World Famous and Legendary: Kefir

Originating From Caucasians, Kefir Spread From Central Asia To Europe Even To Americas Throughout The Centuries.

Kefir is a dairy drink with extremely vital characteristics in terms of human health. Originating from Caucasians, Kefir spread from Central Asia to Europe even to Americas throughout the centuries. The dairy is known for its “legendary” features. The dairy drink has the exact same name in all countries. If I was asked what Kefir was and what was its core value, I’d say: It is a healthy drink produced by reproduction of certain beneficial micro-organisms (probiotics) in milk, creating lactic acid, carbon dioxide, trace amount of alcohol and aromatic compounds (i.e. fermentation.

Bubbling Joy
Sources provide different explanations concerning the origin of the name Kefir. Dictionary of Turkish Language Society states that etymologically, the name Kefir had been derived from Caucasian languages. Some sources claim that the word was derived from the Turkish word “kef” which means pleasing, exciting or enchanting. Yet another source defines the Kefir as Russian word for “an alcoholic beverage made of fermented milk” and states that the word is derived from Turkish “kopur” (which means effervesce). In the light of all these etymological explanations: kefir gives “joy and pleasure” with its aroma and taste, “exhilarates” health and is an effervescent drink. To sum up, Kefir is the Bubbling Joy! (which could prove to be a befitting motto for it, don’t you think?)

Focus Of Scientists: Kefir
Scientists’ interest on Kefir has been ever increasing. In an electronic database in which scientific articles were published, the number of researches on kefir in the first half of 2019 was close to 200. Since 1996, a total of 2406 studies have been published for kefir. What does this statistical increase mean? What makes kefir so valuable and makes it worth studying with increasing interest?

The health benefits of kefir were first realized when during their researches on the probiotic (beneficial to biological creatures) bacteria in 1920s, Russian scientists discovered that the number of probiotic bacteria in Kefir was 25-30 (whereas yogurt contains only 2 probiotic bacteria). In 1994, Gorski 1994 baptized kefir as “the yogurt of 21st century”. No-doubt, entire health benefits of Kefir cannot be described in a few lines. Entirety of this article should be considered as “highlights” of health benefits of Kefir.

Nature’s Great Gift: Kefir
Friendly organisms contained in the Kefir facilitates our body in its fight against the germs. They either fight such germs themselves, like guardians, or they help our immune system to get rid of them. Drinking Kefir, our body first tastes its flavor but as it moves down our throat, it starts to feel beneficial effects even at the digestive track. There are even findings indicating that kefir heals aphthous ulcers and lesions and helps prevention of dental cavities. Elie Metchnikoff, winner of 1908 Nobel Prize for Medicine, reported that kefir positively activated the saliva and alimentary canal secretions and could be used for treatment of patients with such complaints. Its beneficial effects against long term constipation, antibiotics-related diarrhea, stomach ulcers, colitis and many other digestive track problems have been well-established. There are countless studies on its anti-tumor effect. It has been, and still is being, used as a supportive treatment against tuberculosis, cancer and digestive tract diseases in many regions of the world. Kefir has been included in the treatment of various diseases in the former Soviet Union’s hospitals and sanatoriums, such as metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disorders and allergic problems. Kefir is rich in tryptophan, calcium and magnesium minerals hence plays an important role in easing the nervous system. It is also known to be good for anorexia and insomnia.

How To Wholly Benefit From This Miracle?
One last, actual piece of information is due: in addition to milk-like form, the kefir can be consumed in various other forms such as yogurt-like or cheese-like forms. Fruit-flavored kefirs are already on market shelves and has rapidly become a favorite of the children. Kefir is an excellent salad dressing. It can be added to the pancakes, even to the soups to achieve marvelous tastes. Limon or kiwi-kefir ice-cream is my personal favorite. Kefir can be more than just food: kefir containing cosmetic products are surprisingly effective. Kefir soap, cream or masks are good examples of such use.

So, as readers of all this information, you might well-acquainted with kefir or might not even heard of it before; if so, I’d say you should have a look at it! This article aimed to give some scientific and some actual information about Kefir and believe me when I say that no-amount of letters can sufficiently explain its importance and relevance. We do have valid reasons to praise kefir and I hope you are convinced. Take care!

NOTES

Benefits Of Kefir
It was reported that regular daily consummation of half a liter of kefir ensures metabolic balance and has positive effects on liver, bile, kidney functions and blood circulation. The high rate of orotic acid we take into our body by drinking kefir balances the level of blood cholesterol and relaxes the liver, which is commonly referred as “the factory” of human body. In a study involving 100 people, 9 months of use showed 100% improvement in intestinal disorders, 60-70% in insomnia, 50-80% in nervous depression, and 30-50% in high blood pressure. It is stated that 70% of the consumers of kefir discontinued other medicines. Kefir enables individuals with inability to digest milk sugar to consume milk without feeling intestinal disturbance. Moreover, it presents all of the nutritional components of the milk.

By: Beyza Hatice Ulusoy

*This article was  published in the  July– August issue of Marmara Life. 

 

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