Using milk KEFIR to help reduce blood pressure and stabilise blood glucose levels – can it be done?

I don’t have either of these problems, so I can’t tell you from personal experience. I can, however, tell you what I have heard and read about people who have diabetes who have used kefir to successfully reduce both their blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Having just 250 ml per day (on its own or as part of a smoothie) has been shown to help to normalize the numbers and help reverse Type 2 diabetes.

There are many studies confirming that those who have insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes and/or hypertension have altered gut flora – or different types of gut bacteria than healthy people.

Studies show that by improving gut health (eliminating the bad bacteria and replacing it with good bacteria) metabolic orders can be reversed, insulin resistance can be reduced, inflammation can be reduced, glucose sensitivity can be restored, blood pressure can be normalized and body fat can be lost.

By eliminating inflammatory foods (think processed foods, grains, wheat, gluten, sugar and those you are intolerant to), following an anti-inflammatory diet such as wholefoods LCHF (Low Carb High (healthy) Fat) and consuming traditional fermented food and drink like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha, we can start to allow the gut to heal which in turn will create an overall feeling of well being. Traditional fermented foods are wonderful as they don’t cause the pancreas to work too hard – they actually improve pancreatic function!

What are kefir grains?

Kefir grains are a combination of yeast and bacteria living on a substrate made up of a variety of dairy components. The live kefir grains look a little bit like cauliflower florets and feel a bit like firm gelatine.  It is the only milk culture that actually ‘forms grains’ – so it’s pretty special! They can’t be ‘made’ as they are 100% natural/real. You must purchase them or get them from someone you know who is already making kefir. To purchase your own kefir grains, please click here: http://www.mimfit.net/product/kefir-grains/  

What is kefir?

I like to call it a ‘super probiotic’! It is the drink that comes from the kefir grains and milk. It is about the same consistency as drinkable yoghurt and tastes sour, sometimes tangy – a bit like greek yoghurt, but not. It is very hard to describe! The great thing about milk kefir is that after the fermentation process, minimal lactose remains (the bacteria consume the lactose). This means that many people who lactose intolerant are able to consume milk kefir. And for those who find that they simply can’t, coconut milk kefir is a great alternative.

It contains many bioactive ingredients and gives us so many unique health benefits. It can help with many health problems and helps to fight inflammation within the body.  Homemade milk kefir (made with live grains) contains 30 to 50 strains of good bacteria and is made by simply adding some kefir grains to milk and waiting for it to ferment.

Kefir is waaaaaay better for you than yoghurt. In fact, it isn’t at all like yoghurt! Unlike yoghurt, kefir actually colonizes our digestive tracts with this beneficial bacteria and yeast. Yoghurt and many other probiotics are actually just prebiotics (or food for the good bacteria already living in the intestinal tract).  Storebought lab made yoghurt usually only contains 1 – 5 strains of good bacteria, and store bought kefir generally isn’t fermented long enough and the pasteurization process kills the probiotics anyway. So the best way to get the BEST keifr, is to make your own – and luckily, it’s a very simple process. You need to start slowly with perhaps 1 – 2 Tbsp. a day, and be prepared for some potential digestive upsets as your body adapts. Over time your body will let you know that it wants kefir, and not just 1 Tbsp! I drink 2 cups per day now, and I love it! I really miss it if I can’t have some. I even take it with us when we go away in our caravan. It really is that easy to make.

As your gut starts to heal and you start to feel better,  your energy levels start to improve and you will be able to exercise a little more and focus on doing what you need to in order for your body to heal completely.

Kefir and fermented foods on their own and NOT enough to reverse Type 2 diabetes or help you to lose weight, but they are a great addition to a healthy way of eating and living, and the benefits are astounding.

Click here for a list of the most effective probiotic foods: https://www.thecandidadiet.com/probiotic-foods/

To purchase your own kefir grains, please click here: http://www.mimfit.net/product/kefir-grains/

 

 

How to Make Milk Kefir:

 

Ingredients:

  • Hydrated Milk Kefir Grains (2 -3 Tbsp. is fine remember the more you have, the faster it culture)
  • 2 cups of milk (grass fed and from cows, sheep or goat is best – use full fat)

Method:

  1. Put live kefir grains into a clean jar. The more you use, the faster it will culture.
  2. Add the milk, leaving at least  2-3 cm of room at the top of the jar.
  3. Top with a paper towel and a rubber band (to keep the bugs out!) and leave it for 12-24 hours, at room temperature It’s OK if you accidentally leave it a little longer)
  4. Once it starts to look lumpy and separate, it’s ready. Taste it and see! We like ours just before it gets ‘fizzy’. The longer you leave it, the more separated , sour and fizzy it gets.
  5. Strain out the liquid using a a strainer, which leaves behind the original kefir grains. You will need to push the kefir through the seive leaving the grains behind.
  6. Bottle the kefir and refrigerate.
  7. Put the grains in a new jar with some fresh milk, and start the process again.

How to Make Coconut Milk Kefir:

Makes about 1 cup of yogurt for 1 can of coconut milk.

Ingredients:

  • Hydrated Milk Kefir Grains (2 -3 Tbsp. is fine)
  • 2 cups of pure full fat coconut milk

Method:

  1. Place live kefir grains into a jar.
  2. Add coconut milk leaving at least  2-3 cm of room at the top of the jar.
  3. Top with a paper towel and a rubber band (to keep the bugs out!) and leave it for 12-24 hours, at room temperature.
  4. Strain out the liquid using a a strainer, which leaves behind the original kefir grains. You will need to push the kefir through the strainer leaving the grains behind.
  5. Bottle the kefir and refrigerate.
  6. Put the grains in a new jar with some fresh milk, and start the process again.

Tip:

To make it thicker, you can do the following:

  1. Line a metal strainer with cheesecloth, muslin cloth or tea towel.  Place strainer over a medium-sized bowl to catch the whey.
  2. Pour the strained kefir into the lined strainer and place the entire bowl and strainer into the fridge.
  3. After about an 1 hour, check the liquid in the bottom of the bowl and make sure that it is mostly clear kind of like the top of a yoghurt container.   If it isn’t clear, repeat the process with the cheese cloth and add another few layers of cheese cloth or a thicker towel or even a coffee filter to strain out the whey.
  4. Check how thick it ist is after about 4 hours.  It will take anywhere between 4-24 hours to strain enough whey to have thick, creamy yogurt consistency.
  5. Once the desired thickness is reached, transfer the yogurt into a sealed container for storage .
  6. You can get rid of the whey.

 

You will need to rest the kefir grains in dairy milk every 2 or 3 times so they can feed on the lactose.

 

 

 

References:

  • B. Watson with L. Smith, M.D., The Skinny Gut Diet: Balance Your Digestive System for Permanent Weight Loss, New York: Harmony Books (2014): x–xiii
    A. Everard et al., “Cross-Talk Between Akkermansia muciniphila and Intestinal Epithelium Controls Diet-Induced Obesity,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, no. 22 (May 28, 2013)
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769158/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4078018/
  • http://news.gsu.edu/2017/05/30/diabetes-bacteria-invading-colon/
  • http://www.pnas.org/content/110/22/9066
  • http://www.naturalnews.com/041778_probiotics_type-2_diabetes_insulin_resistance.html#ixzz3GWh3qLks
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