We might think of superfoods as new and trendy, but many of them have ancient roots. The deliciously creamy drink known as kefir has been helping people improve their digestion for centuries, but a recent study just uncovered a few more perks we can get from the tasty beverage.
Kefir is similar to plain yogurt with a tangy flavor, but has a thinner consistency that makes it drinkable. Despite being made from fermented milk, it’s usually fine for lactose intolerant people. The fermentation process changes the lactose that usually causes painful symptoms into lactic acid, which is easier to digest.
It’s a traditional beverage in Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia, but kefir has become popular all over the globe thanks to its probiotic properties that can help keep our gut health in check. According to new research published in PharmaNutrition, enjoying kefir on a regular basis can also result in lower blood pressure and balanced blood sugar.
The study authors came to this conclusion after observing participants who drank kefir every day for 12 weeks. On top of the blood pressure and blood sugar benefits, they found promising signs of improved cholesterol and overall lowered risk of cardiovascular issues.
Your body will thank you for drinking kefir for more than just better gut and heart health. It’s also an excellent source of protein, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin K, and magnesium. Along with the probiotics, these nutrients work together to promote a stronger immune system and sturdy bones.
You can find it at most grocery stores (Buy at Walmart, $3.48) or attempt making it through your own fermentation process with milk and starter grains (Buy on Amazon, $10.99). It tastes great on its own or with fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries blended in. Or you can buy flavored kefir, but try to find ones without a bunch of added sugar.
Fun fact: The name “kefir” comes from the Turkish word “keyif,” which means “feeling good” — which is clearly how you’ll feel after taking a sip!
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