12 Health Benefits of Kefir Milk

12 amazing health benefits of milk kefir.

Kefir milk has been in the spotlight lately, and more and more people are now experimenting with making this probiotic beverage themselves at home.


Because drinking kefir on a daily basis is one of the best things you can do for your body. Here are 12 health benefits that will surely get you thinking about adding kefir into your diet:

1. Kefir Boosts the Immune System and Improves Digestion

Kefir milk contains around 30 different strains of probiotics, to help balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Since around 80% of your immune system lies in your gut, you can imagine the direct boost that your immune system would be getting from kefir milk.

Another result of balancing out gut bacteria is improved digestion. Its probiotic content can help with gastrointestinal disturbances, such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, while also improving the way in which the body is able to digest food.

2. Kefir is packed with Vitamins and Minerals

In order for your body to thrive, you need ingest certain amounts of different vitamins and minerals each day. You probably knew that.

Kefir milk is one of the most nutrient-dense beverages out there, with a six ounce serving containing on average:

  • Calcium – 30% of your RDA
  • Phosphorous – 20% of your RDA
  • Magnesium – 5% of your RDA
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – 19% of your RDA
  • Vitamin B12 – 14% of your RDA
  • Vitamin D – 25% of your RDA
  • Vitamin A – 10% of your RDA
  • Protein – 6 grams

This is in addition to all its enzymes, amino acids and probiotics, making a glass of kefir milk a nutritional powerhouse.

3. Antibacterial Properties

Kefir contains certain compounds that are unique to this beverage, and that have antibacterial properties. This means that they can protect the body from infections by fighting harmful bacteria.

One of these compounds is the Lactobacillus kefiri probiotic strain, with studies showing that it can prevent the growth of several harmful bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli.

Kefir milk also contains a carbohydrate called kefiran, which has antibacterial effects when used topically as well as internally.

4. Kefir Can Often Be Tolerated By People Who Are Lactose Intolerant

Although kefir milk consists primarily of a dairy milk, the grains that are used in the kefir-making process feed on the lactose within milk, converting it to lactic acid.

This means that kefir milk actually contains far less lactose than milk itself, and the other enzymes found in kefir help the body to process whatever lactose is left.  This makes kefir a great dairy source for those who are lactose intolerant.

5. Kefir Builds Bone Strength and Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis

Consuming sufficient amounts of calcium is one of the best ways to improve bone health and build bone strength, while preventing osteoporosis, a bone disease that has become especially prevalent in Western countries.

Kefir milk is a great source of calcium, but also of vitamin K2. This vitamin actually helps your body metabolize the calcium and improve its absorption by bone cells, meaning that the calcium in kefir milk is much more bioavailable than other dairy sources.

6. Kefir Can Improve Allergies and Asthma

Allergies are the result of an inflammatory reaction from the body, in response to an environmental substance that is actually harmless.  If you have allergies, you probably have an over-sensitive immune system, making you more susceptible to conditions such as asthma.

While the relation between kefir and allergies has only been studied in animals so far, results show that kefir milk is able to suppress the inflammatory responses that the body sends out, resulting in fewer allergy and asthma symptoms.

7. Kefir Aids in Weight Loss

Some of the probiotic strains in kefir milk are able to help with weight loss. These include:

  • Lactobacillus gasseri – increases the size of fat molecules, meaning that you absorb less fat from your food
  • Lactobacillus paracasei – regulates the rate at which you burn fat and reduces fat storage within the body
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus – triggers the body to release leptin, a hormone that increases satiety

8. Improves Oral Health

Kefir milk helps with oral health in a few different ways. First, it contains all of the necessary nutrients that your teeth need in order to thrive, in a form that is easy for them to absorb.

Kefir milk also contains lactobacillus bacteria, which is believed to be able to kill, and prevent the growth of the bad bacteria that causes tooth decay.

9. Helps to Detoxify the Body

Kefir helps detoxify the body in a few different ways, but it is most effective when it comes to aflatoxins. These are common toxins found in food such as corn, soy, wheat and vegetable oils. Each time you drink kefir milk, the lactic acid bacteria in it binds to the aflatoxins in your body, and then helps to expel them.

10. Kefir Can Slow Down the Aging Process

Aging, as well as many age-related health issues, are usually caused by inflammation and oxidative stress within the body.  Not only is kefir an anti-inflammatory, but it is also packed with antioxidants, which are key when it comes to combatting the aging process.

From wrinkles and sun spots to cancer and dementia, kefir can help with so many age-related conditions, and can even help to extend your lifespan, as seen in this study.

11. Kefir Can Improve your Skin

Your skin is your body's largest organ, and many would argue that the health of your skin is a reflection of what is currently going on in your gut.

Since kefir milk helps to rebalance the gut, it will not take long for you to notice improvements in your skin.

You can also use kefir milk topically, as it has been proven to help with wound healing, while protecting connective tissues. (Read the study here.)

If you suffer from acne or rosacea, the lactic acid in kefir, as well as its antibacterial properties, can really help to alleviate these two skin conditions.

12. Kefir Could Potentially Protect Against Cancer

Cancer is one of the most common causes of death around the world, and kefir milk is something that could potentially help to protect the body from this.

Its probiotics are the reason why, as these are believed to have the ability to reduce the growth of carcinogenic cells within the body, while stimulating the immune system to fight back against these at the same time.

When it comes to science-backed studies on the topic, the results so far are promising, but these are currently just test tube studies, and have not actually involved humans yet.

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As you can see, kefir milk is undoubtedly good for you, and there are so many ways in which you can consume this beverage, from drinking it to putting it into a smoothie, to using it as yeast to bake bread. 

If you'd like to try homemade kefir, check out this recipe with directions.

Now… if you currently make or buy kefir milk, what is your favorite way to drink or eat it? Let us know in the comments section below.

About the author: Alina Jumabhoy was a born and bred city girl, until she moved to the Scottish countryside in 2013 to live the self-sufficient life. Thrown in at the deep end, she spent all her time learning as much about homesteading as she could, putting theory into practice each and every day. Today, Alina grows large amounts of food in her garden, greenhouse and polytunnel, and also has a number of different animals that call her little farm "home". Alina writes for New Life on a Homestead.

Milk kefir has healthy probiotics AND it's delicious. Check out 12 health benefits of milk kefir here.

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