We innately understand the deep connection between gut and brain health. When you feel stressed it often feels like a punch in the stomach or a tightening experience. In the same way, when you look forward to a meal you will enjoy, your stomach releases gastric juices in anticipation of the event. Haven’t you had this experience?
After nursing our 9’4 pound son Noah for almost eight weeks, our homeopathic pediatrician advised us to “get this baby on goat milk.” At the time, we lived in upstate New York in a river town called Hudson. I found myself driving to the Berkshires in Massachusetts (which wasn’t too far) to pick up goat milk.I enjoyed this weekly drive to the farm and marveled at the goats greeting us as we pulled up through the driveway toward the cooler. This was the year 1993.
And that was my first introduction to goats milk and its positive health benefits for the human body. Our son felt full with the richness of goat milk vs. store bought soy formulas (which were popular at the time), as well as its immense health-giving properties. He quickly felt satiated and grew just beautifully.
If you feel you have too many supplements to take or simply want to change it up with probiotics you may want to try “goat milk kefir.” In Bowl of Goodness Elina Dunford, Nutritional Therapist writes:
“Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products but they contain different strains of friendly bacterias. Yogurt contains only two types of a bacterial strain with billions of helpful microorganisms; kefir, on the other hand, has 10 strains with trillions of helpful bacteria, which makes it 10 times more beneficial than milk or yogurt. And the beneficial bacteria contained in kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract literally taking it over and fighting bad bacterias, while those found in yogurt only provide food for the healthy bacteria in the gut.”
What is the nutritional value?
Goat kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes, and probiotics. Goat kefir supports the immune system and provides protein and calcium.
In Cultures for Health it says:
“Why Choose Goat Milk Over Cow Milk?”
- Goat milk contains less casein than cow milk, which, for some people, can make the milk easier to digest.
- When introduced to stomach acid, the proteins in goat milk break up into smaller particles than the proteins in cow milk which also may make goat milk easier to digest.
In addition, goat milk kefir has the following digestive benefits:
- This cultured food item holds more probiotics than yogurt.
- It helps assimilate calcium with K2 nutrients.
- Kefir encapsulates rich stores of biotin vitamin B assimilation — the key to a healthy nervous system.
- Kefir is an anti-inflammatory food source; it also has positive effects on cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Kefir is used to help in asthma treatment. Research has identified two probiotics: lactobacilli and bifid bacteria found in goat milk kefir. Both have antioxidant properties beneficial for the management of allergies and asthma treatment.
- Studies have shown kefir to reduce cancerous tumors and goat milk kefir offers antioxidant properties. These can help prevent a variety of diseases beyond cancer.
When can I eat kefir?
On an empty stomach is best- morning or afternoon or before bed. If you have an acid stomach condition kefir may be too sour to consume. If you have a sensitive stomach kefir might cause loose stools. In that case you can dilute it with warm water using one tbsp kefir.
Where can I find it?
Whole Foods Market or Dekalb Market.
To learn more about kefir, check out this 2016 study from The National Center for Biotechnology Information.
If you are interested in making your own, you can buy live cultures here.
Think variety when it comes to probiotics!
Tired of quinoa? Try Kasha as a Healthy Gluten-Free Alternative
I find quinoa light and a good compliment to the summer season, but in winter I like a heartier grain. Have you tried kasha? A cereal or porridge made from buckwheat groats. Kasha is easy to prepare simply by following the directions on the box. Its high in protein/ fiber and has essential ingredients to help lower LDL cholesterol in the blood. Kasha also has a nutty flavor and aroma.
I added kidney beans (that come in a box, not a can from Whole Foods) to the recipe for dinner to form a complete protein meal with roasted veggies. Kasha also tastes great with tahini dressing for a Middle Eastern flair. It comes in a box made by Wolffs at Whole Foods. This is what it means to build a meal around a whole grain, not just steak or chicken, as your protein.
Here are a few important benefits of kasha:
- Improves heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- Contains disease-fighting antioxidants.
- Provides highly digestible protein.
- High fiber content and improve digestion.
- Can help prevent diabetes.
- Doesn’t contain gluten and is non-allergenic.
- Supplies important vitamins and minerals.
On Saturday, March 3rd from 1-4 pm I will be at Sally B’s Skin on Miami Circle offering Essential Oil Tips for Stress and Anxiety. The talk will be from 1:30-2 pm. Hope to see you there! Delicious Chai and other snacks will be served.