Have you ever wondered why yogurt is supposed to be so good for you?It is because it is teeming with friendly little critters called probiotics, which are essentially healthy bacteria. These little critters work for us in many ways that we don’t even realize. They produce T cells, a white blood cell that is key to a functioning immune system. They increase digestion & absorption and may be linked to increasing neurotransmitters, a brain chemical that transmits messages throughout the brain and body. You may be surprised to know that although these bacteria occur naturally in our intestines, but they can become depleted over time due to diet, stress, dehydration, and medications, especially antibiotics.
One of the most important things these little creatures are responsible for is maintaining a balance in the gut, called symbiosis. When these little critters, known as your healthy bacteria, become low, you can have unhealthy yeast that can grow. This yeast is known as candida, and many of us have this yeast to some degree. It is a common symptom of a typical American diet. Needing a little extra sweetener in that daily latte, or that chocolate bar seeming too good to resist? This may be a sign of yeast overgrowth in the gut. An overgrowth of yeast in the digestive system can cause symptoms such as: gas bloating, food cravings, especially for sweets, stomach cramps, constipation, and over time can lead to a phenomenon known as leaky gut syndrome, or increased intestinal permeability. Essentially, the intestinal lining becomes damaged and toxins that would normally be processed begin leaking into the bloodstream.
Without a balanced biology in the gut, our immune system is impaired. The candida can develop from preservatives, heavy metal toxins such as mercury, sterile foods, and vaccinations. Many foods in the SAD (standard American diet) have preservatives, which are chemicals that inhibit microbial and bacterial growth. In the digestive system, this food can also inhibit the growth of healthy bacteria that needs to be in the intestines. Aside from nuts and grains, food that does not spoil within a week at room temperature most likely has these chemical preservatives. This is one reason why having fresh and living fruits and vegetables in your diet is so important. If the food is preserved that well on your counter, how well do you think your body is able to process it? When candida begins to develop, the inner ecology of the gut is damaged, and the cells of the intestine become inflamed. We end up absorbing very little from the food that we eat. Many deficiencies and other conditions can ensue.
This is where kefir comes in to save the day! Kefir water can be created with Kefir grains, a living culture, that ferments sugar water into a carbonated drinkable and very healthy liquid. When done properly, the Kefir grains can be used over and over, and will actually grow. Water Kefir is a probiotic beverage that consists of lactic acid, probiotic bacteria, and yeast, all existing in a symbiotic relationship. The function of probiotics is to help populate what is known as intestinal flora. Your intestinal flora check this yeast and keep it from growing, as well as aid in digestion and elimination. By taking probiotics externally, we can put into check any overgrowth of yeast and flood our intestines with an abundance of these wonderful bacteria.
Kiefer is similar to yogurt, which also contains probiotics. The difference lies in the types. Where kefir has thirty different strains of probiotics, yogurt typically has three to four. The best part about kefir is that you can grow the kefir grains in your very own kitchen using organic sugar, and dried granules from the juice of sugar cane with all vitamins intact and nothing added. The kefir can be used to “kefir” another beverage, such as juice, milk, nut milk, sugar water, and yogurt to make a fizzy bubbly carbonated and delicious nutritious beverage. This is a great alternative to soda. Kefir water can also be added to salad dressings and smoothies. Once the water from the grains are used to “kefir” something else, then they should be rinsed with purified water and let to sit again in sugar water, where they will continue to grow. The best part of kefir grains is, as they continue to grow, you can share them with friends or family.
More information can be found on kefir at D’Vida Injury Clinic and Wellness Center, as well as your very own starter kit for the suggested donation of $15.00. If you are interested in growing your own call or come in and get more information. The grains being offered are sugar water grains, which are similar to milk kefir(like you may have seen in the store) except these work best in juice and water, and a much higher amount can be taken at a time.
The key benefits to adding kefir grain water into your diet are:
- Has many beneficial yeasts, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes.
- Assists in food digestion.
- Antibiotic and antifungal properties without causing strain or damage to the body like typical antibiotics.
- Has been used to successfully boost the immune system along with assisting with conditions and diseases such as AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, candida, autoimmune diseases and cancer.
- Can help in reducing unhealthy food cravings, especially those for sweets.
- Reduces bloating and flattens abdominals.
- Kefir grains are good to add to any detoxifying regiment as it helps to detoxify the liver. In Chinese medicine the liver rules over the skin, eyes, and joints. The liver also governs emotional health. In this way we can have a positive effect on the ‘free flowing’ of our emotions
- Positive changes to complexion and overall skin condition.
- Cleansing effect on the endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, ovaries). For Women, assists in a healthy menstrual cycle and has been reported to restore monthly menstrual cycle for women that have gone through menopause.
- Healthy non jittery energy
- Assists in calming the nervous system. Good for symptoms of sleep disorders, depression, ADHD and autism.
- Helps promote bowel movement, relieve intestinal disorders, reduce flatulence and overall digestion.
Locally grown dehydrated Kiefer Grain starter kits are currently being provided by D’Vida Injury Clinic & Wellness Center and include: Instructions, Sugar Kefir Grains, $15.00 per 3 Tbsp.
Reference: For more information about candida detox, as well as information about Liver/gallbladder flushing ,raw food cleansing and classes, contact Susan Lindquist at [email protected]
Written by Michelle Whittaker, LAc