Fermented foods are essential to introduce to the GAPS diet from the beginning and kefir can be managed after whey and yoghurt have been successfully introduced. Supplementing with probiotics alone will allow beneficial flora to do its job primarily in the upper parts of the digestive system which does not generally reach all the way down to the lower bowel however, fermented dairy will carry probiotic microbes all the way down to the end of the digestive system. Whilst yoghurt carries some very beneficial forms of beneficial flora, Kefir has been known to carry colonies as large as 27 different strains or more. Fermentation predigests the dairy, making it easy for our digestive systems to handle, that is why fermented foods are easily digested by people with damaged gut. Fermentation releases nutrients from the food, making them more bio-available for the body.
You can get a commercial Kefir starter in a sachet or use some live fresh kefir grains as a starter. If you make kefir from organic unpasteurised (raw) milk, then do not heat it, just add the starter and ferment it on the bench. Only pasteurised milk needs heating, as pasteurisation makes milk vulnerable to contamination by pathogenic microbes. Raw milk is usually well protected by its own probiotic bacteria and other factors.
Remember, that kefir contains more potent probiotic microbes than yoghurt, as a result kefir will produce a more pronounced “die-off reaction”. That it is recommended to introduce yoghurt first, then start introducing kefir. Both should be introduced slowly and gradually controlling the “die-off”. Kefir, apart from probiotic bacteria, contains beneficial yeasts. That is why it is essential to introduce for people with yeast overgrowth. A healthy human gut contains plenty of beneficial yeasts, as well as beneficial bacteria and other microbes. In order to get rid of the “bad” yeast, we need to replace it with the “good” yeast.
By dripping your kefir through cheesecloth you can separate it into cottage cheese and whey. Pour the whey into a clean glass jar with a tight lid and keep it in the refrigerator to use as a starter for fermenting different foods, such as vegetables, fish, beans and grains (when your patient is ready to have them). The cottage cheese is delicious with some honey, fruit, soups or as a savoury snack.
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