Why we avoid it:
Kefir tastes like someone added Champagne to yoghurt. Not everyone likes its fizzy, acidic and sourdough taste. It also contains a small amount of alcohol and smells like milk gone sour. Even so…
Why we should eat it:
Kefir may be an acquired taste, but its nutritional qualities may surpass that of yoghurt. Made by inoculating milk with kefir “grains” — a goopy mixture of bacteria and yeast jumbled with proteins, fats and sugars — kefir dates back a few centuries to the Caucasus mountains. Both yoghurt and kefir are sources of probiotics that have great health benefits, but kefir typically contains up to five times the amount of probiotics of yoghurt. And the diversity of that bacteria is much broader than that of yoghurt. A higher and more diverse probiotic count means bigger potential benefits to your gut health and immune system. Some of the bacterial strains in kefir have been shown to help in treating colitis and allergic reactions by reducing inflammation. In addition, kefir contains high levels of vitamin B1, B12, calcium, folate and vitamin K2 (check out the natto entry — No. 16 — to read about vitamin K2). It’s also a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that helps the body absorb all the other B vitamins. If you’re a yoghurt lover, give kefir a try. You’ll get more probiotic power and add a little more fizz to your life.