A fermented dairy product, kefir is rich in antioxidants as well as lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.
These strains of good bacteria can help cure recurring Clostridium difficile infections (the diarrhea-causing bacteria that plagues hospital patients), reduce the duration of respiratory infections in the elderly, relieve cold and flu symptoms in children, and fight yeast infections.
This tangy, thick beverage also contains active yeast and bacteria to aid digestion and encourage gut health. Probiotics are recommended for anyone taking antibiotics, which destroy beneficial as well as harmful bacteria.
According to Andrew Weil, MD, kefir may be a better choice than yogurt for some lactose-intolerant individuals.
"Randomized, Double-Blind, and Placebo-Controlled Study Using New Probiotic Lactobacilli for Strengthening the Body Immune Defense Against Viral Infections, Eur J Nutr, 4/11
"Top Ten Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet," www.GlobalHealingCenter.com, 6/17/13