Top Pick Of The Week

June 14, 2011

Lifeway Frozen Kefir

Dig in: It’s god for you. Photography by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: A frozen version of the traditional yogurt-like drink, kefir.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: It’s the first frozen kefir. Compared with frozen yogurt, it has even more healthful bacteria and yeasts.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love the taste and the healthiness. Our lactose-intolerant friends will love the ability to enjoy frozen desserts again.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Albertson’s, Central Market, Food Emporium, Gristedes, Natural Grocers, Sunflower, Whole Foods Markets and other fine retailers. If it isn’t in your store, it ask the manager if it has been ordered. It may be on its way.

.Kefir Health Benefits


Kefir Health Benefits Overview

Tart and refreshing kefir is often called “drinkable yogurt.” It’s similar to yogurt in both appearance and taste, but has more than double the amount of live and active cultures.*

Unlike yogurt, kefir contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly probiotic bacteria found in yogurt. The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir have a symbiosis that provides superior health benefits to yogurt (when consumed regularly, of course).†

Kefir is packed with vitamins and minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins. In addition to being delicious, it:

  • Digestion. The bacteria and yeast contribute to healthy digestion (including IBS, but not colitis or Crohn’s Disease) and a healthy immune system.
  • Sleep & Wellbeing. The tryptophan, calcium and magnesium in kefir give kefir a relaxing effect on the nervous systemelps with sleep disorders, depression and ADHD.
  • Balance. Some say that kefir helps to eliminate unhealthy food cravings, by making the body more nourished and balanced.

The trick is to consume kefir regularly (consult with your healthcare provider).

Kefir Can Be Vegan

Kefir can be made from any type of milk: animal (cow, goat, sheep, or water buffalo), or plant (coconut, rice or soy).

Vegans can buy kefir grans and make their own. The So Delicious brand makes a coconut milk kefir.

The article continues below.

*Some yogurts and frozen yogurts don’t contain any live bacteria. The bacteria have have long since died, due to processing and other factors. Always check the label, and if it does not provide enough information, check with the company’s website.

†For example, each cup of Lifeway Kefir, from which the frozen kefir is made, contains 7 to 10 billion CFUs—Colony Forming Units, i.e., microorganisms) of 10 strains of bacteria, plus two clinically proven probiotics to balance the body’s ecosystem, support digestive health and immunity. That’s 12 probiotics in all, as opposed to the 5 or 6 typically found in probiotic yogurt (and the 2 or 3 cultures typically found in non-probiotic yogurt).


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Kefir Is Great For Lactose Intolerant Folks

Some  30 to 50 million Americans suffer from lactose intolerance, the inability to digest lactose.‡ But they’re not alone: About 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. The condition is more common among people of African, Asian, Hispanic and Native American parentage than among those of Northern European descent.

Lactose intolerance affects adults more than children, since the body produces less lactase enzyme as people age.

Lactose is a type of sugar naturally found in milk and dairy products. When digested, lactose breaks down into galactose and glucose.

Lactase is a digestive enzyme produced by the small intestine. Its function is to digest lactose. If one’s small intestine doesn’t make enough lactase to digest the lactose consumed, the result is lactose intolerance. (A physician can test you to confirm if you have the condition.)

The two options to enjoy dairy products are:

  Lifeway Frozen Kefir
Lactose intolerant? Enjoy all the kefir (and frozen kefir) you want!
  • Eat lactose free products (the lactose has been removed from the dairy product).
  • Swallow a lactase tablet (like Lactaid) that supplies the missing enzyme.

‡Dairy foods cause symptoms such as bloating, cramping, gas and diarrhea.

Kefir Provides Lactase

Kefir’s natural abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria actually provide lactase, the enzyme that consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process.

When you consume a pill such as Lactaid, it supplies the missing lactase that is missing.

Or, consume as much Lifeway Frozen Kefir—no supplement required. It’s 99% lactose-free. (Drinkable kefir is 100% lactose free.)

—Karen Hochman

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