What is Kefir?

The drink we now call Kefir (pronounced kee-fur) originated in ancient times, when nomadic shepherds in the Caucasus Mountains discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches occasionally fermented into a deliciously effervescent beverage. Once the accidental process was discovered, this bubbly refresher became popular throughout the world. The name Kefir comes from the Turkish word “keif” – meaning “good feeling” – for the sense of well-being experienced after drinking it.

Kefir is often compared to yogurt, because they have similar tastes and both contain live and active probiotic cultures, which support immunity and ease digestion. One difference between the two is that Kefir is a drink, so it can be enjoyed on the go. But the biggest difference is that Kefir contains three times the amount of probiotic cultures typically found in yogurt – Kefir usually has around 10 – which means a bigger benefit for your digestive and immune systems. Kefir is also an excellent source of protein, calcium and fiber. Plus, it’s gluten-free, 99% lactose-free and comes in many different flavors, as well as lowfat, nonfat and low-carb versions, so even the pickiest eaters can enjoy the health benefits of Kefir.