What is Kefir?
Kefir is a fermented dairy product, similar to yogurt. Thinner than yogurt, kefir is typically consumed as a beverage. The fermentation process used to make kefir elevates the nutritional content. Kefir is a good source of probiotics, protein, calcium and vitamin B12. The Turkic word, Kefir, means “feeling good”.
Nutrition Content of 1 cup Kefir
- 90 calories
- 11 grams protein
- 390 mg calcium (30% of DRI)
- 90 mg vitamin A (10% of DRI)
- 150 IU vitamin D (25% of DRI)
- 0.4 mcg vitamin B12 (16% of DRI)
- Kefir typically has three times more probiotic cultures than yogurt
How to use Kefir
Kefir is a great addition to many recipes but can also be consumed by itself. You can find Kefir in the dairy section of the grocery store. It is commonly added to cereals, smoothies, or substituted for milk or yogurt in cooked recipes. In addition, many of our tube fed patients who use a blenderized diet use kefir to thin their formula.
People with milk protein allergy should not consume kefir. However, the probiotics present in both kefir and yogurt help break down the milk sugar which may improve tolerance for those who are lactose intolerant.