Dairy You to Try It: 3 Reasons to Drink Kefir

As more and more people are becoming interested in gut health, fermented foods have quickly risen in popularity. Kefir (pronounced kuh’FEER) is one of the latest fermented foods to reach newfound fame, and it touts all the benefits of dairy in addition to being packed with probiotics.  

What Is Kefir?

Kefir is fermented milk cultured by kefir grains – a probiotic bacteria that dates back thousands of years. It’s a tangy, drinkable food similar to yogurt that has three times the number of probiotics as kimchi or kombucha, and one serving contains 30% of your daily recommended calcium.

3 Reasons to Try Kefir: Its #DairyAmazing Nutrition

Much like our beloved yogurt, kefir is also naturally rich in calcium and protein. More kefir health benefits include:

  • Better Teeth and Gums – Dairy foods are good for your teeth! When paired with fiber-rich fruit, it’s like a nature-made toothbrush and can stop sugar from sticking to your teeth. Probiotics, the good bacteria in kefir, can also help prevent periodontal disease and promote healthy teeth and gums.
  • A Healthy Gut – In the same way the probiotics in kefir help your teeth, these bacteria also help keep your gut healthy. Much like in yogurt, the good bacteria in kefir can help with the digestion of lactose, which can make kefir a great food for a family member who has lactose intolerance.
  • Post-Workout Energy – Dairy foods are often the perfect snack after a tough workout. With complex carbs plus high-quality protein, this portable drink is great after you hit the gym, helping replenish energy stores while encouraging muscle growth.

Kefir in the Kitchen

In addition to being a great beverage, kefir is also a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. It can be used in place of milk, yogurt and sour cream in most recipes, including baked breads and muffins!

  1. Substitute kefir for buttermilk in your Sunday morning pancakes.
  2. Put it in your homemade salad dressing.
  3. Use it to marinate lean cuts of meat before throwing them on the grill; the acidity will make the meat tender.
  4. Add it to smoothies and smoothie bowls to pump up your protein.
  5. Jazz up your whole grains by including it in your overnight oats.

Looking for more ways you can add kefir into your diet? Check out our dairy delicious recipes for more inspiration.

By Dana Omari, RDN, LDN

Dana Omari is a registered dietitian and believer in preventive nutrition. She is a member of the American and Texas Academies of Nutrition and Dietetics. When she’s not working, Dana volunteers for Homemade Hope and Champagne and Yoga. Learn more about Dana here.

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