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Kefir Benefits: 7 Uses For This Cultured, Gut-Friendly Product

Is "yum" the first word that comes to mind when you hear "cultured dairy"? Well, with this one, it should be. But the best part is that kefir benefits more than just your taste buds! Kefir is a cultured dairy product packed with gut-friendly probiotics. The fermented drink can be used as a natural remedy for a variety of health conditions, including leafy gut syndrome, allergies, a weakened immune system, and even cancer. Yes, kefir can do all that! (1) How? Kefir benefits the body by boosting the amount of good bacteria in the gut. Whether you prefer goat milk kefir, cow milk kefir, or coconut milk kefir, adding this fermented drink to your diet can help boost your immune system and fight off harmful bacteria. In fact, your health stems from a good microbiome. Thank you, probiotics!

Kefir Benefits

1. Boosts Immunity

Kefir benefits the body by giving the immune system a natural boost. For instance, it contains healing compounds, including biotin and folate, that work to protect the cells from damage. In addition, research has shown that kefir benefits include the ability to protect the body from harmful bacteria, including salmonella, E. Coli, and candida, thanks to its powerful antibacterial properties. (2)

2. Builds Bone Strength

If you have a choice, choose a "whole" full-fat version. When made with whole fat dairy, kefir benefits the bones with its high levels of calcium. The body utilizes calcium to help stop bone degeneration and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Kefir also contains Vitamin K2. This is important because Vitamin K2 helps improve overall bone health by increasing bone density and calcium absorption. (3)

3. Helps Fight Cancer

Kefir benefits also include the ability to help fight cancer. Studies have shown that kefir has anti-carcinogenic properties. Specifically, it helps to slow the growth of tumors in the body. In a study conducted at the MacDonald Campus of McGill University in Canada, researchers found that kefir was able to reduce breast cancer cells by 56%. This cancer-fighting food can help protect the body from disease. (4) kefir benefits

4. Supports Digestion

Of course, given the probiotics in kefir, maybe this one is obvious. Kefir benefits the gut by helping to restore the balance of bacteria. Often, poor digestion is caused by microbes in the gut being out of balance. So the probiotic compounds in kefir work to fight against gastrointestinal disease, including diarrhea, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcers. (5)

5. Improves Allergies

Allergies are linked to inflammation in the body. Kefir benefits include the ability to reduce inflammatory cells that disrupt the lings and air passages. According to research conducted at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in 17 out of 23 studies, participants taking probiotics showed significant improvements in allergy symptoms as well as quality of life. (6)

6. Heals Skin

Further kefir benefits extend to our largest organ - the skin. When the gut is overgrown with harmful bacteria, it can lead to skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, rashes, and eczema. But by balancing the bacteria in the gut, kefir helps fight skin problems and, as we've seen, boost the immune system. (7)

7. Improves Lactose Intolerance

For those who can't tolerate lactose, listen up. Kefir can improve lactose intolerance symptoms. How? Well, the active ingredient in kefir works to break down lactose into lactic acid. Lactic acid is easier to digest. According to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "kefir improves lactose digestion and tolerance in adults with lactose malabsorption." (8)
If you still aren't sure about a milk-based kefir, never fear! Try this water kefir recipe instead!