Kefir is a dairy drink that contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and a variety of probiotic organisms (similar to those found in yogurt) that live symbiotically in our bodies and create a huge health benefit. From The Hormone Secret: Discover Effortless Weight Loss and Renewed Energy in Just 30 Days.
Probiotics help our immune system as well as prevent and treat constipation and diarrhea. At Children’s Hospital here in Seattle, we give probiotics to children who have eczema, because it helps with immunity issues and treats diarrhea. Did you know that your gut also creates one-third of the brain chemicals that affect brain function? We often say, “I have a gut feeling” about something. It’s because we do. The gut literally makes neurotransmitters for the brain. If your gut isn’t healthy, you’re not going to think well. Studies also show that kefir has antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, stress, cortisol, hormone imbalance, and lack of sleep cause the body to become more acidic, and an acidic environment kills probiotics.
Drinking kefir is a way to restore and replenish a population of these organisms. Kefir is derived from the Turkish word keif, which translates to the phrase “good feeling.” Cultures around the world have attributed healing powers to it. The fermented-milk product originated centuries ago in the Caucasus and is made from the milk of cows, goats, or sheep. It’s slightly sour due to the activity of the symbiotic bacteria and tastes like a yogurt drink. The nice thing is that kefir, which contains a host of beneficial microbes, has been touted as one of the most potent probiotic foods available.
We need vitamin K, which is lacking in the American diet, to build bone. Vitamin K is a product of the bacterial fermentation in our gut. It’s found in dark-green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, thyme, romaine lettuce, sage, oregano, cabbage, celery, sea vegetables, cucumbers, and leeks, as well as in cauliflower, tomatoes, and blueberries.
Because there is only a small amount of vitamin K in the foods that contain it, it’s very hard to get enough of it without taking a supplement. But we believe kefir may be a good source of K, which is very important for women who are entering hormone-deficiency stages. Kefir is also high in calcium and phosphorus.