What seems like ages ago when I was battling high blood pressure and diabetes, I noticed an interesting trend in my body. It seemed that when I drank a glass of kefir every day, my blood pressure would go down– and not just a little bit.
It would drop significantly, putting me back within the normal range. When I would skip my kefir, my blood pressure would start creeping back up within three days or so.
I know that jumping to conclusions is wrong, because there are so many other variables, so I started doing experiments on myself to see if it was truly the kefir that was making the difference. After many trial runs, I was convinced that it was the kefir that was healing me. A couple of months later, my personal experience was backed up in a book I was reading…
“Bacteria for Breakfast by Dr. Kelly Downhower Karpa.” This book discusses fermented milk products and their ability to lower blood pressure in people with mild hypertension.
It includes the results of a study involving both rats and human subjects that confirmed Dr. Karpa’s findings. To combat hypertension, doctors often prescribe what is known as an ACE-inhibitor, a drug that dilates the blood vessels, resulting in lower blood pressure. The study reviewed in the book Bacteria forBreakfast found that some strains of probiotic food produce their own ACE-inhibiting substances during the fermentation process.
While most bacteria produce lactic acid, they also produce ACE-inhibiting substances during milk fermentation… Lactobacillus helveticus, which is found in high concentrations in kefir, was identified as the most effective. However, it is important to note that the results were most effective for patients with mild hypertension. I am not advising anyone to stop taking medication, but it may be beneficial to add some kefir to your diet and then monitor yourself to see if you experience a lowering of your blood pressure.
Kefir also has properties that assist in controlling blood sugar, because it’s loaded with lactic acid and enzymes that regulate sugar metabolism. My blood sugars quickly fell into the normal range when I added kefir to my diet. It was quite miraculous to me – and I have noticed this phenomenon in others who attended my cultured-food classes.
Another benefit of kefir is that the types of bacteria it contains help alleviate inflammation throughout the gut. Controlling inflammation is critical, because many diseases are caused or affected by it. If your body’s ability to regulate inflammation is not working properly, you’re headed toward illness and premature aging.
Finally, kefir enhances digestion because its milk sugars have been predigested through the fermentation process, making it extremely low in sugar; Kefir is only 1 percent sugar, while yogurt is 4 percent. This predigestion also helps regulate the immune system’s response, leading to less stress throughout the body. In a study that used a diabetes-prone breed of mice, researchers investigated whether or not the administration of Lactobacillus casei – one of the probiotic bacteria found in abundance in kefir – would prevent these mice from developing diabetes when the disease was induced. The progression into diabetes in the mice mimics the onset of human insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Researchers found that the administration of this strain of bacteria did, indeed, reduce the development of diabetes in these mice by regulating immune responses. The exact mechanisms by which these actions prevent diabetes are yet to be understood. Although there are few rigorous studies on the health benefits of kefir, there are many advantages reported by those people who drink it on a regular basis. In my classes and on my websites, I’ve received many stories of miracle-like healing, but they still bowl me over. In addition to those benefits listed above, here are some of the most common reports about what kefir has done for people – and some of these I’ve even experienced myself:
• Eliminates constipation • Reduces or eliminates allergies • Enhances digestion • Reduces asthma symptoms • Reduces cold and flu illnesses • Cures acne • Treats yeast infections • Promotes a natural “good” feeling • Effective as the strongest natural antibiotic without side effects • Replenishes the body with good bacteria after antibiotic use • Treats diarrhea • Aids lactose intolerance • Promotes deep sleep • Heals ulcers
The kefir-drinking community talks about these benefits – not the scientific community. But there are so many stories of people who have been helped by kefir that I have no doubt about its health-enhancing effects. I hope you are able to experience wonderful things in your life, too!
But of course, the source of kefir matters and if you want to reap “real” benefits, then only consume “raw milk kefir“, made from entirely grass fed milk. Only then you can assure that ALL beneficial bacteria are present and nothing is destroyed by the art of pasteurization.
Using a live, heirloom kefir culture is of upmost importance, as a powdered culture will never produce that “Champagne tasting kefir that is brimming with live enzymes and all the good yeast and bacteria known for good, medicinal and authentic kefir.