No, Kefir is not Paleo but…
Kefir is Healthier than Yogurt!
Kefir is a fermented beverage made up of milk that comes from cow, goat or sheep. It has a slight tangy taste, bubbly texture and white color. The sour taste of kefir is due to the fermentation of bacteria and yeast that makes up the grain-like matrix of proteins, lipids and sugar used to culture the milk.
Kefir originated centuries ago in the Caucasus Mountains of Eurasia and has now spread out worldwide. It is one of the oldest cultured milk products available.
Kefir is dairy and with the drawbacks we have presented on our previous posts about dairy products, it is definitely not Paleo. But like yogurt, kefir provides health benefits too. Kefir contains several types of beneficial microbiota and yeasts. The beneficial bacteria serve as probiotic supplementation and promote healthy gut flora. Kefir has anti-inflammatory properties against E-coli and salmonella.
Kefir is a good source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that promote healing and repair and health maintenance. Kefir contains thiamine, B vitamins especially B12, calcium, folate, potassium, biotin. It is rich in magnesium and phosphorus which helps in utilizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy.
Unlike other dairy products, the complete proteins in kefir are partially digested making it easy to be digested by people who have digestive problems.
For some people who are lactose intolerant, kefir can be tolerated because its bacteria and yeasts have consumed most of the lactose present in milk. But it doesn’t mean that it will have the same effect on everyone. Though most of the sugars in kefir are consumed because of the fermentation process, it can still raise the amount of insulin response just with the lactose left.
Kefir Can Be Paleo-Friendly!
While Kefir is not Paleo, it can be Paleo-Friendly. There are other alternatives that can be tried. An example is choosing a kefir made with organic, full-fat, grass-fed milk. This kind of kefir is non-sweet and almost similar to butter with its consistency. Kefir which are fermented longer are better too because not only it will have fewer sugar but it will have more essential bacteria that promotes good gut health.
Another option would be creating your own kefir using coconut milk. The process only includes a few steps. First is to buy kefir grains (live active cultures consisting yeast and bacteria). Rehydrate kefir grains when they are dehydrated by adding raw cow’s milk and setting it in a room temperature. After 5-7 days of rehydrating, strain the grains out and place them in a cup of fresh milk. When the milk has thickened and has a fermented smell, then the grains are ready.
Next, in a glass container, combine the grains with coconut milk, cover it with a cloth and secure with a rubber band. Let it sit in a warm place for 12-24 hours. When the coconut milk has thickened and has a slight tangy taste, it has now turned to kefir.
Lastly, remove the grains and refrigerate your kefir. The grains removed can be used again for your next batch of kefir.
What Experts Say About Kefir… Is It Paleo?
“One dairy product that not only offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals, but also provides a variety of probiotic organisms and powerful healing qualities, is kefir.” – Chris Kresser
“By fermenting dairy products, it is possible to reduce their lactose content, but not all fermented dairy products (yogurt, kumiss, sour milk etc) are completely lactose free”. – Dr. Loren Cordain
All you ever wanted to know about Kefir and Paleo
Chris Kresser. Kefir: the not-quite-Paleo superfood
The Paleo Diet. Kefir Consumption Ill Founded at Best
Paleo Leap. THE PLACE OF DAIRY ON A PALEO DIET
Eat Drink Paleo. Kefir – Should It Be Included in the Paleo Diet?
Paleo Hacks. Kefir And The Paleo Diet
Mark’s Daily Apple. Homemade Coconut Milk Kefir
Kefir in the Paleo Diet
Paleo Porn. Is Kefir Paleo?
Did we miss anything?
Comment below and let us know what you think. Do you agree with our conclusion?
photo credit: Straining Kefir