3 ianuarie 2011

Ce este Kefirul?

Ce este Kefirul?


















Kefirul este o bautura fermentata din lapte. Cuvantul kefir se spune ca ar fi originat din cuvantul turc “keif” care inseamna “sa te simti bine”. Kefirul dateaza cu multe secole in urma, fiind intalnit la ciobanii din Muntii Caucaz ce carau lapte in burdufuri de piele, in care fermenta in iaurt acidulat acrisor. Elie Metchnikoff, un biolog laureat al Premiului Nobel de la Institutul Pasteur a sugerand ca lactobacilii ar putea contracara efectele de putrefacţie din metabolismul gastrointestinal. Acest cercetator atribuia longevitatea locuitorilor din Munţii Caucaz pe seama consumului de lapte acru.
In timpurile moderne se manifesta un interes crescut in cercetarea probioticelor si in particular a proprietaţilor curative ale diverselor forme de lapte fermentat, precum ar fi kefirul.

Cultura de kefir 

Exista doua tipuri de kefir: kefirul de apa – granule mici,  transparente care fermenteaza in apa indulcita; kefirul de lapte - granule de culoare alba sau a smantanii, care arata mai degraba ca o conopida, fermentand in lapte.
Kefirul este o cultura vie, o simbioza complexa formata din mai bine de 30 de microflore ce formeaza granulele in conglomerate asemanatoare structurii unei conopide (numite uneori plante) din lapte. Acestea cresc pe masura ce cultura fermenteaza laptele, generand noi granule in proces. Kefirul adevarat din cultura vie este un proces autopropagandu-se la nesfarsit.
Micro organismele prezente in granule cuprind bacterii de acid lactic, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lb delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lb helveticus, Lb casei subsp. pseudoplantarum and Lb brevis, o varietate de drojdii, precum Kluyveromyces, Torulopsis si Saccharomyces, bacterii de acid acetic, printre altele. Asigurand kefirului excelente calitaţi de conservare
oprind bacteriile de putrefacţie care altfel ar coloniza laptele. In teste de laborator, s-a dovedit ca acestea inhiba atat salmonella cat si E.coli.

Kefirul si sanatatea

Kefirul are numeroase bine cunoscute beneficii pentru sanatate. Deţinand proprietati antibiotice si antifungale. Fiind folosit la tratamentul unei varietaţi de boli, incluzand desordini metabolice, ateroscleroza, alergii, tuberculoza, cancer, digestie defectuasa, candidoza, osteoporoza, hipertensiune, HIV si boli cardiace. Vi s-ar parea straniu ca o bautura conţinand drojdii ar fi buna la tratarea candidozei insa s-a dovedit de ajutor pentru multi oameni, atat prin restaurarea unui mai bun echilibru in flora intestinala cat si datorita faptului ca unele elemente de microflora distrug Candida Albicans. Nu toate drojdiile sunt daunatoare.
Pe langa bacteriile benefice si drojdii, kefirul contine multe vitamine, minerale, aminoacizi si enzime. In particular calciu, fosfor, magneziu, B2 si B12, vitamina K, vitamina A si vitamina D.
Triptofan, unul dintre amino acizii esentiali care abunda in kefir, este bine cunoscut pentru efectul sau calmant asupra sistemului nervos. Deoarece kefirul are de asemenea calciu si magneziu in abundenta, minerale importante pentru intretinerea unui sistem nervos sanatos, kefirul in dieta poate induce o deosebita calmare a nervilor.
Abundenta enzimelor aduce inca si mai multe beneficii sanatatii, in special in cazul oamenilor cu intoleranta la lactoza, dintre care multi pot tolera kefirul fara dificultate, atata vreme cat kefirul este crud si nu gatit (procesul de gatire distrugand enzimele).

Referinte:
Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir grains and kefir made from them. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 2002 Jan;28(1):1-6 .
Inhibitory power of kefir: the role of organic acids. J Food Prot 2000 Mar;63(3):364-9
Antibacterial activity of milk-fermenting bacteria. Vet Med (Praha) 1990 Mar;35(3):187-92
The Caucasus Kefir. Dr. Lee Lorenzen, Biochemist

Sursa:
http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/kefir.shtml

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a fermented milk drink. The word kefir is said to have originated from the Turkish word "Keif" which means "good feeling". Kefir dates back many centuries to the shepherds of the Caucasus Mountains who carried milk stored in leather pouches where it would ferment into fizzy sour yoghurt.
Elie Metchnikoff, a Nobel-prize winning biologist at the Pasteur Institute, first suggested that lactobacilli might counteract the putrefactive effects of gastrointestinal metabolism in 1908. He attributed the long and healthy life of the people of the Caucasus Mountains to their consumption of soured milk. In modern times there's a great deal of interest and research into probiotics and the health giving properties of fermented milks like kefir.

The Kefir Culture

There are two types of kefir: water kefir - small transparent grains that ferment sweetened water; and milk kefir - white or cream coloured grains that look rather like cauliflower florets that ferment milk.
A cauliflower-like kefir grainKefir is a living culture, a complex symbiosis of more than 30 microflora that form grains or cauliflower-like structures (sometimes called plants) in the milk. As the culture ferments the milk these structures grow, creating new grains in the process. Real kefir from live culture is an endlessly self-propagating process.
Microorganisms present in the grains include lactic acid bacteria, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lb delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lb helveticus, Lb casei subsp. pseudoplantarum and Lb brevis, a variety of yeasts, such as Kluyveromyces, Torulopsis, and Saccharomyces, acetic acid bacteria among others. They give kefir excellent keeping qualities by keeping putrifying bacteria that might otherwise colonise the milk at bay. They've been shown to inhibit both salmonella and E. Coli in laboratory tests.

Kefir and Health

Kefir has many reputed health benefits. It has antibiotic and antifungal properties. It's been used in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including metabolic disorders, atherosclerosis, and allergies, tuberculosis, cancer, poor digestion, candidiasis, osteoporosis, hypertension, HIV and heart disease. You might find it odd that that a drink containing yeasts would be good for treating candidiasis but it has been helpful to many people, both by restoring a better balance to the gut flora and because some elements of the microflora will kill off Candida Albicans. Not all yeasts are harmful.
In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Particularly calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, B2 and B12, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin D. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also has an abundance of calcium and magnesium, also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.
The abundance of enzymes brings more health benefits, especially to lactose intolerant people, many of whom can tolerate kefir without difficulty, as long as the kefir is raw and not cooked (cooking destroys the enzymes).

References

Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir grains and kefir made from them. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 2002 Jan;28(1):1-6 .
Inhibitory power of kefir: the role of organic acids. J Food Prot 2000 Mar;63(3):364-9
Antibacterial activity of milk-fermenting bacteria. Vet Med (Praha) 1990 Mar;35(3):187-92
The Caucasus Kefir. Dr. Lee Lorenzen, Biochemist

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