Kefir has a very vivid history of origin and the aura of a wonderful product. It is not surprising that other qualities are mixed with real healing properties in the collective consciousness: for example, quick and painless weight loss without negative consequences. We figure out what kefir is really good at, and we study kefir diets from all sides in search of pros and cons.
History of kefir
Just imagine: in the glass of kefir that you drink today, there is a trace of the drink that was drunk hundreds of years ago.
Kefir was made from cow's milk, which got "fungi" from streptococci and sticks, acetic acid bacteria and yeast. Most likely, according to the researchers, this fungus originated in koumiss, a drink made from mare's milk, and got into cow's milk when the tribes of the Caucasus changed their nomadic lifestyle to a sedentary one and started farming. Scientists have not yet succeeded in artificially removing the kefir fungus, new portions of the starter culture are obtained through the reproduction of existing fungi.
Now kefir is drunk everywhere, from Kazakhstan to Australia, but specific bacteria in the basis of a modern product can be traced to a specific place, the Elbrus region. People living on the northern slope of the Caucasian ridge considered kefir to be a gift from Allah himself, so the drink was surrounded by special rituals and superstitions.
For example, it was forbidden to sell kefir fungi, it was believed that this would take away their healing power. But they could be stolen - with the tacit permission of the owner.
Another ritual: the highlanders poured milk with kefir fungi into a leather wineskin and put it in the sun, next to the path to the house. Passers-by could show respect to the owner by kicking the wineskin - the shaking made the fermentation process more intense.
The first official message about the benefits of kefir was made by the Tiflis doctor Jogin in 1867. But the production of the drink at that time was still a carefully guarded secret of the highlanders. The situation changed thanks to an employee of a well-known large dairy enterprise. On assignment, she visited the estate of a rich Karachai and received - for the first time in history - 10 pounds of kefir fungal "grains" either as a gift or as legal compensation for unsuccessful courtship. So kefir, finally, began to be produced industrially.
The benefits of kefir
Already at the end of the 19th century, doctors launched a real large-scale campaign to promote the benefits of kefir, the echoes of which still affect us. The legendary scientist, Nobel Prize laureate, studied the benefits of fermented milk products and live microorganisms of probiotics all his life.
Further research confirmed his guesses. Kefir has a beneficial effect on the intestinal microflora and metabolism in general, preventing the development of pathogenic flora. It also has an immunostimulating, calming and mild diuretic effect, that is, it relieves the body of excess fluid.
Kefir surpasses yogurt in the content of vitamins A, D, K, E, contains useful organic and amino acids, enzymes and important trace elements - iron, iodine, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc - in the quantities a person needs.
The older the kefir, the more sour its taste and the more ethyl alcohol it contains. In any case, there is not much of it: by the end of the shelf life, a maximum of 1 degree of fortress, it is safe to get behind the wheel after even a whole bottle of kefir. But children should still be fed with fresh one-day kefir.
For people with lactose intolerance, kefir helps to absorb this carbohydrate normally. Kefir contains few calories and a lot of moisture, so it helps to maintain water balance and at the same time brings a feeling of fullness. It is not surprising that the product has become the basis of a whole galaxy of diets.
The essence of the kefir diet
Kefir is nourishing and light, improves the work of the digestive tract and helps to lose weight quickly, dramatically reducing the amount of calories consumed and removing excess fluid. Many consider the kefir diet to be a mono-diet, that is, a diet made from one product, but this is the most radical option: it is permissible to eat only kefir without harm to health for a maximum of 24 hours. Much more often, kefir is combined for 3, 7 or 9 days with other low-calorie foods. Especially popular are the kefir-buckwheat diet, the kefir-banana diet, the kefir-curd diet and the cucumber-kefir diet.
Kefir, by the way, was glorified by the famous kefir diet of a popular singer: history is silent about whether a really famous singer used it, at some point in her career she really lost a lot of weight. The star diet menu includes, of course, kefir, as well as low-fat cottage cheese, chicken breast, fruits and jacket potatoes.
Kefir diet for weight loss is certainly suitable. But it severely restricts the supply of nutrients, is based on hunger and puts the body into a state of severe stress. Is the result worth it? Here's how they write about the kefir diet on the net:
- "Minus 12 kg in 3 weeks. I lost weight, but I will never repeat it !!! I thought I was going to die of hunger. "
- "The kefir diet is effective if you follow it correctly. But without physical exertion, the effect will not be. You should at least do some exercises. Try to drink only kefir for 1 day. If you feel unwell, it is better to stop . . . "
- "A week without food. Generally. One kefir and water. The consequences have come. Perhaps the toughest of all diets that I have tried. "
General rules for the kefir diet
- Kefir is the main product of the diet. You need to drink about 1. 5 liters daily. The rest is low-calorie non-fat carbohydrates and proteins: meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and cottage cheese.
- You need to eat in small portions, at least five times a day.
- In between main meals, you can drink kefir as a snack.
- Despite the fact that kefir quenches thirst well, you must additionally drink at least 1. 5 liters of water per day.
- All flour, fatty, heavy, fried and spicy foods are excluded. Sugar and salt are limited to a minimum (or it would be better if they are completely excluded).
- Getting out of the kefir diet needs to be done carefully and smoothly: going to a party or eating pizza is not the best idea if you want to keep the results.
How to choose the right kefir
Choose fresh kefir - no more than 2-3 days from the date of production - low fat content. A completely fat-free food is not the best choice because the body needs fat.
The composition should contain exactly the "kefir sourdough" from fungi, yeast and fermented milk cultures. Do not buy kefir or fermented milk drinks.
Protein in the right kefir is at least 3% - it is needed so that losing weight does not lose too much muscle mass.
Please note: we do not need additives, dyes, sugars, palm oil and powdered milk in the composition. The ideal is farm kefir.
The shelf life of natural kefir is 7-10 days from the date of manufacture. If a longer term is indicated on the label, there are probably preservatives in the composition. Do not buy kefir that has deteriorated before: it is divided into whey and flakes, becomes yellowish and has a bitter taste and sour aroma. Unscrupulous manufacturers may try to disguise the damage with an opaque bottle or packaging.
How can you replace kefir in your diet?
If for some reason kefir is not available to you or the taste does not suit it at all, you can try alternatives:
- Yogurt without additives.Choose a product carefully, for taste and thickness, starch and sugar are often added to it.
- Other fermented milk products of low fat content- for example, fermented baked milk, tan or ayran.
- Sour milk.It's easy to make at home: just leave the milk in an enamel bowl at room temperature for a day.
Approved Products Table
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Kefir diet for 3 days
If we discard the mono-diet on kefir, the hardest option for the body, the kefir diet for 3 days will be the strongest in terms of effect on the body. If time is short, it will help you attack the weight quickly and shock.
The general principle is one: about 1. 5 liters of kefir per day for 5-6 doses. In addition, other low-calorie foods are acceptable. The most popular options are buckwheat, cottage cheese, apples, vegetables. You can alternate kefir with only one product - apples, for example. But it is better to make your food, even on a diet, as varied and interesting as possible.
For example, a kefir diet menu may be as follows:
- Breakfast:oatmeal, tea with honey.
- Dinner:stew, vegetable soup.
- Dinner:green salad.
- Breakfast:boiled egg, rosehip broth.
- Dinner:salad, vegetable soup.
- Dinner:vegetable salad, tea.
- Breakfast:curd casserole, tea.
- Dinner:boiled fish, salad.
- Dinner:buckwheat porridge, chamomile tea.
Kefir diet for 7 days
Kefir diet for a week allows you to achieve impressive results: minus 7-10 kg. Since it is more extended in time, it is important to eat as varied as possible.
In one of the diet options, every day it is supposed to combine kefir with only one low-calorie product, for example, apples, but you can simply stretch the three-day diet scheme for a week, eating according to the scheme "porridge for breakfast, protein and vegetables for lunch and dinner, kefir in between".
- Day 1:Divide into 5 servings about 200-250 g of boiled lean meat and 1. 5 liters of kefir.
- Day 2:5 large apples and 1. 5 liters of kefir per day.
- Day 3:300 g of cottage cheese 3-5% fat and 1. 5 liters of kefir.
- Day 4:250 g of steamed white fish and 1. 5 l of kefir.
- Day 5:500 g of cucumber and tomato salad and 1. 5 l of kefir.
- Day 6:250 g of chicken fillet and 1. 5 l of kefir.
- Day 7:2 liters of kefir and prunes to taste.
Kefir diet for 9 days
Option for the most persistent. Eating just meat or cottage cheese every day is boring, but in order not to cook something new every day, take the menu for 3 days as a basis and alternate it. For example, like this:
Day 1, 4, 7
- Breakfast:oatmeal, egg, tea with honey.
- Dinner:stew, green salad.
- Dinner:vegetables, dried fruits.
- Snacks:kefir, apples.
Day 2, 5, 8
- Breakfast:toast and rosehip broth.
- Dinner:boiled fish with vegetables.
- Dinner:an apple, a slice of low-fat cheese.
- Snacks:kefir, cottage cheese.
Day 3, 6, 9
- Breakfast:steam omelet, green tea.
- Dinner:chicken soup, salad, a slice of black bread.
- Dinner:steamed fish, buckwheat porridge.
Recipe: Kefir with Cinnamon and Ginger
Most of all, as a rule, those who are losing weight on kefir do not have enough sweets. A simple recipe will help: add cinnamon and ginger to kefir. Ginger has warming and fat-burning properties, while the smell and taste of cinnamon are pleasantly sweet. The ready-made mixture can be drunk in the morning, for vivacity, at night, in order to start the processes of debugging the work of the digestive tract, or you can take it with you on the road.
- kefir 500 ml
- ground ginger 1 tsp
- ground cinnamon 1 tsp
- Other spices: cloves, pepper.
Mix kefir with spices using a whisk or blender and pour into small bottles. The drink must be drunk on the same day. Be careful with peppers and other brightly colored spices if you have a sensitive stomach or damage to your intestinal lining.
How to properly end a kefir diet
Nutritionists warn: the kefir diet is suitable for absolutely healthy people without problems with the gastrointestinal tract and the slightest signs of eating disorders.
And even they can experience unpleasant symptoms like stomach pain and will almost inevitably regain the weight they have already lost, as happens with any high-pressure diet that is effective in the short term.
So that the weight does not return immediately, exit the diet smoothly. Continue to eat fractionally and limit the total calorie intake to 1000-1500 kcal for at least a week. Continue drinking at least 1. 5 liters of water a day, and avoid starchy foods, heavy foods and greasy foods for at least 2 weeks. It is better to make light soups, vegetable salads, cereals and boiled meat the basis of the diet. Introduce other products gradually, one product every 2-3 days.
Why kefir diet is bad
Any diet that severely restricts dietary diversity simply cannot be beneficial in the long run. Kefir diet for every day is definitely not suitable. There are three categories of people to whom it can do more harm than good.
- People with disorders and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, lactose intolerance. Kefir can cause diarrhea and dehydration, stomach pain and flatulence. Ethyl alcohol in the composition is also harmful to the intestinal mucosa.
- Children, pregnant and lactating women. A variety of food is vital for them. To deprive the body of fats and carbohydrates, even for several days, means to inhibit development and growth.
- People with eating disorders. Let's be honest, few people are enthusiastic about the taste of kefir without additives. You will have to literally force yourself to drink it. If this continues for more than a couple of days, the likelihood of a breakdown grows exponentially.
Pros of the kefir diet
Simplicity, efficiency, lots of liquid. Potential gastrointestinal and microflora benefits. A large amount of calcium has a beneficial effect on the condition of bones, nails and teeth.
Cons of the kefir diet
Stress for the body from nutritional deficiencies, lack of vitamins and taste. Possibly indigestion, flatulence, constipation or diarrhea, stomach discomfort. The increased acidity of the product can worsen the condition of people with gout, rheumatism and high acidity of gastric juice.