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What’s the Right Way to Take Kefir?

Are you getting the maximum benefit from your kefir? 

Probiotic therapy is a cutting edge area of science, and new information is coming in all the time. Here at Chuckling Goat, we’re constantly researching and working alongside the world-class scientists at Atlas Biomed to improve our best practice and knowledge base for our customers. 

So here are our Nutritional Advisors’ most recently updated answers to questions about Chuckling Goat Probiotic Kefir

How can kefir help me? 

Kefir has been shown to have many beneficial effects on the human body. You can read a full scientific review of the literature on kefir here:

How can I maximise the effectiveness of my kefir? 

Kefir puts the “fish back into the river” – ie puts the good bacteria into your gut microbiome. But then those fish need to be fed! Gut bugs are living organisms, and they need looking after. So, what do you feed them?

Gut bugs eat fibre. Recent science reveals that there are many different types of fibre required by your gut bugs to keep them healthy. These fibres include exotic items like maitake mushrooms, cassava root, and tamarind powder – not things ordinarily found in the British diet. 

Complete Prebiotic powder combines 18 different natural sources of prebiotic fibre – more than any other product available on the market today. Just pop 10 g of Complete Prebiotic powder into your daily smoothie (recipe below) and blend it up with your kefir, to boost the power of your kefir and give your gut bugs the best possible care. 

How much kefir should I take? 

The commonly recommended dosage is 170 ml per day, and a healthy gut will feel great at this level. But if you are very sensitive, are already experiencing symptoms of gut dysbiosis like pain or bloating, or you are working with an existing autoimmune health issue, it’s a good idea to start slowly. 

What’s the point of starting slowly? 

Our kefir is very strong! Adding a lot of anything – even helpful bacteria –  into a delicate, damaged microbiome can destabilise it. So the idea is to add the kefir into your system gently and gradually, at the rate that you can tolerate, while allowing your system to adjust. Think of watering young garden seedlings with a fine rose, rather than a fire hose. Your microbiome is as unique as your fingerprint. So the only way to determine the right rate for you is to trial it, paying careful attention to the results.

How do I start slowly?

To start slowly, take 1 TBSP (20 ml) per day for a week, then 2 TBSP every day for a week, etc. Work your way up gradually until you’re up to the full daily amount of 170 ml. If anything starts feeling worse instead of better (ie if you experience a flare in a skin condition, tummy cramps, nausea etc) immediately cut back to 1 TBSP per day until things settle down, and then gradually increase again. Remember, you have your hands on the controls. Any questions, please feel free to get in touch with our Nutritional Advisors via live chat on the website. We’re here to help!

If I start slowly, what do I do with all the extra kefir? 

You can alter your subscription to any delivery interval you choose, up to six months, so that you don’t have too many bottles on hand at any given time. Contact us on live chat and we’ll be happy to fix this for you, no charge and no problem. 

What does it mean if I start feeling negative side effects?

This is simply a sign that you’re increasing your dosage too quickly. Immediately drop back to your 1 TBSP per day and begin the gradual-increase program again. Get in touch via live chat, and we can help coach you through this process. 

How long should it take before I see results? 

It depends on the state of your gut when you start. If your system is very damaged, and has been in poor shape for a long time, it will obviously take longer to repair. 

Some people who are in relatively good shape to start with, can see results as quickly as three weeks. Others, who are suffering from stubborn, severe or long-standing dysbiosis, may take as long as 12-18 months. The speed of your results will also depend on your diet, as this will also greatly influence your gut microbiome. To ask questions about a gut health diet, get in touch with our Nutritional Therapists via live chat. 

How long should I keep taking kefir? 

It’s a bit like asking how many times you need to get an MOT for your car. As long as your car stays on the road, it’s going to suffer wear and tear that will need to be corrected. It’s the same for your body! The delicate living organisms inside your microbiome are constantly being assaulted by the “4 Horsemen of the Gut Apocalypse” : sugar,1 stress,2 chemical toxins like the ones found in personal care products, household cleaners and pollution,3 and antibiotics.4

Even if you are not taking antibiotics by mouth, these days unfortunately there are antibiotics in the groundwater,5 as well as in the food chain.6 So we are all being blasted by a low level antibiotic wash, all the time – and this kills the good bugs in your gut, just as pouring bleach into a river kills the fish.

Kefir puts those good fish back into the river. It’s the most efficient way to pre-emptively boost your wellness, by pushing back against the constant damage that is being inflicted on your system by the stresses and chemicals in modern life. 

Should I stop and start the kefir? 

Consistency is key when it comes to your gut microbiome. Because it is a living ecosystem, your gut microbiome benefits from stability. So it’s better to take a small amount every day, than stop and start with a high dosage. 

In order to do this, remember that you can set a subscription to any weekly or monthly interval you choose, up to six months.

Can I put my kefir into a smoothie?

Yes! We’re big fans of smoothies. It’s a great way to get a lot of wellness supplements into one simple glass. Blending does not harm the live bacteria. If you struggle with the tart taste of the kefir, try blending it up with berries (blueberries, strawberries or raspberries work well, either fresh or frozen) and half a banana. If you do this, please drink the smoothie immediately, rather than letting it stand overnight, as the fructose in the sugar will degrade the good probiotics over time. This is why it’s never a good option to purchase sweetened or flavoured kefir from the supermarket – the probiotics are, by definition, degraded by the sugar, sweeteners or flavourings that are added to the kefir. 

What can I add to my kefir to improve the taste? 

Some of our clients find that they end up really craving the sharp, fizzy taste of the kefir on its own. If you’re struggling with the taste, try blending it up with fruit as discussed above and sweeten with 100% pure stevia to taste. 100% pure stevia is the only sweetener we recommend using with kefir. Stevia is natural, comes from a plant, is zero calorie and is safe for diabetics. Most importantly, it does not damage your microbiome. In fact fact, stevia is not really a sweetener at all – it just stimulates the sweet sensors on your tongue. So you experience sweetness – with none of the downsides!

We do not recommend mixing maple syrup, agave, or honey with your kefir. Maple syrup and agave have a high GI rating, which disrupts your microbiome. Honey is a natural antibiotic, which interferes with the good probiotics in the kefir. (Side note – honey is terrific, and we use it for medicinal purposes, to heal wounds or use as a gargle. But honey rockets your blood sugar just like pure glucose, so use it with discretion.)

What’s a good smoothie recipe? 

Here’s what Shann makes her family on the farm: 

Per person, add to blender: 

  • 170 ml kefir (or whatever amount you’re currently taking) 
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • 1 half banana
  • 10 g (2 tsps) collagen (for people over age 30) 
  • 20 g (1 TBSP) cold pressed organic flaxseed oil
  • 10 g (t 2tsps) Complete Prebiotic 

Blend and enjoy! 

When is the best time to take my kefir?

Technically, you can take kefir any time. However we generally recommend that you take it first thing in the morning, because it’s an energy booster, and it’s a shame to waste that energy by taking it last thing at night. 

Should I take my kefir on an empty stomach? 

Taking your kefir on an empty stomach maximises its effect, because the kefir has a clear run at your empty intestine. The idea here is that the good bacteria like lactobacillus can affix themselves to the intestinal tract more easily and spread out, taking up space and crowding out bad bugs. 

However you can take your kefir any time during the day that works for you. 

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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