I found out about these magical things called “kefir grains” back in 2013.
In January 2013, one morning I woke up and went to the toilet. I felt some discomfort in the back of my throat which made me cough and a little white object came flying out from my mouth. The smell of this thing literally made me nearly puke. I got very scared about this mysterious object and got a torch to check out my throat and saw that my tonsils were covered with numerous white spots. Later I found out these to be called “tonsil stones” which is the formation of dead white blood cells and happens as a result of an abnormal immune system. This episode made me extremely shocked and I started to seriously think about my physical condition and health. Since I was young, I had always been struggling from numerous immune system related issues including eczema, extremely dry lips, post-nasal drip (constant runny nose) and always feeling sleepy and tired. I started to understand that all these conditions I had, which I thought nothing of since I grew up with them, was something serious and were worsening as I got older.
I spent months and months seeing different GPs, Chinese doctors, ENT specialists to remove the tonsil stones but none of them really helped as they were only addressing the symptoms and not the root cause of my issues. One day by accident, I stumbled across to what’s called a food intolerance test which tests for any foods my immune system reacts abnormally to, and through that I found that I was intolerant to many foods including gluten, egg, milk, nuts, shellfish, yeast, etc. Below is a photo of the results.
As soon as I removed all of these foods from my diet, within a few days all of the symptoms I had started to diminish. This discovery along with some research where I found out that around 70% of everyone’s immune system is located in the gut started to all make sense to me. Just like the other male members of my family who I share the same set of genetics, I always had a very poor digestive system and would have diarrhea and stomach aches on a daily basis. This is the point I started to put my focus into my digestive health and found many supplements and drinks including digestive enzymes, betaine HCL (stomach acid), L-glutamine, apple cider vinegar, etc. The one thing that made the biggest difference was “kefir”. This magical drink which no one still knows the origin of as of today, is filled with an enormous amount of probiotics which also lives inside your stomach to aids in digesting your food (your stomach is home to tens of trillions of microorganisms!).
Since starting to drink kefir on a daily basis, I became very regular and don’t have any more of the heavy/bloated feeling after meals and find myself getting hungry much quicker. I first started off by drinking cow milk and goat milk kefir which gave me these benefits, but unfortunately as I have an intolerance to milk, I saw some negative side effects as well. Since then I have changed to water kefir which does not give me any side effects related to my food intolerances and the improvement in my physical and mental energy has been enormous.
If you do not have any intolerance to milk, I highly recommend you to drink cow/goat milk kefir as the strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast is much higher in them as compared to the water kefir (50+ strains as opposed to 30+ strains). This is not to say that water kefir isn’t beneficial. As I mentioned above, I am experiencing the awesome benefits of it and feel amazing every day since starting to drink it.
I never suffered from any noticeable allergy or digestion issue, but since my husband started drinking kefir and I saw with my own eyes the amazing benefit he got out of it, I also started drinking it on a daily basis. Only a few days into drinking kefir, I could notice the change it had on my body. First thing I realised was that I was spending a very long time in the toilet during whole my life each time I went (I am sorry for the graphic details). It was very normal for me to go to the toilet once every 2 or 3 days and staying in there around 15-20 minutes. As soon as I started drinking kefir, I was able to go to the toilet everyday at the same time of the day and I would finish my business within a few minutes. It also helps me to have meals on a regular basis. I did not feel hungry in general often before, so my meal times were very irregular. I often skipped breakfast or ate very little for it, but since drinking kefir, my stomach feels empty and ready every morning so I don’t have a choice but to eat breakfast which gives me more energy and I become much more productive during the daytime.
Because of my husband looking into his digestive issues, I also found that I have case of lactose intolerance. It is said that around 65% of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. 90% of adults in East Asia which is where I am from have some level of lactose intolerance. Since then, I drink water kefir before every meal and it has become habit for both me and my husband.
I do not think kefir is the answer to everything and that it can completely heal allergy and digestion issues, but now I convinced that this magical kefir grains can improve the quality of life for everyone regardless of having any allergy or digestion issues.