WHAT IS KEFIR?
Kefir is the “champagne of yoghurts” and boasts many added properties that yoghurt lacks. Kefir is one of our healthiest and most valuable food resources yet few people know what Kefir is…
So what is Kefir?
Well technically Kefir is cultured milk of mixed lactic acid and alcoholic fermentation’s, though the alcohol level is very minimal, so children can enjoy the benefits of Kefir as well. The Kefir culture is added to cows, goats, soy, and other commonly consumed milks, before the fermentation process begins. Traditional style Kefir has a tart, refreshing taste, and is usually effervescent, owing to the presence of carbon dioxide, which is an end product of the fermentation process.
Why ferment milk?
Fermentation is among the oldest methods of food preservation used by mankind, whilst you may know fermented milks as “cultured milks” or “cultured milk products”, it is still one of the easiest and best ways of preserving it.
Why eat Kefir?
Kefir is often said to have ‘magical properties’ and is documented to have aided treatments in disorders such as:
Tuberculosis (Trum Hunter,1973)
Intestinal stomach diseases (Koroleva,1988)
Chronic constipation (Koroleva,1991)
Allergic reactions (Koroleva,1991)
The control of high cholesterol (Gorski,1994)
Lactose intolerance (Rosell,1932; Trum Hunter,1973)
the list goes on and on.
We have over 400 species of bacteria living in our intestine and certain bacteria aid in the digestion process. These bacteria are referred to as ‘friendly bacteria’ and without these the act of digestion cannot take place properly. Good health greatly depends upon the quality of intestinal microflora. Unfortunately for us the western society foods that we eat do nothing for our intestinal microflora resulting in the depletion of these ‘friendly bacteria’. So often, as a result of our poor eating habits we are suffering from poor digestion.
So what can we do to correct this?
The answer is Kefir! Kefir actually aids in restoring a healthy microflora by replenishing the ‘friendly bacteria’ essential for normal and ease of digestion. It is commonly believed the result of bad digestion is felt in different forms such as, lack of energy or even weight imbalances. It’s so important to our health to keep our microflora in top condition to create a sense of well being and liveliness.
Where did Kefir come from?
Kefir originally came from a region in the extreme South Eastern Europe known as Caucasus. The people of Caucasus, mostly Muslim, have used Kefir, to produce and preserve healthy living food for centuries. To ferment the milk, the Caucasians placed the milk and the Kefir in a sack made from animal hide and usually hung the sack near the door, so that any one entering, or leaving, the house was expected to prod the sack to mix the contents. As the Kefir was removed from the sack, fresh milk was added, and so the process of Kefir making continued.
And as legends go...
Legend has it that Mohammed gave the Kefir grains to the Orthodox people ( Koroleva, 1988) and taught them how to make Kefir. “The grains of prophet” as the Kefir grains were called, were guarded jealously, since it was commonly believed that the Kefir grains would lose their strength if they were given away. Kefir grains were regarded as part of the family’s wealth and were passed on from generation to generation (Caitow and Trenev, 1990). So for generations, the people of Caucasia enjoyed the benefit of Kefir, without sharing it with any one else, they came into contact with. Other people occasionally heard of the unusual beverage, which was said to have ‘magical’ properties. Marco Polo mentioned Kefir, along with Kumiss, in the chronicles of his travels in the East (Koroleva, 1988). However, Kefir was generally forgotten outside the Caucasus for centuries until news spread of its uses for tuberculosis in Sanatoria (Trum Hunter, 1973) and for intestinal stomach diseases ( Koroleva, 1988).
It has been made possible by KCN to obtain a healthy, reliable source of Kefir Starter Culture enabling everyone the same opportunities as our ancestors had in enjoying the huge health benefits and equally important, the great taste of Kefir. It is important to point out that it’s essential that your Kefir Starter Culture comes from a reliable supplier that specialises in ensuring that the culture has been produced in conditions that are healthy and environmentally pure. KCN is situated in Australia, which boast one of the cleanest environments on this earth.