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Kefir is an important health drink that is known to have no side effects whatsoever. I use it simply to feel clean and good inside-out. I am not really a health buff but I do exercise regularly and make sure to always consume my kefir, the most beneficial health drink of all time. I guess the most important question among women about kefir is this: is it safe for pregnant women to keep drinking kefir?
To answer this question, it is important to highlight the good things that kefir can do for its drinkers. One, it can clean the digestive tract making sure that no toxic or pathogenic contents in food enter your bloodstream. As it flushes out the bad bacteria from your intestines, it regulates digestion, metabolism, and the colon, which makes it very effective in treating diarrhea, leaky gut syndrome and even colon cancer.
Second, it regulates your immune system, which means it makes you more resistant to any disease and can also potentially prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. The immune system is like the gatekeeper to good health. What exactly can we do to fortify these gates against diseases? Take in the probiotics found in a kefir drink.
Third, it regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Kefir grains are made up of lactose- and sugar-eating bacteria. This is good news for lactose intolerant and diabetics. Probiotcs don’t die easily inside your intestines. They will keep on munching on the lactose and sugars that come in and pass through the digestive tract.
Fourth, it is known to many not just as a health drink but also as beauty drink since it can make the hair and skin smoother. And since it balances sugar levels, it is also a helpful drink for weight watchers.
Fifth, kefir can treat a variety of diseases and health conditions, which include ulcer, tuberculosis, eczema, depression, anxiety, osteoporosis, and hypertension in order to promote an over-all feeling of good health.
But you gotta suspect that something this good should have a downside. Nothing is ever perfect, but kefir comes very close. What are kefir’s side effects and how does it affect pregnant women?
The beauty with kefir is that it is organic. It is a gift from nature and not a product of lab experiments or chemical processes. Some say it is a gift from God and go so far to say that God fed Moses and the Israelites with some kind of kefir in the form of manna. The Bible describes manna as how I would describe kefir grains today ñ white, fluffy and very nutritious. Since kefir is organic and all-natural, it is no surprise that it has no known side effects.
Preparing your own kefir drink also involves natural steps. You simply add real kefir grains to your milk, let the grains ferment your milk and that’s it.
Perhaps the only downside to taking kefir is that it could make you go to the toilet more often.
But the real surprise is this: experts in women’s health recommend pregnant women to take kefir, not just once but regularly. According to Alyson Lippman, RN, pregnant women can drink kefir or yogurt to prevent the overgrowth of a bacterium called Group B Beta Strep.
“There is potential for passing (Strep) to the baby, where it can be harmful and cause infection,” said Lippman, and the RN was quick to follow by saying, “probably kefir is better because it contains more probiotics.”
Lippman works for the Labor and Delivery Unit of Prentice Women’s Hospital at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She also confessed to the fact that she regularly consumes kefir and that many nurses in her hospital do, too.
Other than the bacterium Strep, yeast infection is also a concern of pregnant women. Such infection can begin in the breasts and could easily be passed to the child as the mother nurses her newborn.
“If you’re regularly taking in probiotics, that would reduce your risk,” said Lippman regarding yeast infection.
Meanwhile, another women’s health specialist, Valerie Early, speaks about probiotics in kefir. She said, “Kefir is a natural, food-based way to keep the (probiotics) up in the intestines Ö It’s better than (the average) dairy product, like your typical yogurt, because the specific strains of acidophilus and lactobaccillus really do help promote those good bacteria.”
Valerie Early is a registered dietitian and pharmacy technician. She runs her own clinic in Illinois that focuses on providing hormonal balance through medical nutrition therapy. The expert dietician tells her clients to take a cup of kefir a day to help protect them from yeast infection, discharge and any vaginal discomfort, especially to women who are over 40 years old.
Early also said, “When people have more kefir in their diets or take probiotic supplements or whole food supplements with probiotics in them, I do see a reduction in complains in vaginal itching, yeast infections and just general immune system issues.”
Kefir is neither a drug nor chemically produced drink, which is why it is safe for everyone. The National Kefir Association not only declares kefir as safe for women but also recommends it.
NKA declares, “Pregnant and nursing women are advised to drink kefir in order to absorb essential nutrients, increase immunity and aid the body’s adjustment to hormonal changes. But hormonal imbalances cause problems for women at all life stages, often in the form of irritating and even life threatening infections, such as yeast overgrowth, caused by depletion of good bacteria. Fortunately probiotic-filled Kefir can help prevent and even treat many such infections.”