Green Smoothie GoodnessThis is one of my favorite smoothies, packed with iron, vitamin A, C, K, and lots of calcium. Not to mention the original probiotic Kefir! I add banana and coconut oil (its a fat burner) to mine, others might add a little more sweet with agave nectar or organic maple syrup. Here’s the exact recipe:

1 cup kefir, two BIG handfuls of spinach or a green of your choice (Kale is packed with more nutrition than spinach, but I like the taste of spinach better.), 1 banana, a tbsp. of melted coconut oil. All in a blender, then blend it all up. I don’t put ice in mine, I like the drink it makes without the ice, but if you like ice throw some in.

Blend it up & Drink it down!

Blend it up & Drink it down!

A little background on kefir for those who may not know what it is. I didn’t either until 2012, when a friend, Joanna Nunez, shared with me about the significant health benefits of fresh milk (or raw as it’s known in some parts because it has NOT been homogenized or pasteurized). She taught me how to make Kefir, a fermented milk drink where probiotics are produced by adding kefir grains into the milk and then allowing it to sour while sitting on the counter over a period of time. I’m not going to go into all the details about how to make your own kefir the internet is replete with how to videos. But I do believe in the health benefits of kefir. I have made it a part of my daily nutrition. And, kefir has quite a history dating back in recorded history some 2,000 years.

According to Dr. Steven Novil, PhD, kefir originated in ancient times when Eastern nomadic shepherds discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into a deliciously effervescent beverage. Once the accidental process was discovered, this bubbly refresher became popular throughout the known world. It is thought to originate from the Turkish word “Keif” meaning “good feeling”, for the sense of well-being experienced after drinking it. Outside of the Balkans, kefir was scarcely known. Marco Polo spoke of kefir in his travels. After that it was forgotten for several hundred years in the West. Renewed interest in kefir occurred in the West in the early nineteenth century as it was found to be useful therapeutically for the treatment of tuberculosis at sanitariums. The World Health Organization says that many other countries have successfully used kefir in the treatment of tuberculosis.

As you can see, kefir is one of the most beneficial drinks we can put in our body. I drink about a 1/2 cup every night right before I go to bed; it’s the very last thing that goes into my stomach. According to studies, probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in your body and are especially helpful during times of sickness, pregnancy or nursing, to soothe indigestion, to balance the effects of antibiotics. Probiotics are clinically proven to balance your body’s ecosystem, support digestive health and immunity. You can take it in pill form, but the consensus is that drinking it raw packs the greatest nutritional punch.

This was a healthy choice for me, when I learned about the importance of our gut and the health of the bacteria found there to prevent disease in our bodies. Here’s some more great information about the benefits of kefir!

One, it can clean the digestive tract making sure that no toxic or pathogenic contents in food enter your bloodstream. As it flushes out the bad bacteria from your intestines, it regulates digestion, metabolism, and the colon, which makes it very effective in treating diarrhea, leaky gut syndrome and even colon cancer.

Second, it regulates your immune system, which means it makes you more resistant to any disease and can also potentially prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. The immune system is like the gatekeeper to good health. What exactly can we do to fortify these gates against diseases? Take in the probiotics found in a kefir drink.

Third, it regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Kefir grains are made up of lactose- and sugar-eating bacteria. This is good news for lactose intolerant and diabetics. Probiotcs don’t die easily inside your intestines. They will keep on munching on the lactose and sugars that come in and pass through the digestive tract.

Fourth, it is known to many not just as a health drink but also as beauty drink since it can make the hair and skin smoother. And since it balances sugar levels, it is also a helpful drink for weight watchers.

Fifth, kefir can treat a variety of diseases and health conditions, which include ulcer, tuberculosis, eczema, depression, anxiety, osteoporosis, and hypertension in order to promote an over-all feeling of good health.

special thanks to Sandra, Benefitsofkefir.com

So, drink up friends and cleanse those colons so that the next time flu season comes around your immune system will be charged and ready for any “bug” that tries to attack your system!