Few days ago I noticed some of you were asking about Kefir, and I figured I have to put my 5 cents since I consumed gallons of it through my childhood
I grew up drinking it back in Russia. We had a lot of different Image via Wikipediasour milk products, but kefir was the most popular.
10-15 years ago You could only find kefir in Russian stores, but now it is sold practically everywhere -Whole Foods, Jewel, Dominics, Wal-Mart, etc.
Kefir is a cultured probiotic beverage similar in taste and texture to drinkable yogurt, and made from milk fermented with kefir cultures.
How is Kefir different from yogurt?
Kefir and yogurt share a lot of common traits. They are both cultured dairy products and have similar flavor profiles, but kefir has more than double the amount of live and active cultures. In fact, kefir made by Lifeway has 12 probiotics in all, as opposed to the 2 or 3 typically found in yogurt. This is because of the longer fermenting process involved in producing kefir – process takes between 14 and 16 hours.
Additionally, kefir is 99% lactose free, making it easier to digest for those with lactose issues.
Besides that and good variety of flavors (like Pomegranate, Blueberry, Acai), it has other benefits
• Enhancing the immune system
• Stimulating digestion
• Easing lactose intolerance
• Lowering cholesterol
• Controlling the growth of harmful yeast overgrowth.
See "How Kefir Helps You" for more info http://www.lifeway.net/HealthWellness/HowKefirHelpsYou.aspx.
The bottom line for me - a person with gastritis, colitis, and lactose intolerance - I can drink it.
Story of Lifeway
Here is a story behind the product that is known to Russian community here in Chicago
In 1986, Russian immigrant Michael Smolyansky began manufacturing kefir in his basement to bring the taste of his native country to the U.S. After Michael Smolyansky passed away in 2002, his daughter assumed the role of President and his son became Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Together they took the production to the whole new level, by getting it into the stores of major retailers.
Today, Lifeway is the country’s leading manufacturer of kefir, with multiple flavors and varieties that include lowfat, whole milk, and organic versions. They also have a children’s line of kefir for kids called ProBugs.
Just to let You all know, I do not work for Lifeway and do not represent them.
There reason I did this post was because I found Mamavation ladies asking about Kefir and figured, I can tell you more about being Russian and living very close to Lifeway headquarters.
Let me know if You'd like to know more about it.
I contacted folks at Lifeway (manufacturers of Kefir) and they've been very helpful with the information I didn't know.