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Best Time To Drink Kefir

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Kefir is a probiotic fermented drink that recently skyrocketed in global popularity. Even though it has been around for centuries, it is now easily available in most grocery stores at a reasonably affordable price!

Kefir has many health benefits. It can improve your bone health, overall immune system, liver and kidney, digestion, and even reduce the effects of cancer.

However, drinking this nutrient-dense beverage at the wrong time could mean you lose out on all of these!

So, what is the best time to drink kefir? You should always drink kefir first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Your body will be able to absorb most of the nutrients more effectively if there aren’t other elements interfering. You can also drink it at night before going to bed, but not all experts are on board with this.

Today, we will look at the biggest benefits of ingesting kefir or kefir products. We will also take a brief look at the nutrient content, when to drink it, and how you should consume it daily.

What Is Kefir?

Everybody has heard of kefir, but not many people actually know what it is. If you’re one of them, prepare to have your life changed!

Kefir, also spelled kephir or kefier, is a fermented milk drink similar to unsweetened drinking yogurt.

This drink first originated in the North Caucasus subregion. It is most popular in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Russia. Only after several decades did it become popular in other Westernized countries across the globe.

Today, kefir is produced by inoculating animals’ milk with kefir grains, which is much easier than the traditional method —not to mention, commercially a lot cheaper and quicker to produce.

As you may have heard, kefir is considered a healthy drink. Like most fermented foods, it carries loads of nutrients and potential health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at some!

Nutrients In Kefir Milk

If you are someone that loves to track macronutrients, there are loads of articles on the specific quantities and percentages of nutrients kefir offers. This is simply a broad overview to give you an idea of what you are ingesting!

Firstly, all of these quantities are from 1 cup of low-fat kefir milk. If you buy full-fat kefir, it will obviously have an effect on most of the numbers.

Like most dairy products, kefir does contain a decent amount of animal protein, about 9 grams per cup. It is also high in carbohydrates yet contains little fat, about 2–3 grams. Remember, it is a low-fat kefir option, so the fat should be low!

Kefir is very high in calcium and contains about 24% of your DRI (daily recommended intake). It also contains excellent amounts of vitamins B2, B12, and D. Regarding minerals, it is very high in phosphorus and magnesium.

This fermented milk drink is also filled with bioactive compounds like organic acids and peptides.

What Benefits Does Kefir Offer Your Body?

There are loads of benefits kefir could offer to your health. To best discuss each, we will break them down into smaller sections.

Now, we won’t go into too much detail on each, and we won’t be discussing every single benefit. But, those that will be discussed today are researched and to some extent proven facts!

Kefir Is An Exceptional Probiotic

It has been found that kefir is an even better probiotic than yogurt — it can easily contain more than 60 strains of bacteria and yeast!

Remember, these are all good and healthy bacteria and yeasts. These microorganism helps with weight management, aid digestion, and improves your overall mental health!

Kefir Has Antibacterial Qualities

Some probiotics that are found inside kefir are believed to help prevent and fight infections. Specifically, one called Lactobacillus kefiri is only found in this drink.

Kefiran, which is a unique carbohydrate in kefir milk is another component that helps fight bacterial infections.

Kefir Improves Overall Bone Health

This includes making your bones stronger and reducing any bone-related diseases like osteoporosis. In the long run, it can help reduce the risk of bone fractures!

But what causes this benefit? Mainly it is the high amount of calcium. However, another lesser-known vitamin that contributes to the absorption of calcium is vitamin K2 — kefir is actually very high in this nutrient!

Kefir Aids In Digestion

Again, like most fermented drinks, the probiotics in kefir help restore the bacterial imbalance many people suffer from in their digestive system.

It helps treat diarrhea, can alleviate symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and helps to relieve stomach cramps caused by food poisoning. It can also help reduce flatulence, acid reflux, and bloating.

Kefir Improves Liver And Kidney Health

For the liver, kefir can help reduce fatty liver syndrome, which is caused by an excessive fat build-up around the liver. Kefir also helps lower the cholesterol and triglyceride deposition in your liver. 

When it comes to your kidneys, kefir could reduce the amount of creatinine and uric acid in your body. These are both very toxic in excessive amounts.

Kefir May Help Reduce The Effects Of Cancer

This is one that excited us a lot!

Studies have found that the probiotics in kefir actually helped reduce the number of cancer cells in human breast fat more than yogurt did — in fact, it reduced it by 56%, whereas yogurt only reduced it by 14%!

Now, obviously, a lot more research needs to be conducted on these effects. But as we know, probiotics only have benefits when it comes to preventing and aiming to treat cancer.

Best Time To Drink Kefir

The reason so many people want to know when it is best to drink kefir is that it may affect the effectiveness of the fermented drink.

It’s like taking medication. Some types of medicine need to be taken after a meal to prevent it from messing up your stomach lining.

Kefir should preferably be consumed on an empty stomach — not because it has any negative effects on your body if you don’t, but because your body will be able to absorb the most nutrients this way!

Most people like to take it at the start of their day (on an empty stomach).

Many experts also recommend drinking a bit before bed since kefir contains an amino acid (tryptophan) that promotes better sleep. Again, you’ll still ingest and absorb all of its nutrients. However, many people still recommend against this.

This drink is super filling, so you can take it with food or without. Just don’t stuff yourself because you think of kefir as a drink. It can actually be a meal, as it is for many people.

How Much Kefir Should You Drink?

This should be discussed with your doctor or dietitian. Kefir mostly has benefits and some people consume as much as 3 cups per day! But even too much of a healthy thing can become unhealthy.

Think of it this way. Kefir contains about 161 calories per cup. That means 3 cups will be around 483 calories — that is more than most healthy meals contain! For many people, that is about a third of their daily recommended calorie intake. 

So while you get a ton of nutrients, you won’t necessarily be full for the day. Plus, you will miss out on some nutrients other ingredients offer.

So, if you are new to using kefir, only drink 1 cup per day. But many people say 3 cups is also fine. Again, the best time to take it is on an empty stomach in the morning. But always consider the pros and cons of the amount you are ingesting.

How Long It Takes To See Results

On average, your body will take 2–4 weeks to show a noticeable difference in your overall health — that’s if you consume at least 1 cup of kefir per day.

That being said, if you notice any side effects (like allergic reactions or an intolerance), immediately stop taking kefir.

Are There Vegan Kefir Products?

Obviously, kefir isn’t a vegan product. It is mostly made from cow’s milk, but you can also find kefir products made from sheep and goat milk.

However, you can still find vegan kefir milk — these can be made using coconut cream, plant-based milk, or water.

And, more products have been produced that cater to many other dietary needs. Vegan kefir water is also becoming especially popular and even easily accessible!

Side Effects Of Drinking Kefir

Unfortunately, this isn’t a product that is going to work for everyone — many people are lactose intolerant or have allergies. So immediately this isn’t suitable for them.

You can buy a lactose-free or vegan kefir milk alternative if lactose and dairy are the problems. However, if you are allergic to kefir grains, you should stay away from these products completely.

Some people experience side effects like bloating, nausea, constipation, and stomach cramps when they initially start taking kefir. The reason this happens is that your system is getting used to the massive influx of probiotics.

These side effects usually stop if you continue taking kefir. If they don’t, stop drinking kefir or consult your doctor.

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