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Proven Facts On Why Kefir Is A Healthier Choice Than Yogurt



Kefir is basically fermented milk. It can be animal based — using cow, goat, or sheep milk — or plant based — using rice, soy, almond, or coconut milk — but cow and goat milk yield the best results. Kefir is made from a culture called the kefir grain. This grain consists of lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and polysaccharides which ferment the milk to produce a creamy product called kefir.1 It has a milky, yeasty aroma and a creamy consistency similar to that of yogurt and a slightly sour taste, sort of a mixture between buttermilk and sour cream.2

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Kefir is a super probiotic as it contains about 30 different probiotic strains (bacteria and yeast).3 These probiotics act as good bacteria that support digestive health and also help to strengthen the intestines by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria. Kefir is also highly nutritious as it contains protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin K, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.3 One thing to note is that kefir made from plant based milk such as coconut milk will have a different nutrient makeup compared to that of animal based kefir.

History of Kefir

Kefir has been around for centuries and it originated in the Northern Caucasus Mountains in Eurasia. It is said that Kefir was first used by the shepherds in the Caucasus Mountains. They would add kefir grains to goat or cow milk and let it ferment for several days in a goatskin leather bag. It is most popular in places such as Russia, Southwest Asia, and Eastern and Northern Europe.4

Benefits of Kefir

Supports Various Bodily Functions

Kefir helps to improve the function of several organs in our bodies: the gallbladder, the liver, and the heart. It can also improve the metabolism and circulation of blood and oxygen in different cells in the body, including the brain.5

Anticancer Properties

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Research has shown that kefir is able to slow the growth of cancer cells in rats. This is because kefir contains a variety of probiotics, which detoxify the colon as well as stimulate the immune system.6 However, this study has only been conducted on animal cells. Research has not been carried out in humans to see if the same results are yielded.

Antibacterial Properties

Certain probiotics in kefir help to protect against bacterial infections in the gut. Research has shown that kefir is able to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that cause illnesses such as Salmonella and E.coli poisoning.7

Lower Cholesterol

Dairy products are known to lower cholesterol because of the good fat they contain. When ingested, kefir provides the gut with an abundance of good bacteria (probiotics), and research has shown that these probiotics are able to break down indigestible carbohydrates.8 This results in the formation of short chain fatty acids, which is known as good cholesterol. The good cholesterol helps to decrease the presence of bad cholesterol in the blood.8

Kefir vs Yogurt

Kefir and yogurt both result from the fermentation of milk and so have similar textures and taste. They provide some health benefits such as supplying the gut with probiotics, but kefir contains several strains of good bacteria such as Lactobacillus Caucasus, Streptococcus species, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, Torula kefir, and Saccharomyces kefir that are not found in yogurt.9

Yogurt works by cleaning the digestive track and providing food for the good bacteria that live there. It contains transient probiotics, meaning that the bacteria will only last a few days in the gut and hence one would have to eat yogurt daily to experience its digestive benefits.10 The good bacteria in kefir, on the other hand, colonize the intestines with potent friendly bacteria that can get rid of the toxic organisms.

Another advantage kefir has over the yogurt is the ease of digestion. This is because the curd size of kefir is smaller than that of yogurt and hence is a better option for babies, elderly people, and people who suffer from chronic digestive disorders.10  Many people who are lactose intolerant report being able to eat kefir safely as well.

How Kefir Is Made?

Kefir is so simple to make that it can be done right at home. Kefir is made from kefir grains, which can be found at health food stores. Just add one teaspoon of the grains to the milk of your choice, whether it is cow milk or coconut milk, and let it sit out at room temperature for 24hrs. During this time, fermentation of the milk takes place by the healthy bacteria and yeast present in the kefir grains.11 The finished product will result in a thick milk product that has a tangy taste. It is then strained to get rid of the excess grains, which can be reused approximately every 24 hours to make more batches. It is then ready to drink.

How Can Kefir Be Used?

Once kefir milk is made, it can be used in a variety of ways. You can incorporate in into your breakfast by using it in cereals and smoothies, or it can be used as a yogurt substitute. It can also be used as a buttermilk substitute, making it a great option for pancakes or other baked goods. For savory options, it can be included in pasta sauces, salad dressings, and herbed cream cheese. Last but not least, it makes for a great dessert, as it can be used in recipes such as ice cream and fruit flavored cream cheese or delicious baked goods like cakes, cookies, fruit tarts, and many others .11

Does Kefir Have Side Effects?

Kefir is more or less safe for all adults but may cause intestinal cramping and constipation in some persons when they first use it. Caution should be taken with children, however. Children as young as 1-5 years old may take kefir but can only consume it for a period of up to 10 days at a time.12 With regards to pregnant or breastfeeding women, not enough information is available to know whether of not it is safe for them, so it is best for these women to avoid kefir. Persons with compromised immune systems should not consume kefir either, as it contains active and live bacteria which can feed bacterial and fungal infections.12


You don’t have to give up your love of yogurt, but try adding kefir to your diet, as it contains a range of benefits. It is the ultimate probiotic compared to other fermented dairy products that will support and maintain digestive health. Not only will it be tummy friendly, but it can also help to lower cholesterol, along with improving overall health.


  1. Nummer, B.A. (2004). Fermented Foods: Kefir. National Center for Home Food Preservation. The University of Georgia.
  1. Joe Leech, D. (2015). 9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Kefir. [online] Authority Nutrition. Available at:
  1. The Science of Language Self-Study | LinguaLift Blog. (2012). Kefir: The history of the magical grains. [online] Available at:
  1. Skovmose, E. (2009). What is Kefir? Published by Midvalleyvu Organic Foods
  1. Protective Role of Probiotics and Prebiotics in Colon Cancer. Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. American Society of Clinical Nutrition. 2001.
  1. Carasi, P., Díaz, M., Racedo, S., De Antoni, G., Urdaci, M. and Serradell, M. (2014). Safety Characterization and Antimicrobial Properties of Kefir-Isolated Lactobacillus kefiri. BioMed Research International, 2014, pp.1-7.
  1. Health Benefits. The Body Ecology Diet and Kefir. Published by Body Ecology. Unknown.
  1. Kefir vs Yogurt. The Body Ecology Diet and Kefir. Published by Body Ecology. Unknown.
  1. Skovmose, E. (2009). What is Kefir? Published by Midvalleyvu Organic Foods.
  1. Christensen, E. (2014). How To Make Milk Kefir — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn. [online] The Kitchn. Available at:
  1. (2016). KEFIR: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings – WebMD. [online] Available at:

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues



Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

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Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means



In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

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Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do



In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?

The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.

Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.

The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.

The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.

Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

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It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.

Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?

According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.

In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.

The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”

Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”

Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”

According to the WHO,

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much?

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
  • break up long periods of sitting with light activity

What is moderate aerobic activity?

  • Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball

What counts as vigorous activity?

  • Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts

What activities strengthen muscles?

  • lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?

  • circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.

Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading
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