-of-date for a while.
Kefir is remarkably similar to yogurt in terms of nutrient and probiotic content, however, it is less viscous in texture. Found in traditionally made kefir is a naturally fizzy taste resulting from the culturing process, during which natural sugars in milk such as lactose are consumed by fresh yeast strains, thus converted into simpler sugars like galactose and glucose, which are much easier for humans to digest.
Some other beneficial substances that are produced during this fermentation process are amino acids, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and billions of beneficial probiotic bacteria. According to studies, these substances can prevent various chronic illness, such as cancer.
Consuming kefir can help prevent cancer, improve immune function, and heal the gut.
Although science has yet to explain in full detail, extensive research has found that kefir improves general health. It is believed to prevent the development of various cancers by improving the gut microflora through which nutrients are absorbed into the body and this is just one area of major scientific interest.
In many lab experiments on mice, kefiran (a unique polysaccharide produced by the cauliflower-like yeast strains generally referred to as kefir “grains”) showed considerable anti-tumor activity. Aside from this, it was also revealed that that kefiran can stimulate positive immune responses in mice which reduces inflammation.
Kefir is also found to be beneficial for conditions like ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and constipation. Moreover, kefir plays a major role in the area of cancer since many studies show that kefir extracts can target and destroy malignant cancer cells while protecting healthy cells.
A Chinese study in 2007 found that kefir extract demonstrated anti-proliferous effects on human mammary cancer cells and on normal human mammary epithelial cells. Researchers discovered that cancer cells stopped proliferating after 6 days of exposure to kefir.
According to the researchers:
“The present findings suggest that kefir extracts contain constituents that specifically inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells, which might eventually be useful in the prevention or treatment of breast cancer.”
Likewise, a Japanese study discovered that kefir consumption stimulates the body to produce 14 times more interferon-beta, which is a glycoprotein excreted by cells throughout the body to fight viral infections, along with possible cancer cells.
Researchers commented that:
“Kefiran, and in fact kefir grains and kefir are useful as functional food to prevent or control common occurring diseases of the modern age.”