Kefir: The Not-Quite-Paleo Superfood

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One of the key components of a strict Paleo diet is the complete elimination of dairy products. Unfortunately, this may lead to many dairy-tolerant individuals missing out on some of the most nutritious and beneficial foods on the planet. One dairy product that not only offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals, but also provides a variety of probiotic organisms and powerful healing qualities, is kefir (pronounced /kəˈfɪər/ kə-FEER).

The word “kefir” is derived from the Turkish word “keif”, which literally translates to the “good feeling” one has after drinking it. (1) Traditional cultures have attributed healing powers to kefir for centuries, but it has only recently become the subject of scientific research to determine its true therapeutic value.

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a fermented milk product that originated centuries ago in the Caucasus mountains, and is now enjoyed by many different cultures worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia.

It can be made from the milk of any ruminant animal, such as a cow, goat, or sheep. It is slightly sour and carbonated due to the fermentation activity of the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that make up the “grains” used to culture the milk (not actual grains, but a grain-like matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars that feed the microbes). The various types of beneficial microbiota contained in kefir make it one of the most potent probiotic foods available.

Besides containing highly beneficial bacteria and yeasts, kefir is a rich source of many different vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that promote healing and repair, as well as general health maintenance. (2) Kefir contains high levels of thiamin, B12, calcium, folates and Vitamin K2. It is a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that HELPS the body assimilate other B vitamins. The complete proteins in kefir are already partially digested, and are therefore more easily utilized by the body. Like many other dairy products, kefir is a great source of minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as phosphorus, which helps the body utilize carbohydrates, fats and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy. (3)

Kefir has positive effects on gut and bone health

It is a potent probiotic, consisting of both bacterial and yeast species of beneficial flora, and may help protect against gastrointestinal diseases. It has also been demonstrated to improve lactose digestion in adults with lactose intolerance. (4) In addition to providing the gut with healthy symbiotic microflora, many studies have also demonstrated the anti-fungal and antibacterial properties of kefir. (5) Certain bacteria strains from the kefir culture have been shown to help in treating colitis by regulating the inflammatory response of the intestinal cells. (6)

As we know, vitamin K2 is one of the most important nutrients that is greatly lacking in the American diet, but there are some vitamin k2 food sources.  (7) Vitamin K2 is a product of bacterial fermentation, so kefir is a likely a good source of this nutrient, especially if made with milk from pastured animals. (8) Vitamin K2 plays a key role in calcium metabolism, where it is used to deposit calcium in appropriate locations, such as in the bones and teeth, and prevent it from depositing in locations where it does not belong, such as the soft tissues and the arteries. (9) Since kefir is high in calcium and phosphorus and also contains vitamin K2, drinking kefir is likely beneficial to bone health, providing the essential minerals needed for bone growth as well as the vitamin K2 needed to effectively deposit those minerals in the bone.

Kefir modulates the immune system

Certain compounds in kefir may play a role in regulating immune function, allergic response, and inflammation. One study found that kefiran, a sugar byproduct of the kefir culture, may reduce allergic inflammation by suppressing mast cell degranulation and cytokine production. (10) Another study found that certain bacteria in the kefir culture inhibited IgE production, helping to moderate the body’s allergic response. (11)

Research has also demonstrated that kefir may have an anti-tumor effect. In one study, kefir consumption inhibited tumor growth and induced the apoptotic form of tumor cell lysis, suggesting that kefir may play a role in cancer prevention. (12) When applied topically, kefir and its polysaccharide compounds have even been shown to be effective antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents for improved wound healing. (13)

As kefir clearly has a wide variety of health benefits, you may be interested in including this fermented dairy beverage in your diet. Cow, goat, or sheep dairy are all good choices, and all types of kefir are generally very low in lactose. Raw milk kefir would be the ideal choice for anyone looking for maximum nutritional quality, but may be challenging for most consumers to find.

Kefir is becoming more mainstream for health-conscious Americans, so you may be able to find full-fat, plain kefir at your local grocery store. Look for a brand with minimal additives and extra ingredients. Good commercial products include Redwood Hill Farm’s Traditional Goat Kefir and Lifeway’s Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir.

Making your own kefir at home

Finding high quality kefir at your local store may not be an option for you. In this case, you can make your own kefir at home. Making kefir is surprisingly simple, and Cheeseslave has a great instructive blog post on how to make kefir at home. You can buy kefir grains online at sites such as Culture for Health, and provided you take care of the culture, it should last indefinitely. Making kefir from raw dairy products is ideal, but if you don’t have access to raw dairy, you can use organic full-fat dairy, preferably from a grass-fed animal. For those who cannot tolerate any form of dairy, kefir can be made from coconut milk, coconut water, and even just sweetened water, which will provide many of the benefits found in dairy kefir.

Kefir is a great source of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and a variety of other unique compounds that can greatly contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. I highly recommend including this nutritious superfood in your diet, even if it doesn’t fall under strict “Paleo” guidelines!

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  1. To stay on the Paloe die yet enjoy the nutritious benefits of Kefir you can just make water Keifer, which is what my family does.

  2. I started knowing about kefir a few years ago. I was suffering from ulcer then. A friend of mine introduced me to Kefir. She told me that it might help me with my health problems. SO I did tried it and loved not only its taste but also its effects on my body.

  3. Chris, you state that proteins are “partially” digested in kefir fermentation, other sites stated “completely” digested. This is important because I am casein sensitive. Would you recommend kefir to someone like me?

    • I am casein intolerant too, but can drink kefir (cows milk) with no problems. I would suggest you introduce it gradually. Or if you are still sensitive, try making it with goats milk

  4. Hello, I have severe RA, currently taking almuran an Humira. Why is it that after taking tibicos for 15 days I became sored and my inflammation got worst. I started taking 1/4 cup to 1 cup daily. It helped me in other issues, but for inflammation I’m not sure at this moment. Will you please

    • I have RA too & started taking water Keffir & it made the inflammation much worse. I can’t explain it, but I’ve stopped using it now.

      • Tibicos is a yeast based ferment as is kombucha.
        When kefir or tibicos are fermented in a non anaerobic environment yeast proliferates as can other mycotoxins.
        Best to alays avoid tibicos for those with serious inflammation and histamine intolerances.
        The beneficial way to ferment kefir is to use a strictly anaerobic vessel (mason jars are not anaerobic). I buy pickl-it jars. It changed my life and health to learn the safe way to ferment at home in a proper tool.
        Best wishes

  5. I was interested in learning more about the Vitamin K2 content of water kefir but the K2 link doesn’t work.

  6. If I am fighting breast cancer naturally and had an IgG food sensitivity test done that showed goat, cow and sheep milk with a low sensitivity (1), do you think it still would be fine to try raw goat kefir a little at a time?

    • Well done you for resisting the conventional approach to the treatment of breast cancer, that must have taken great courage. The following is all my personal opinion and should not be taken as advice.

      The latest research indicates that cancer cells, unlike normal cells, depends on glucose for energy, so deprive them of that fuel source and they cannot survive. When kefir ferments, almost all the glucose in the form of lactose is consumed by the bacteria, so it should be safe for you to drink.

      The latest research has also uncovered the importance of a healthy gut microbiome to general health in so many ways it’s impossible to note here, but including the reduction of inflammation that can lead to cancer. Kefir is perhaps the probiotic with the highest number of different species of bacteria, plus yeasts, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, so it should probably be high on your list of priorities for defeating cancer naturally.

      Resistant starch is also currently a hot topic and, when added to kefir in the form of unmodified potato starch, it both feeds the healthy bacteria in the large intestine and enables more of the live bacteria in the kefir to reach the large intestine unscathed by the highly acidic environment of the stomach.

      I suggest you research all these topics and make up your own mind. Good luck.

    • Have you tried the armpit detox? Aluminum found in the deodorant can lead to breast cancer in some cases, you should detox your armpit and see if you can make your own deodorant as well… You can google the recipes for them, because it depends on your body if you want to use the recipes with or without baking soda. I hope this helps you as well 🙂

    • Pat, while I applaud your idea of a natural remedy, especially after watching the documentary forks over knives. I would also encourage you to consider your doctors protocol for treating your particular cancer. I am a stage 3 breast cancer survivor for 14 years. I did chemo, radiation, mastectomy and pills for 10 years. I have no regrets.
      I make a conscious effort to eat better than before and I will continue to do so.
      Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  7. After learning all the benefits to health of resistant starch, effectively a prebiotic, I’ve taken to adding a tablespoon of Bob’s Mill Potato Starch to a glass of raw milk kefir three times a day. It is said the kefir will bind to the starch so do that more will reach the colon alive. There, the starch provides fuel for the bacteria, which in turn produce fuel for other organisms that eventually produce short chain fatty acids including butyrate, which is the ideal fuel for the cells lining the gut. Other sources of resistant starch include raw potato, cooked and chilled potato, cooked and chilled rice and even plain popcorn, none of which are very Paleo, but nevertheless very welcome additions to the diet. Early days for me yet so haven’t formed any conclusions, but others may wish to try this for themselves – after doing your own research of course – start by reading the primer at the mighty blog freetheanimal.com.

  8. I’m reading alot about b vitamins and saw that kefir has lots of them. I read though that the b vitamins made by the bacteria in our guts is not bio-available for us and so my question is would this be the same for the b vitamins that are in kefir. My sources are Sarah Pope at thehealthyhome economist and Dr. Mercola.

  9. Sorry if this question has already been asked, but I was trying to read them all and there’s just way too many. I am trying to transition to a paleo diet for weight loss. I have been drinking a non-fat plain kefir daily for a few years and have been looking for a non-dairy option, but none of the health food stores in my area carry any. Your article said that kefir is still a good idea for paleo diets that can tolerate dairy. My question is: Will I still be able to lose weight if I’m not completely compliant with the diet? Kefir would be the only item I’d be non-compliant by using. I’ve seen plenty of options for making my own non-dairy version, but I am disinclined to try, so it’s either buy a pre-made option (which I cannot find), or go with the dairy version. FYI, I drink 4 oz/day, added to unsweetened pomegranate juice.

    • Look up thekefirlady.com , her kefir grains have over 50 different probiotics, many of which are capable of reaching all the way through the biome. We make our own kefir using goat milk, which is said to be better handled by the adult human digestive system (along with many other pluses!). Good luck!!

    • First, if you’re trying to lose weight, stop drinking NON-FAT dairy products (including kefir)! Switch immediately to WHOLE MILK products (including unsweetened whole milk kefir). Stripping out the fat from milk products just leaves carbs (which the body converts to glucose, which triggers the release of insulin, storing the calories as as fat), and protein (which converts to glucose if you eat more than you need). The whole non-fat craze is horrible and is a factor in for much of the weight gain and bloating this country has experienced over the past several decades.

      • Totally agree Nils

        In my own town I struggle to find a cafe that actually stocks whole milk now, they all only do skimmed, it’s an absolute outrage.

        I’ve taken to carrying my own raw milk with me, to add to coffee or tea, and I take create pride in wingeing about the lack of whole milk. Supply and demand sure, but things have got to change. It’s happening, but too slowly for my liking.

        I built a short email course about eating traditional foods, whole milk, kefir, offal, meat on the bone etc, amazing how many emails I get asking if they can use skimmed milk instead. NOOOO! is my retort 🙂

        Keep fighting the good fight!

  10. Dairy is the one thing that separates my partner and I from being true Paleo followers, as we derive too much nutrition and pleasure from consuming raw milk, raw cheeses, grass fed butter, yogurt and of course kefir, to give up this wonderful food group.

    We’re lucky to live within 20 miles of a farm selling possibly the best raw milk available anywhere – from grass fed Jersey cows – so every week we buy at least 16 litres (quarts). 7 of these are used to make kefir, of which we both have 250ml (one cup) first and last thing in the day; 2 are turned into yogurt, adding gelatin to provide a good set; 4 are mixed with Amazing Grass, Baobab powder, coconut oil and a raw egg for our daily green smoothies; 2-3 are used in our daily ‘fatty lattes’/’cocoaccinos’ (milk, filtered coffee/cacao powder, grass fed butter, coconut oil, gelatin and xylitol); and any remaining milk is allowed to sit on the countertop for a few weeks to separate into bonny clabber (like cream cheese) and whey, the latter being used to ferment vegetables using a K2 producing starter.

    We also make kefir from slightly sweetened, store bought coconut water and powdered kefir starter, the fermentation process turning the sugar into probiotics. Finally, we make kombucha using red bush tea as a base.

    We therefore receive a very wide range of probiotics plus other vital vitamins, enzymes, minerals and other nutrients from these various homemade, fermented foods and as a consequence we’re very much enjoying the health benefits they provide.

    • i have been doing kefir for over two years now…just milk from store tried the coconut milk one..was not fond of it. doing kraut and kombucha also. love kefir in my omelete makes the eggs so fluffy and light with minamal stiring. got my “IC” bladder disease totally under control. I can eat and drink a lot of foods that are taboo for that disease mainly cause i follow whole30 and been cleaning up my eating habits since 2000. i am 74 my hair is getting darker..my eye prescription had not changed in 7 years and my last visit it is a lover number..BUT still got an unsidedown brain..tires out and shuts me down. it is aweful

        • Follow these instructions to make kefir.
          1. Place 70g (2.5 ounces) grains in a one litre (one quart) glass jar.
          2. Fill with fresh, raw, whole milk.
          3. Cover with a lid or cloth.
          4. Leave for 24 hours at room temperature (20 degrees C, 68 Fahrenheit) or until whey starts to separate from the milk.
          5. Pour through a stainless steel sieve, gently rubbing the grains with a wooden spoon to separate out all the thicker kefir.
          6. Place 70g grains back in the jar.
          7. Refill with fresh, raw, whole milk.
          8. Stir, cap with a lid or cloth and leave for 24 hours as before.
          9. Drink kefir or keep in fridge.
          Do not heat the milk, room temperature is fine.
          The kefir grains will grow and as they do the kefir will take less time to ferment, so you can do two things:
          (a) place the fermenting kefir in the fridge to slow down the process to keep it in sync with your consumption, or (b) separate the grains into two and freeze half in a zip-lock bag, both to keep for yourself as a backup and to give to others who may wish to start making kefir.
          You will soon learn how your kefir grains work best and can vary the times and procedures accordingly.
          If the milk does start to separate in to curds and whey, just stir the whey back in or use the whey as a starter culture to ferment vegetables.
          The longer the kefir ferments the more sour it will become. It will continue to ferment very slowly after sieving but will keep for several days in the fridge.
          Any milk can be used, but the healthiest option is to use fresh, raw, whole milk.
          There’s no need to wash the jar after each ferment, once a week is sufficient.

      • I’m 69 and recently started culturing and drinking Kefir milk made with organic, while fat milk. I agree that it helps in many ways, but not with the brain fog which gets worse for some of us after 65. Maybe this has more to do with lack of mental stimulation and neurotransmitters. I’d rather get what I need from natural food sources but I’ve got my thoughts on that. Look back on your diet/lifestyle when you were in your 30’s. I know that there was more red meat eaten than these days and it was better quality, less costly, without being organic too. Now, I’m not eating much beef or lamb (expensive for good quality). Have you tried Bone Broth? It’s something worth researching: lean red meat and if it has any affect on brain health, neurotransmitters, etc.

    • Check out pickl-it.com. Anaerobic fermentation that is far better that old aerobic fermentation. I teach it all

  11. I was introduced to kefir after diagnosis of metastasised prostate cancer gave me a few months to live several years ago. We use raw milk kefir that we make plus take glyconutrients. Have not used conventional cancer treatment of chemo or radiation at all. Happy to answer any enquiry to help anyone. Kefir is amazing.

    • I am making kefir daily but I dont understand what glyconutrients are and why they help with cancer when most things point to sugar making cancer grow

      • Randy glyconutrients are not sugar as you see it but they are missing in our food these days glycans are directly tied to cellular communication which in our terms is immune system. You have my email so you are welcome to contact me direct I am not one on open discussion on someone else’s site. Look forward to helping you.

        • Hi Carlos

          I’m new to the whole kefir thing. I’ve been making my own for about three weeks with organic dairy milk. I have suffered with ulcerative colitis for several years. My question is should I be doing kefir with goats milk or cocount milk instead? I don’t have access to raw milk and goats milk is hard to find a well. I know dairy is a horrible inflammatory bht when I drink my kefir I feel fine . Just don’t know if I’m doing more damage . Any input is greatly appreciated

          • Lisa – I have UC/Crohns and looking to start with kefir so I would be interested in any info you find out!!! Jo

    • Carlos, I am very glad that it has helped you. Could you reply with your email address as my prostate concerns me, thanks!

      Jesus

    • My Dad had enlarged prostate for 20 years. His Dr. Inserted an I dwelling catheter. Has had it for about six- eight years. Each time they inserted a new cath every month, it became more difficult. Several years ago he was transported to the ER, because the poor nurse botched him so bad, he almost needed surgery. I don’t know if this will help you, I purched a led dollars light therapy unit. I actually got it for pain in his knee that was also botched by a poor surgery. I began putting the light on his bladder for spasms.MIRACLE! His prostate is no longer enlarged! That is the only difference I can figure. Get the one with the two panels. They are marketed mostly for wrinkles put are awesome for pain. I have no financial ties to this business. You can find them used on e bay. I hope this helps you are anyone else. Did great for bladder spasms also

      • What is the name of the light that you used for your father’s prostate problem? I want to help my father with the same problem.

    • Hello. I have breast cancer (trying hard to avoid chemo/surgery/radio but there’s a lot of pressure). Trying Kefir, among other things only for last 3 weeks and feel inclined to continue. It sounds as if you feel kefir has played a significant role in your better health. Is that right? Caron.

      • You can try Dim, IP6 innositol, Beta glucans by transfer point, tumeric, R lipoic acid, extra Vitamin D and C and 2 tblspoons flax seed daily in hot water with sml amt sugar. Drink when it cools. Heat destroys part that affects thyroid. Vitamin E the natural kind by Carlsens 400 IU and 200 mcg of selenium. Xango mangosteen juice for imflammation and pomegranate juice by fruit fast are great antioxidants. Healthy cells woman by enzamatic as well is good. Google Barley grass, organic, made in Pennsylvania called Barley Power. All in Bill Hendersens book Cancer Free. Best wishes to you!!!! Keifer is great too but I am having a reaction to the grass fed dairy.

    • How are you doing with your prostate cancer. I have stage 3 w/ PSA rising. I also am anemic. I haven’t has kefir for two yes though my wife makes raw cow or goat kefir. Do you think it can help mitigate metastasis? Are you now in remission. I would love to be able to justify having kefir to boost my immune system but Dr Kelly speaks against animal protein which includes eggs and milk. However if it is working for you I’d like to add it to my regimen. Thank you.

  12. I wouldn’t care if it made me constipated or not I would never give up my kiefer,I’m totally addicted to it,its my comfort food and my family and I have not even had a sniffle in years since I wasn’t making homemade kefirand not only that but I did not do any chemo or near that craziness after breast cancer and I haven’t had any problems because I just work on my immune system with Kiefer colostrum brown seaweed and all the glyconutrients

  13. I’ve given up woth kefir. I used it for a few months but got very constipated. I increased drinking pure water, I also cut back the fermentation time to just 12 hours, but the constipation continued.

    I stopped taking the kefir and drank lots of freshly squeezed lemon juice. That did the trick and my bowel movements have been as they were before using the kefir.

    Anyone experienced the same? But more importantly, why would I end up like that. Constipation was horrible, sore and my poo was dry. Can’t understand it as I have never had constipation in my entire life as I eat a good diet, drink lots of water.

    Anyway, words of warning. Kefir may not be all it’s touted to be.

    • Not everyone reacts to all things the same. Activia yogurt does the same thing to me, but I don’t have problems with other types. Some people eat an apple and are full. I eat an apple and I am in starvation mode. When it comes to food, you really need to find out what works for you.
      I have just started Kefir, so will keep an eye out for that problem.

    • Ground organic flax seed 2 tbsp in hot water with 1 tsp sugar, let cool and drink works wonders. Take with 8oz water to flush the flax seed through your system and don’t take within 2 hrs of meds or supplements

    • What are you talking about? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Perhaps someone is pulling your leg… ?

      • Kefir is thought to have originated in Turkey where Turkish women of antiquity would seek out ant colonies to harvest the ant eggs. The eggs were then immersed in raw milk after which the milk fermented and kefir was the result. It’s not known how important the ant eggs were to the fermentation, which might have begun due to the bacteria/yeasts present on the ant eggs rather than due to the eggs themselves. It could be that the ant eggs were the original target of the hunt and played a role in some ancient Turkish dish. The kefir might have been a happy – if unintended – consequence of the preparation methods of this “ant egg” dish. This legendary “origin” may date back as far as several thousand years. The kefir grains that are passed down in our time may be the result of many generations of grains that date back to this “ant colony” beginning.

  14. What is a good “dose” of Kefir to maintain healthy gut flora? Weekly? Daily? Every other day? My primary interest is to improve regularity, as I am naturally quite “sluggish”.

    I purchased the Lifeway plain unsweetened variety at the grocery store, which has one cup as the serving size. I eat mostly paleo 85/15 and have tried Kefir before and tolerate it well.

    • Store bought kefir only has around 6-12 beneficial bacteria and yeast in it, depending on the brand. They make it will powdered kefir starter, not real kefir grains. They isolate the strains they want in it. This way they are assured of a consistent product every time. When made with real kefir grains it will contain dozens of different varieties of beneficial bacteria and yeast. You’re better off making it yourself with full fat organic milk and real kefir grains. It’s very easy. Get some grains if you can. Try making coconut milk kefir too. It’s my favorite. Be sure to use coconut milk without any additives. Use the coconut milk that is meant for cooking, not the coconut milk meant for drinking.

      Regarding how often and how much….
      You should have some every day. Even twice a day. But you don’t need to drink a cup each time. Even a few tablespoons should be sufficient. Or more if you wish.

      I used to have a sluggish bowel too. My naturopath put me on high doses of magnesium glyconate for sore muscles and that did the trick for the sluggish bowel as well (in addition to milk/coconut milk kefir, kombucha, water kefir and fermented veggies made with milk kefir whey). Magnesium citrate works even better for a sluggish bowel. Just don’t take too much.

      Staying away from wheat and grains like you are doing helps as well.

      • Banana has sorted ‘my movement’ problem, liquidized with Kefir (grains and all) is a lovely smoothy! Wheat and sugar are poison. To everyone of a Paleo diet, note that life expectancy in those times were 38-45 years!

    • It took me 3-6 months of 1/2 cup of lifeway per day to finally heal chronic recurring infection (I needed antibiotics every few months for years with increasing frequency) and general malaise. The 3 month mark was where my symptoms were no longer felt, but sometimes I might notice them after a few days of forgetting kefir. The six month mark was where I no longer needed it to maintain good health, though I still drink it periodically and am now foraying into making it at home. I’ve been infection free for about five years since then–it’s magic. You definitely need to drink it daily over a sustained period though in order to both colonize your gut and kill off some of the bad things already in there (you may also experience a few days of bad bacteria die-off, or herxheimer sickness, in the beginning). 1/2 cup a day is an affordable, manageable dose that had huge quality-of-life-altering benefits for me.

  15. I’m going to follow the autoimmune reset option. Can I have kefir during the reset?

  16. About Kefir, I find that I actually crave it some days. It really does make me feel good. I’ve noticed improved digestion, and a return of the creamy soft skin of my youth. (I’m still young at almost 50, but you know.)

    Also, since I’ve been drinking kefir I want nothing to do with anything sweet, including stevia which is all I keep in the house anymore. Maybe I’m wrong to attribute that change to the kefir, but it seems to have changed my very tastebuds. 😉 I’m thankful to have it.

    • The cure for a sweet tooth also lies in a Chromium suppliment, smoking inhibits the digestion of Chromium, so should take it. However, everyone I advised said: Why would I want to cure that!!!?

    • I’ve yet to find a stevia I like it can even tolerate the taste of, what kind do you suggest?

      • The only stevia I like is NuNaturals. I get it from iherb online in liquid form. It doesn’t have much of an aftertaste, depending on what you use it in. If you need a coupon for $10 off, PEY561 works.

      • Rather than stevia, which I find very unpleasant, use xylitol instead. It too is a natural sweetener made from birch bark that can be substituted one for one for sugar in everything except bread making, as it provides no food for the yeast. Xylitol is also actually good for dental health as it kills bad bacteria, which do feed on it but, again, it provides them with no food, so they die. Finally, it acts as a prebiotic, providing a food source for all your lovely kefir probiotics!

        • I like xylitol also. I make a carrot muffin with ground flax seed instead of flour. Then I ice it with cream cheese and xylitol which I powder in the food processor first. Only do it about once a year, but it makes a nice treat.

          • So true, common knowledge that xylitol is known to kill dogs (and in so many products!)

        • Xylitol can cause some ppl to have loose bowels so may not be an option. Use carefully. I have been taking antibiotics for rosacea for 10 yrs and there is no alternative except topical antibiotic which still gets into the body. Store-bought kefir has helped my digestion but 2.5 tsp of cane sugar per day is way too much. I’ve tried making my own but was not consistently successful. Will try again – am using dried grains.

          • I agree, it has done this for me. I cured my rosesea using Dim. 2-4 a day by naturesway. It gets rid of bad estrogen which causes it.

        • Re: xylitol
          This has a laxative effect on some people, so experiment carefully!

      • Hi Rebecca, I’ve tried numerous brands. Try Stevita. It’s mixed with burch and that counters the flavor. Also, try to minimize the amount you use as it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar. Best.

      • I love Trader Joe’s 100% pure organic stevia powder. Just be sure to use sparingly at first; it adds a lot of sweetness and when too much is added, it can add a bitter aftertaste to foods.

    • I too have noticed a lack of desire for sweets. I maintain a constant flow of raw cows milk Kefir in my diet. I have never felt better. I love, love, love my milk soda! I’m grateful for the gift of kefir grains given by a friend. A gift of good health.

    • If you are consuming store bought flavoured kefir, then yes, sugar content will be a great concern. Not only does this kefir contain a lot of sugar, it is also made with kefir starter, not kefir grains. Kefir made with starter only contains between 6-12 different varieties of beneficial bacteria and yeast. When made with grains it will contain dozens of different varieties of beneficial bacteria and yeast. When you make it yourself you can also control what kind of milk you use. Organic or raw, full fat is best. And you don’t need to consume huge amounts of kefir to get the benefits. 1/4-1/2 cup, once or twice a day is plenty. Some people like it so much and will consume more. If you’re struggling with losing weight I suggest consuming less.
      It’s easy to make your own kefir and very economical. I like to add it to my morning green smoothie. Flax and chia seed, kefir, coconut oil, greens, a bit of frozen or fresh fruit and water. When using berries I sometimes add a date or bit of honey, as berries aren’t very sweet. And I usually have a small amount after dinner.

      • Have you posted the recipe for homemade Coconut milk Kefir somewhere? I am Paleo but really want to add Keifer to my daily meal plan. I’m super sick of eggs/meat and such for breakfast and a smoothie with Keifer sounds perfect. I’ve never made kefir before so super simple instructions would be great.

  17. In relation to probiotic consumption already a few months straight, kefir, pickles, sauerkraut, beet kvass (now discovered a Russian drink and easy to do). More to wanting to stop a while with probiotics and stay only in the resistant starch feeding my bacteria. Can I do this or we need to continue with probiotics?

  18. Great Day Everyone! I’m Sandra, I’ve been an loyal reader of this site and one of my favorite topic about the site is about kefir, as I’m using this stuff.

    Currently, I have a blog that about kefir, which tells the stories and experience related to kefir. I just want to share it to some useful information to kefir lovers. I’d like to share out:

    http://www.benefitsofkefir.com/what-is-kefir/

    Feel free to share it. =)

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<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container' action='/kefir-the-not-quite-paleo-superfood/comment-page-10/'> <div class='gform_body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id='field_9_1' class='gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id='field_9_2' class='gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false"><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id='field_9_4' class='gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='2809' /></li><li id='field_9_5' class='gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Food Additives' /></li> </ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Food+Additives' /> </div> </form> </div><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_render', function(event, formId, currentPage){if(formId == 9) {if(typeof Placeholders != 'undefined'){ Placeholders.enable(); }} } );jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_conditional_logic', function(event, formId, fields, isInit){} );</script><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).ready(function(){jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [9, 1]) } ); </script>
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<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container' action='/kefir-the-not-quite-paleo-superfood/comment-page-10/'> <div class='gform_body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id='field_9_1' class='gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class='gfield_required'>*</span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id='field_9_2' class='gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false"><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id='field_9_4' class='gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='2809' /></li><li id='field_9_5' class='gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible' ><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Diet-Heart Myth' /></li> </ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Diet-Heart+Myth' /> </div> </form> </div><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_render', function(event, formId, currentPage){if(formId == 9) {if(typeof Placeholders != 'undefined'){ Placeholders.enable(); }} } );jQuery(document).bind('gform_post_conditional_logic', function(event, formId, fields, isInit){} );</script><script type='text/javascript'> jQuery(document).ready(function(){jQuery(document).trigger('gform_post_render', [9, 1]) } ); </script>
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