TGF milk kefir is an organic artisanal milk kefir ferments using only live kefir grains. This attributes to a greater microbiome diversity as compared to industrial kefir that uses starter cultures.
When we talk about boosting our gut good microbes, the first thing many would think of is to consume probiotic supplements. What is seemingly being viewed as the top choice for our gut health in stores may actually not be able to provide sufficiently what our gut needs. Probiotic supplement and fermented yoghurt typically contain only bacteria strains, not to mention other additives that can be added to enhance the shelf life and taste of it.
A healthy gut actually contains over thousands types of microbial species. It can consist of a collection of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi found within the gut and their overall genetic information.
A typical artisanal milk kefir microbial community contains over 30 to 50 strains which includes lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, mycelial fungi and yeast among other species in a symbiotic protein-fat matrix. Milk kefir is the most potent source of probiotics due to the highest biodiversity we can ever find in food. There are also evidence that artisanal fermented foods allows for rapid recruitment of other microbes into our gut, resulting in a more diverse range of microbes.
And our artisanal milk kefir is one of my favourite fermented foods to include in my family’s diet, especially for my 6 year old. It is fermented with organic whole cows milk and blended with only real fruits and vegetables. As an active boy, his mealtimes are shorter in relative to us. It is therefore important to ensure his foods are of high quality and nutrient dense. When it comes to food, nutrient loss is inevitable during the cooking process. But it is not the same for fermented foods and milk where nutrients and good microbes are multiplied.
In this blog, I am sharing with you that there is so much more in our artisanal milk kefir, more than just being a probiotic drink.
Kefir microbes uses milk as a rich nutrient reservoir to make plenty of essential compounds during the fermentation process. Besides the wide diversity of microbes that possess potential health benefits, the bioactive compounds (digestive enzymes, organic acids, bioactive peptides, Kefiran) produced as a by-product of fermentation also holds important role in ensuring our body is functioning optimally.
Digestive enzymes- "You aren't what you eat, you are what you digest and absorb"
Our pancreas makes digestive enzymes that is needed for us to digest food properly. Many foods like avocado and mango can also contain digestive enzymes.
Milk kefir too contains digestive enzymes that digest proteins (protease), fats (lipase), and lactose as the main carbohydrate in dairy milk (lactase). Milk kefir itself is a highly digestible food and can supplement our body with an extra boost of enzymes.
Organic acids, bioactive peptides, Kefiran- compounds that attributes to the therapeutic potentials of milk kefir and it is being made in larger amounts in milk than in our gut
LAB and yeast produces proteases to break down casein from milk to many free amino acids. While this can be helpful for indivudals who are allergic to casein in milk, these free amino acids are also essential as they are in turn used as neurotransmitters, muscle metabolism, immune function, hemoglobin production, energy regulation, collagen and elastin production, hormone and enzyme production.
Casein protein breakdown of milk by LAB and yeast during fermentation also produces bioactive peptides that exhibit antimicrobial activity against pathogens like Escherichia. coli and possess antioxidant activity.
Bacteriocin, a bioactive protein produced by Lent. Kefiri has also demonstrated antimicrobial effects against bacteria that cause bacterial meningitis by killing the pathogens or inhibiting its growth.
Kefiran, exclusively found in milk kefir, is a microbial exopolysaccharide (EPS) that is produced by Lactobacillus Kefiranofaciens. In addition to possessing antimicrobial and antifungal activity, kefiran also has prebiotic nature in agitating the growth of probiotics in the human gastrointestinal tract.
Kefiran is proven to be more potent than inulin (used in probiotic supplement) in promoting intestinal microbiota diversity. Kefiran also result in a different short-chain fatty acid profile, producing a higher amount of butyrate than inulin. Butyrate fuels colonocytes, and in return these cells help provide an oxygen-free environment in which beneficial gut microbes thrive. Kefiran is a source of carbon while inulin is a source of glucose. Carbon increases the development of Bifidobacterium bifidum, the largest population of gut microbes in humans, from 20% to 70% as compared to the use of glucose.
Kefir derivatives (e.g., polysaccharides, protein, peptides) can also suppress viral activity by modulating immune-system responses and/or hindering viral attachment to human cells, thereby preventing them from multiplying. Kefir derivatives also act as anti-inflammatory agents by inhibiting the activity of proinflammatory cytokines.
Free fatty acids (FFAs) are produced due to the breakdown of milk fat during fermentation. Studies have shown that milk kefir contains 5 to 10 times for FFAs as compared to milk. Besides being an energy source, FFAs has critical functions such as proper receptor signaling and gene expression that can prevent serious condition such as onset of cancer.
"Milk kefir is a better choice to restore gut flora as compared to probiotic supplements", based on research study.
It is not just probiotics that delivers impactful health effects on our body, it is also the biosubstances that is produced by these microbes that work together to benefit our health is the most holistic way.
Consuming probiotic supplements do not allow us to consume these bioactive compounds as they do not go through the fermentation process.
Through history, milk is a nutritious beverage that is given to babies since birth and has continue to nourish our children as they grow and start solids. Choosing what goes into our and their bodies can have a long term impact - either the good way or the bad way.
Contrary to the belief that milk kefir is a supplement and cannot be consumed daily, milk kefir is food - a functional real food that can be and should be consumed daily. In fact, that is how the ancient preserve milk where refrigeration is not available yet - bio-preservation in milk kefir.