From Suzy in Houston
(NaturalNews) Do you cringe when someone mentions probiotics because you really don’t want to think about those zillions of bacteria living in your gut? Swallowing down some more to add to the pile may not sound like an appealing thought, but the truth is that taking probiotics is probably one of the best interventions you can do to stay healthy or regain your health. That’s because those four pounds of little critters in your gut are to a very large degree your immune system. They hold the keys to your very existence.
Kefir may be the best way to take probiotics. Kefir is a creamy, drinkable yogurt style fermented milk that tastes something like buttermilk. Before you say “yuck” please note that kefir is available at health food stores in natural fruit flavors and sweetened with evapo-rated cane juice, as well as in a plain, unsweetened variety. If you make it at home, it can be made to taste like whatever appeals to you and out of whatever type of milk you like, such as almond milk or coconut milk. It’s full of naturally occurring bacteria and yeast living in symbiosis as the result of the fermentation process. Kefir is loaded with vitamins, minerals and easily digested protein. It can even be consumed by the lactose intolerant because the yeast and bacteria provide the enzyme lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process. Kefir is fermented by kefir grains that contain the bacteria and yeast mixture clumped together with casein (milk protein) and complex sugars. The bacteria and yeast mixture can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match. Several of the strains of bacteria in the kefir culture are not found in yogurt. The yeast in kefir is able to deal effectively with pathogenic yeasts in the body. The bacteria/yeast team cleanses and fortifies the intestinal tract making it more efficient at resisting pathogens. Because kefir is a balanced and nourishing food, it has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer. It has a tranquilizing effect on the nervous system and is beneficial for people with sleep disorders, depression and ADHD. Kefir promotes healthy bowel movements when used regularly, and helps reduce flatulence. It also helps reduce food cravings by allowing the body to feel more nourished and balanced.