Kefir grains originated in the Caucasus mountains in the 19th century. The grains are a gelatinous SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. The grains are passed down from the original source, as they are not reproducible. There are more beneficial bacteria and yeasts in kefir than in any other fermented food. There is a long list of health benefits including:
- High in enzymes and probiotics.
- Rich in vitamins B1, B6, and folate
- Stimulates mucosal immune response
- Decrease inflammation and allergic response
- Stimulates immune function
- Improved digestibility of foods including fat molecules
- Excellent protein source which is more easily digested than in milk since they are broken down into free form amino acids during fermentation.
- May be good for lactose intolerant individuals due to the lactose in milk is converted to lactic acid during the fermentation process
- Lowers cholesterol
- Benefits in Gastrointestinal (GI) Disease, metabolic disease, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, allergies and malabsorption.
- Prevention of gastrointestinal infections
- Peptic ulcers relief
- Cancer protective & anti-cancer therapeutic
- Inhibits pathogens
- Wound healing when applied to wounds, acts as a topical antibiotic
- Internal antibiotic effects
See the following research article on kefir: