In this article, we are going to compare the health benefits of water kefir and milk kefir and point out their differences. Both drinks are immensely healthy but for some people’s health, one is better than the other.
Let’s start with water kefir first and after that, we will discuss milk kefir in order to make our final verdict between these two.
Health Benefits of Water Kefir
Water kefir is an incredible probiotic drink with a citrus aroma and it also contains gas. It has multiple properties considered of great help for our body. This drink is highly recommended for all people even if they suffer from lactose intolerance. Since water kefir is fermented in water and not in milk, it is tolerable for all types of people.
The peculiarity of water kefir is due to its easy preparation. Water kefir grains feed on sugar. It is a very interesting solution for regulating blood glucose levels. Highly recommended in cases of diabetes since water kefir prevents the urge of eating by balancing those levels. Water kefir drink helps to expel from our body everything that is not necessary, instead of accumulating it in our organism.
Water kefir provides our organism with many benefits. These are the main ones:
- Water kefir is a Probiotic – it contains live microorganisms and when consumed these microorganisms will reach our intestine and begin to exercise their beneficial healthy metabolic functions. To ensure that the kefir bacteria reaches our digestive system intact, it is best to take it without food (1 hour before or after a meal) so that its passage through the aggressive stomach acid is as fast as possible.
- Rehydration and mineral intake – water kefir is an isotonic drink and for that reason, it has the ability to hydrate our body much more than water. Water kefir meets all the requirements for a good isotonic drink.
- Improves the intestinal flora – it is essential for the proper functioning of the intestines. Probiotics are the same microorganisms that normally inhabit the intestinal system and are able to colonize the intestine to function properly.
- Enhances the Immune System – the immune system is indirectly enhanced thanks to the fact that it improves digestion and the body must allocate fewer resources to it. When our intestines work properly, it allows us to have a greater absorption of the vitamins. They are essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, but probiotics do much more than just that. Some studies have shown that they are also capable of stimulating the lymphocytes and that they could even help to destroy tumor cells.
- Acts as an antibiotic – by this, we mean that water kefir has the capacity to inhibit certain microorganisms. Usually, the pathogens or species of our microbiome that may be more developed than it is desirable.
- Controls cholesterol – several studies show that people who want to eat chocolate or sugary candy have a different intestinal bacterial composition than people who do not have that craving. It has been shown that consuming supplements and probiotic foods such as kefir, consistently reduce the desire for carbohydrates.
- Anti-inflammatory and curative action – several studies have shown that inflammatory markers are reduced. Also, the body’s capacity to regenerate has improved with the consumption of kefir.
- Detoxifying and purifying – the probiotic microorganisms improve the digestion, elimination of toxins and harmful substances that run through our intestines.
- Strengthens the body’s defenses – this happens particularly during the recovery from diseases. It has been used successfully in conditions such as rheumatism, asthma, constipation, hypertension, arthritis, gastric ulcers, poor digestion or absorption of food, chronic inflammatory diseases and as a nutritional supplement in diseases such as cancer or AIDS.
Health Benefits of Milk kefir
Kefir grains, formed by yeast cultures and lactic bacteria, are whitish grains with an appearance similar to that of cauliflower. When adding these kefir grains to cow’s milk or goat milk (some use coconut or almond), the microorganisms act by fermenting the sugars in the milk resulting in the milk kefir. The estimated fermentation time for milk kefir is 24 hours.
The benefits of milk kefir are very similar to those of the water kefir. Still, it has some other benefits that water kefir does not provide. These are the main health benefits of milk kefir:
- Prevents bacterial infections – thanks to its high and broad content of probiotics, milk kefir can protect our body against some infections caused by bacteria.
- Prevents asthma and allergy – allergic reactions are caused by inflammatory responses. Milk kefir helps to eliminate these anti-inflammatory responses. Therefore, it reduces the symptoms of allergy and asthma.
- Ideal for lactose intolerant – people with lactose intolerance cannot properly break down and digest the lactose contained in conventional dairy products. Kefir contains lactic acid bacteria that convert lactose into lactic acid. In addition, they also contain enzymes that contribute to the decomposition of lactose.
- Fights digestive problems – probiotic foods, such as kefir, contain live microorganisms that lodge in the intestine and help maintain the balance of intestinal bacteria. It is effective for digestive problems such as diarrhea and infections caused by various bacteria.
- Helps with preventing the formation of cancer cells – some studies with test tubes have shown that kefir can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Probiotics present in milk kefir are able to stimulate certain populations of lymphocytes designed for the recognition and destruction of cancer cells or pathogens.
- Improves bone health and osteoporosis – kefir made with high-fat milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin K2. Both are essential nutrients for maintaining optimal bone health and also good for delaying the development of osteoporosis. Kefir increases the absorption of calcium from bone cells, which increases bone density and helps prevent fractures.
Final Verdict: Which Type of Kefir is Better?
Water kefir is obtained by fermentation, using kefir cultures. Sugar is used during this process. It is based on a fermentation between 24 and 48 hours. Usually, this lasts between 3 and 5 days. The result is a soft drink that is very low in calories and sugars.
The well-bottled Water Kefir tends to last much longer than the Milk Kefir since it does not contain fats or proteins that can expire. In addition to being completely free of lactose. Water kefir is also dairy free.
Milk kefir is obtained by fermenting milk with kefir cultures. It has a rapid fermentation period, between 24 and 48 hours. The resulting product must be kept cold for a period of approximately one month.
The lactose content of the milk is about 4.7 g / 100g (about 5%). This is the sugar that the kefir grains will consume to grow. The lactose content in milk kefir is residual, but even so, it may contain some of it.
The water kefir has fewer calories, less saturated fat, fewer carbohydrates and proteins than milk kefir. Milk kefir is intended more as a type of food. While the water kefir is more of a drink that contains less calories.
Both milk and water kefir are healthy. Water kefir can be used by anyone, while some people will need to take precautions with milk kefir.
You can’t go wrong with any of these drinks!