The benefits of kefir for people of all ages are undeniable. However, the consumption of kefir could be particularly beneficial for the elderly.
Let us remind that the kefir fungus includes about 50 bacterial strains (streptococci, acetic acid bacteria, prebiotics, lactobacilli, etc.), which can normalize the intestinal microflora, suppress the putrefactive processes in the gastrointestinal tract and improve digestion.
Kefir is known to benefit a series of diseases that are particularly common for older people. These conditions are gastritis, colitis, enteritis, lactose intolerance, slow digestion, cardiovascular diseases, and degeneration of bone tissue.
Kefir contains many beneficial nutrients such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, Vitamin C, B vitamins, and elements like potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, chromium, fluorine, phosphorus, and other micro and macro elements.
In older people, age-related changes in the digestive system are often observed, which are expressed in slow digestion, constipation, bloating and flatulence, heartburn, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Gastritis, colitis, enteritis, cholecystitis, pancreatitis are often diagnoses associated with old age. In most of these cases, kefir is known to be a valuable addition to the diet of older people.
Additionally, many older adults complain of heaviness in the stomach and other discomforts after drinking natural cow’s milk. Indeed, with age, the production of enzymes that process cow’s milk decreases, and hence the consumption of regular fresh milk is usually not recommended after a certain age.
As kefir is digested and absorbed three times faster and much easier than natural milk, it could be its reliable replacement for regular milk for older people.
Additionally, as probiotic bacteria of kefir convert lactose (the milk sugar) into lactic acids, the fully fermented kefir contains considerably less lactose than usual kinds of milk, which makes it more acceptable for people with lactose intolerance – a typical condition for the elderly.
Aging is also accompanied by thinning and deterioration of bone tissue because of the decrease in its calcium levels. In combination with fluorine and zinc, the calcium in kefir may again be beneficial for preventing osteoporosis, arthritis, and other diseases related to skeleton and connective tissue.
Kefir is known to be helpful for the cardiovascular system of the elderly, and a glass of this drink a day may also be an excellent prevention of atherosclerosis.
It is no coincidence that the countries where kefir is consumed the most, such as Tibet, Turkey, Mongolia, or Russia, also have the highest number of centenarians per capita.