Why Kefir is a Fantastic Probiotic Superfood

September 30, 2015

Why Kefir is a Fantastic Probiotic Superfood

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I’ve written before about why kefir is a superfood. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and an easily digested and bioavailable source of protein. It is also a fantastic source of beneficial bacteria and yeasts making it a great probiotic. Considering the price of most decent probiotics on the market, and comparing the list of strains found in common probiotics compared to the long list of microbes commonly found in kefir, you can see that kefir is cheap in comparison and probably superior too. So if you can’t afford probiotic supplements then you should definitely consider adding kefir to your daily diet.

 

Bacterial Strains Common to Milk Kefir Grains

    • Lactobacillus acidophilus
    • Lactobacillus brevis
    • Lactobacillus casei
    • Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
    • Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii
    • Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis
    • Lactobacillus helveticus
    • Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens subsp. kefiranofaciens
    • Lactobacillus kefiri
    • Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei
    • Lactobacillus plantarum
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
    • Lactobacillus sake
    • Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
    • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
    • Lactococcus lactis
    • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
    • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. dextranicum
    • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides
    • Pseudomonas
    • Pseudomonas fluorescens
    • Pseudomonas putida
    • Streptococcus thermophilus 

 

Yeast Strains Common to Milk Kefir Grains

    • Candida humilis
    • Kazachstania unispora
    • Kazachstania exigua
    • Kluyveromyces siamensis
    • Kluyveromyces lactis
    • Kluyveromyces marxianus
    • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
    • Saccharomyces martiniae
    • Saccharomyces unisporus

 

Sources

  1. Microbiological study of lactic acid bacteria in kefir grains by culture-dependent and culture-independent methods
  2. Analysis of the microflora in Tibetan kefir grains using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis

 

According to Wikipedia:

“Nutritional composition

Typical of milk, several dietary minerals are found in kefir, such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, molybdenum, manganese, and zinc. Also similar to milk,[13] kefir contains vitamins in variable amounts, including vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E.[15] Essential amino acids found in kefir include methionine, cysteine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, tyrosine, leucine, isoleucine, threonine, lysine, and valine,[15] as for any milk product.[13]

Probiotics

Probiotic bacteria found in kefir products include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, Lactococcus lactis, and Leuconostoc species.[3][12][16] The significance of probiotic content to nutrition or health remains unproven.[17][18]

 

Lactobacilli in kefir may exist in concentrations varying from approximately 1 million to 1 billion colony-forming units per milliliter and are the bacteria responsible for the synthesis of the polysaccharide kefiran.[4]

 

In addition to bacteria, kefir often contains strains of yeast that can metabolize lactose, such as Kluyveromyces marxianus, Kluyveromyces lactis and Saccharomyces fragilis, as well as strains of yeast that do not metabolize lactose, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Torulaspora delbrueckii, and Kazachstania unispora.[3] The nutritional significance of these strains is unknown.”

 

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