Most would say that milk kefir is an acquired taste. Sour and slightly carbonated, it is one of the oldest cultured dairy foods in existence. Originating in Caucuses, shepherds discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into a pungent effervescent beverage.
For centuries kefir grains were regarded as part of the family’s and tribe’s wealth and were passed on from generation to generation, scarcely known outside the Caucasian Mountains, although Marco Polo did mention it in recounting his travels. However, news of the ‘magic grains’ did eventually reach Russia and it wasn’t too long before doctors discovered that milk kefir is rich in beneficial bacteria and helps heal intestinal and stomach diseases.
A strong anti-inflammatory, milk kefir has 35 different strains of beneficial bacteria and yeasts which provide us with important health benefits such as boosting immunity, calming inflammation, assisting in digestion, creating amino acids and vitamins, and aiding in digestion Kefir is rich in vitamin A, B2, B12, D, K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and tryptophan. It has anti-tumor properties, prevents disease, increases digestibility and it controls toxins.
It can be made from any type of mammalian milk, also contains partially digested proteins, enzymes (including lactase, which is good for people who are lactose intolerant).