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Boost Your Health with this Superfood: Kefir

I let my kefir sit long enough to get creamy, but sourness does increase with time.

I let my kefir sit long enough to get creamy; sourness increases with time.

I’d never heard of kefir until my wise and wonderful acupuncturist encouraged me to try it as part of my recovery regimen for Lyme disease. Explaining that the fermented drink has many benefits and would boost my struggling immune system, he pressed a small packet of the starter culture into my hand to take with me.

I read up on this ancient superfood, and discovered its rich history over many centuries. Legend has it that long ago, shepherds in the Caucausus Mountains discovered that milk they carried in leather pouches fermented into tasty kefir as they rambled with their sheep.

Another story says that kefir was a gift to Orthodox Christians in the region from Mohammed, who warned them it would lost its miraculous health benefits if they shared it. People held it close, but kefir inevitably began to spread as its value came to light.

The people of the Caucausus are famous for being long-lived; maybe I could enjoy some of the same benefits. Kefir is loaded with vitamins, calcium, and fiber along with health-promoting bacteria. The National Kefir Association says this drink typically contains three times the probiotics of yogurt.

Studies show that kefir can “stimulate the immune system, enhance lactose digestion, and inhibit tumors, fungi and pathogens— including the bacteria that cause most ulcers.” Who knows, maybe research will show kefir goes after the lyme bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, too.

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