Is Kefir really good for you?

What if there was a drink that could boost your immune system, balance your gut bacteria, help with allergy and asthma symptoms and maybe even fight cancer cells? 

What if that drink was free from sugar, dairy and lactose, and 100% vegan-friendly? And on top of all that, what if it was also super delicious and available at your local grocery store? Sounds too good to be true, right? 

But research is stacking up to suggest that kefir could bring all these benefits, and potentially more. Kefir is chock-full of probiotics. In fact, researchers think it’s one of the best sources of probiotics available, with up to 56 different bacterial and yeast strains!

So what’s so great about probiotics? Your body is filled with live bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are the good guys – the ones that help your body to digest the food you eat and even help to create important vitamins. 

But the probiotics in kefir aren’t just helpful to your gut. They’ve also been linked to a bunch of other health benefits.

Probiotics have been scientifically proven to support your gut health, in turn boosting your overall health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that your gut health is directly linked to your brain function, mental health, sleep health, skin health and immune system (to name a few). By drinking kefir, you’re giving your gut a healthy dose of natural probiotics, which is good for your gut and the rest of your bodily systems.    

However, some kefir products on the market contain sugars and artificial ingredients, which can negatively affect your gut health. Not Nexba’s though! Nexba Kefir is all natural and sugar free, which means you can sip blissfully for all the good gut feels. Cheers to that! 

What is the difference between kefir and yogurt?

While kefir and yogurt are both fermented products, they do have some key differences: 

  • Fermentation: Kefir is fermented by kefir grains (which can be made from milk or water), which contains a mix of bacteria and yeast. Yogurt is fermented with only bacteria. 
  • Micronutrients: Kefir is filled with energy-boosting B vitamins, specifically B12. Kefir will often have higher B12 levels than yogurt because of kefir's unique fermentation process that uses both yeast and bacteria. 
  • Digestibility: Kefir is found to be more easily digestible than yogurt because it’s usually lactose-free!

The main difference between kefir and yoghurt is that kefir contains more probiotics. In fact, kefir can contain up to three times more probiotics than yoghurt, and it contains a wider variety of bacteria strains, which is good news for your gut health! 

Yoghurt is typically made by fermenting cow’s milk but can be made with other animal milks and non-dairy milks as well. While yoghurt is a great way to get your probiotics, vitamins and minerals, it’s not the only way to get your probiotic fix. 

To make kefir today, you just need a starter culture of yeast, protein and good bacteria. This starter culture is usually called ‘grains’ or ‘crystals’, because it looks lumpy and grainy.

When you combine the kefir grains with liquid – usually milk or water – the good bacteria in the grains multiply and ferment the sugars. All you’re left with is yummy, probiotic-filled kefir with some great nutritional and health benefits!

If you’re lactose-free or just not a fan of milk, there’s good news. Water kefir is a light, bubbly drink with a yellowish colour and a slightly sweet-yet-tart flavour. 

Water kefir is traditionally made with water, a kefir starter culture (water kefir grains), added sweetness flavours – for example, fig juice, lemons, fruit juice or molasses! 

Our hungry probiotic friends consume most of the added sugars in water kefir during fermentation. That said, sometimes the final product can contain leftover sugar, so that’s something to watch out for! 

The best part about water kefir is that it’s completely dairy-free. That’s great if you’re vegan, or dairy- or lactose-intolerant, or you’re just looking to cut back on animal products. It also means that water kefir doesn’t spoil as quickly, so you don’t have to keep it in the fridge!

What is the healthiest kefir to buy?

Kefir comes in all shapes and sizes, from milks to yoghurts to smoothies and even fizzy drinks! But although all kefirs are usually packed with probiotics and have fabulous health benefits, there ARE differences between them.  

Some kefir products can contain sugar and artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners, which are straight up bad for you. Even a small amount of sugar regularly causes your blood glucose levels spike, which is the ‘sugar high’ that gives you a short burst of energy, followed quickly by a crash. You can run your blood sugar levels up and down all day, because when you crash, you turn to more sugar to bring you back up. Feeding a sugar crash with more sugar only pulls you into an unhealthy cycle of highs and lows.

Plus, sugar and artificial ingredients are also extremely inflammatory in the body, which means they triggers the immune system. Chronic inflammation is believed to be the basis of a lot of common diseases, which is why sugar is a big no-no for your health.

When looking for your new favourite kefir drink or product, make sure it’s completely sugar free AND all natural. This way, you can make sure you avoid the nasties and get the full benefits of the probiotics. 

Nexba Kefir is the real deal. Fermented with real kefir crystals and brimming with all the nutrients including B vitamins, potassium and calcium.

As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also added extra probiotics to each and every bottle. And our unique strain of 500 million probiotics are the best in the business. Specially built to survive the journey from mouth to gut, you can trust that our crafted Kefir will fiercely champion your gut health.

Not to mention Nexba Kefir is entirely Naturally Sugar Free, which means there’s no sugar and nothing artificial whatsoever. Wahoo!

Does kefir help you sleep?

Ever heard of the gut-brain axis? The so-called vagus nerve is an information superhighway linking your brain with your gut – conveying details of your body’s fuel supply and stocks of repair materials. It’s only recently that we are learning what an important aspect of our organic comms network this channel is – it’s even earned its own moniker, the enteric nervous system. 

But it’s not just your gut health that affects sleep – cutting-edge research suggests the connection between sleep and the microbiome is a two-way street. One example of this is that poor sleep is believed to have a “strong negative effect” on the diversity of bacteria in the microbiome.

Another case study highlighting this link is the effect of fragmented sleep, also known as ‘tossing and turning’ – is thin and restless, a shallow semi-conscious state that doesn’t feel peaceful or refreshing. Fragmentation can have a shocking effect on stage 3 sleep and REM sleep, and this in turn has been associated with disruptions to our metabolic patterns – the science-y term for how our bodies utilise nutrients from our food.

So what’s the solution for a great night’s sleep? A diet rich in probiotics and low in sugar and artificial ingredients. By drinking kefir regularly, you’ll be boosting your gut health and supporting your microbiome with plenty of good bacteria. So for a good night’s sleep, think good gut health!   

What is the best time to drink kefir milk?

Thankfully, we see no reason why Nexba Kefir can’t be enjoyed at any time of the day when you need a little pick-me-up or just feel like sipping something tasty. 

Kefir can be a great alternative to coffee or tea to start your day off right and studies have shown that drinking kefir on an empty stomach in the morning can help jumpstart your digestive system so that it can perform well throughout the day. 

Want an extra gut-health boost? Follow your kefir with a probiotic-rich treat like this Strawberry Peach Kefir Ice Cream recipe to give you lasting energy and improved digestion.  

If you prefer to drink kefir in the evening, there’s good news: it’s a super healthy option for later in the day too! Drinking a naturally sugar free kefir before, during and after meals will aid digestion and is overall a much better-for-you choice than sugary soft drinks or alcohol. 

Take note of how your body feels when you drink Nexba Kefir and stick with what works for you. At the end of the day, kefir is a healthy, gut-loving beverage option no matter when you decide to drink it.  

Should I drink kefir on an empty stomach?

In short, yes! Having a bottle of Nexba Kefir on an empty stomach can expose the probiotics to the acidic environment in your stomach without the distraction of food, which allows for more probiotics to make it into your large intestine in-tact.   

In less science-y terms, that means that drinking kefir on an empty stomach can be hugely beneficial, because the probiotics can get into your gut easily with no food in the way. Drinking kefir first thing in the morning can help to aid digestion, enhance the detoxification effect, and give your gut health an early boost!   

If you’re new to kefir or have a sensitive stomach, your gut might be a little reactive to probiotic drinks. If you’d prefer to drink kefir with food, don’t stress! Drinking a kefir that’s all natural and sugar free will still help with digestion, even if it’s alongside lunch or dinner.  

Nexba uses an added best-in-the-biz probiotic strain called Bacillus Coagulans, which is encased in a hardy, protein-like shell, designed to make it to your gut alive. Because we pack extra of these tough probiotics into Nexba Kefir, (500 million in every 330ml bottle, to be exact!) you can trust that our crafted kefir will boost your gut health with, before or after any meal and at any time of day!