Hey, fellow pet lovers!!
Today’s post is a short and simple one all about the many health benefits of kefir and why it’s a great addition to your canine friend’s diet? If you enjoy today’s post then make sure you stick around for next Tuesday’s post which is going to be a homemade kefir recipe with a link to some organic kefir grains so you can start your own culture.
Let’s jump straight in and learn all about Kefia and the wonderful health benefits that come with it!!
The Health Benefits of Kefir
Kefir is a very trendy food amongst the natural health food community but what really is it?
Kefir is a fermented drink that is similar to liquid yoghurt and is full of beneficial yeasts and bacteria to help support a healthy gut microbiome and immune system. Kefir comes in two different forms you can get milk kefir which is what I am going to focus on today, or you can get water kefir which I am yet to try. Both are filled with countless beneficial bacteria known as probiotics and are a great addition to yours or your canine friend’s diet.
What are the benefits of adding kefir into your canine companion’s diet?
As we’ve briefly mentioned above there are many health benefits to adding kefir into your pet’s diet and below I am going to list a few.
Kefir Improves Digestive Health due to its High Amount Of Probiotic Bacteria.
The most obvious benefit of adding kefir into your pet’s diet is improved digestive health, I’ve mentioned many times that having a healthy digestive system will help support a healthy immune system and so on. By adding kefir into your dog’s diet you are supplying them with an array of good gut bacteria known as probiotics which are live microorganisms that provide many health benefits when consumed.
Kefir is filled with an array of probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc species.
Kefir Boosts the Immune System.
Kefir can help to boost not only our own but also our pets immune system because of the many beneficial bacteria that is present in this health-promoting drink. As most of us already know if you have a healthy gut, teeming with a wide array of good gut bacteria then you will most likely have a healthy immune system and live a long and healthy life.
Kefir Helps to Fight off Harmful Bacteria
As we’ve mentioned above kefir helps to improve our digestive health and can help ourselves and also our pets fight off harmful bacteria that could be lurking in their digestive tract. By adding kefir into your pet’s diet you are providing them with lots of good bacteria that will support a healthy gut microbiome, by creating an environment in the gut that is great for good bacteria but is also hostile for bad and undesirable bacteria.
I’m yet to write a post on Salmonella but it is a widely discussed topic within the pet food industry and one that is brought up many times as a counter-argument for raw feeding. However, by simply adding this healthy fermented food into your canine friend’s diet you could help them to be more equipped to fight off harmful bacteria.
Kefir Helps with Treating various Digestive Issues.
Unfortunately, a lot of our pets today suffer from various digestive issues as well as many humans due to the type of diet we consume. However, with the addition of kefir, you can help treat and prevent various digestive issues such as IBS, diarrhoea, bloating, constipation and so on.
By adding kefir into your pet’s diet you are able to ensure there is a good amount of healthy gut bacteria to support good gastrointestinal health and fight off any harmful bacteria that may be lurking in the gut and preventing the overgrowth of any bad bacteria.
Kefir May Help Fight Cancer.
Fermented foods are amazing for a variety of reasons and one of these being that it seems they can be great for helping people fight cancer and stunt cancerous growth. There have been a few studies showing the many benefits of adding fermented foods into your diet if you have cancer.
While doing research for today’s post I came across a study which showed that kefir extracts decreased the MCF-7 cell numbers by 56%, while yogurt extracts decreased MCF-7 cell proliferation by only 14%. The final findings were that kefir extracts contain constituents that specifically inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells which is really exciting for the future of preventing breast cancer.
Keep in mind that there is a lot more research to be done and the current studies have all been done in test tubes and not on humans, however, kefir and fermented foods look extremely promising in the prevention of cancer.
Kefir Helps to Reduce Allergies.
As well as preventing and treating various digestive problems the addition of kefir can also help to reduce various allergies that your canine friend suffers from. An allergic reaction is caused by an inflammatory response to the allergen which could be a certain food or substance. In an animal study, it was found that kefir suppressed inflammatory responses related to allergies and asthma which is great if yourself or your pet suffers from any allergies.
Kefir Helps Increase Bone Density and Helps to Decrease Osteoporosis.
Another benefit of kefir is that it can help increase bone density and decrease your pet’s risk of osteoporosis. Unfortunately, many pets suffer from this bone disease which decreases bone density and can have a serious negative effect on your pet’s overall quality of life.
However, by adding kefir into your pet’s diet you could help improve their bone health as kefir is full of Calcium and Vitamin K2, which plays an important role in calcium metabolism.
Kefir Is Low in Lactose.
Another great thing about kefir is that it is low in lactose which is a natural sugar that is found in normal dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt. However, many people suffer from lactose intolerance and most dogs are unable to consume dairy products with a high lactose content.
This is because for a dog to digest milk or other high lactose dairy products, the lactose needs to be broken apart into two basic easy to absorb sugars and this is where the problem lies. Most dogs are unable to produce the lactose-splitting enzyme know as lactase and therefore are unable to breakdown and digest high lactose dairy products.
Thankfully, kefir is low in lactose which means it can be easily broken down by your pet and this is because the lactic acid bacteria that are abundant within the kefir turn the lactose into lactic acid which means there is far less lactose present.
This organic compound that we call lactic acid has positive benefits in the gut associated with a buffering effect of the negative compounds produced by bacteria that feed on amino acids, this may be important when we are talking about the canine diet and canine microbiome which includes a great deal of animal matter and may explain in part the anti-cancer effects of lacto fermented foods such as kefir.
Kefir Is Full of Goodness!!
The last thing to mention which must be apparent by now is that kefir is full of goodness and is certainly something you should consider adding into yours and also your pet’s diet to help support a healthy gut microbiome and immune system while decreasing digestive issues, as well as much more. My girls love kefir and after writing today’s post I am certainly going to be adding more into my diet after learning about the many health benefits it has to offer.
For more information about the health benefits of kefir then check this blog post out which I found extremely useful when writing today’s post, Health Benefits of Kefir.
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