Nutritional Content of Kefir

More than just beneficial bacteria!

In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.

Kefir’s ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.

Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin which aids the body’s assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity.

  • Diana Hoyt

    Is it o.k. to use goat’s milk to make Kefir?

  • Jack Gadomski

    Is this about water kefir or milk kefir?

  • Paddy Wacker

    I started drinking four oz. daily about 3 or 4 months ago. After 90 days I developed A-FIB and my heart rate rose to over 125 beats a minute while resting. Is there enough Potassium in Kefer to have this effect? I am aware Potassium can alter heart rhythms but I do not know the levels required.

  • TTeddy

    For those of you that have pets. Kefir is also very good for them.

    Kefir – Recommended Minimum Daily Intake of Kefir
    Small size dogs and cats – 1 tsp to 1 tbs
    Medium size dogs – 1 tbs to 2 tbs
    Large dogs – 2 tbs to 3 tbs
    Extra large dogs – 4 tbs to 6 tbs

    I’m not a vet, I’m an advocate of the Prey Model & Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diets and run a Facebook Group As Nature Intended. I’ve had holistic vets, researchers, trainers, breeders, whisperers, nutritionists and, of course, carers from all over the world join the group.

    If you’re looking for ways to help heal your long life friend, then removing all harmful toxins from their body, making a few changes in and around the home while feeding them one of these diets is certainly a good start. Perhaps your considering on making the transition, but wish to learn how, when and what to feed, what the benefits are, or you’re looking for guidance or hints and tips on raw diet. If you wish to learn the benefits of foods suitable, how to prevent and treat different ailments, alternative medicine in treating and prevention and much more, then this informative group is there for you and your pets, 24/7

  • Natalie

    I have been drinking Kefir for a few years now but would like to know how many milligrams of Vitamin K2 might be in a small cup. I am currently supplementing various vitamins but would like now to do this naturally in the foods I eat. Is there anyone who cold help me?

  • Renee

    You can buy Water or milk kefir grains on If you buy Milk Kefir grains USE A-2 whole milk (please look up excerpts from the book “The devil is in the milk” this book was written buy a wellness doctor who discovered that most grocery store milk will make you sick because it is A-1 beta casein, A-1 milk may be the reason for many neurological issues and for lactose intolerance & some IBS) I go to a Guernsey Dairy farm, get A-2 milk every two weeks and make milk Kefir for my entire family, there is also a brand at Sprouts called A-2 it’s whole milk, always use whole milk because the Kefir grains eat the milk Lactose & fat to grow the good bacteria. I highly recommend this to EVERYONE, we have lost weight, gotten rid of my eye twitches & my husbands IBS is gone we have no sugar cravings since drinking this. We have been making & drinking the Kefir for a year. We find it fun to make & gets us back to our roots, We try to incorporate something healthy in our life and then make it a habit. Our date night is every Saturday night & now me & my husband never base the restaurant on food because we seriously crave nothing….this is strange to us but GREAT. My five year old twin boys never bug me for candy or cookies any more!

  • Paul DB

    I had the opportunistic infection known as C. diff, which I got while I was in the hospital for, what else, gut surgery. I had horrible cramps, violent diarrhea, and tried every antibiotic known to Western gut specialists. After six months of living hell, I read about kefir and got grains from a generous soul who was sharing them regularly. In a matter of a couple weeks, the situation had righted itself and I was myself again. Wow, so very impressive. Of course the MDs were convinced it had been relieved by X, Y, and Z, but NOT the kefir. Yeah, right. Get real. They always feel that anything deemed “natural” is a direct threat to their sense of professionalism! 🙁

    Years later, I developed chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and a bunch of other things that indicate my overall system is in trouble. Traditional Western docs have nothing more to offer. A few days ago I started a new culture of kefir grains (sadly, they’re now widely available for SALE rather than giveaway), and I’m very optimistic than at least in one sense or another, I’m about to feel somewhat better!

  • Olivia

    Kefir is amazing I started with a little bit now I have so much I give it to people that come by and ask what they are. My father has liver failure and nerve problems he says it’s been relaxing him also Dr’s say it’s been helping. I give it to my 8 year old every other day helps with energy and up set stomach. I am breastfeeding a toddler so I’ll drink everyother day due to passing it to her gives her some diarrhea Now and then. I totally feel more positive and energetic with this stuff. mines taste like apple cider vinegar I just use water and sugar cane Change water every other day as well, we drink only a shot glass of it. I don’t know if it’s just a Latino thing but curious people told me when handling this stuff must use all plastic supplies if not they die and won’t multiply hehe I never dared to try it though thought about it.

  • Kimberlee

    Can someone please tell me how much magnesium is in 1 – 2 cups of plain Kefir yogurt. I need more magnesium in my diet and I really like plain Kefir yogurt. Thank you very much.

    • Dee Armenta

      No, but if you eat 1/2 a cup of shelled raw pumpkin seeds you will get more than you need and their very nutritional… also a natural way of getting it…Not synthetic like in the vitamin supplements….You can get them at any Health Food Store and at a good price..

  • akiravei

    Did you know that traditional kefir is manufactured using kefir “grains,” which are porous structures resembling small cauliflower florets; the grains hold the microorganisms that are responsible for the fermentation process. The bacteria and fungus which make up the grains include lactic acid streptococci, leuconostocs, lactobacilli, yeasts and acetic acid bacteria. After fermentation, 1 mL of good quality kefir contains 10,000 to 10,000,000,000 microbes! .

    Read more at www,

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  • JR

    How do I know if Water Kefir is working in my body? I don’t feel any different and I have been drinking it daily for over a month.

    • lili

      How much do you drink daily?

  • Scott K

    So Just what is the actual carbohydrate content of a cup (8 Ozs.) or fresh raw cow’s milk Kefir, all I have found so far is for dead (pasturized) milk. Is it the same? I know kefir is very good (nutritionally) but I am trying to keep tabs on my carbo intake. I am glad to see that many responders to this site have seen that most doctors are just the minions of Big Pharma, I wish I had seen this sooner, but I know now.

  • kenny

    Thank you for keeping the Kefir message out there,our family has been making Kefir milk for over 20 years
    and it has help us stay healthy,with out ever getting ill.

    • Misty

      How do you make it? Do you have milk cows and make it from raw milk?

  • Where to get free or cheap kefir grains

    Google “Kefir Grains List” or just click this link. It’s where I got mine, don’t mind the TORONTO in the title, it’s the real kefir grains list for the entire world.

  • Answering Ellen

    Dear Ellen, you’ll have to contact the company regarding the amt of probiotics in your bottled kefir. I think this site might be for homemade kefir that one gets.

  • David

    I should add, that I see a lot of false or misleading information on line about making kefir, needing grains or needing to leave it in a calf’s stomach or what ever. That is all nonsense.

    If you take any healthy mammal milk ( healthy raw milk) and leave it on the counter for a few days at room temperature, it will turn to kefir all by itself. Healthy raw milk contains all the cultures naturally. Human milk too, from healthy humans that is. It can’t be any different. If fresh raw milk does not turn to kefir by itself, there is something wrong.

    • Lou

      When i was a kid we set out out whole fresh milk to sour and clabber before we churned it into butter. I never heard it called kefir and it did not make grains like the grains I have. What it did make was WONDERFUL butter that can’t be found in stores made from fresh milk and the resulting milk that was left was a really good thick buttermilk with tiny bits of butter through. I drool at the thought of that butter. It actually had flavor.

      Lou in Florida

      • You can buy culture for making cultured butter (which is what you are doing) from Dairy Connection. The advantage is that you know what the end result will be. It clabbers the cream, makes the most wonderful butter, and the butter lasts and lasts, whereas butter made from fresh raw cream will go rancid in a matter of three or four days.

    • Hmmm. Nope. That’s sour milk. It has its place, but it’s not kefir!

    • Speaking of false or misleading information, this is just not true. It will not have the same yeast in it that kefir does. Kefir grains are yeast, and while your milk may pick up yeast from the air in your kitchen, it will not be the same thing. If you have ever gotten any to develop those little funny yeast colonies in it, I would be very surprised.

  • David

    I was raised on a farm where we raised our own cows and had our own fresh milk straight from the cow. We kids used to drink milk straight from the tit. Mom would fill our cups from the tit and we drank it right there in the barn.

    We always had kefir and cottage cheese made from kefir. There is nothing better. It was a staple. I now live in the city and make my own kefir from store bought milk. I consume most of my milk in the kefir form. I only use fresh milk for my porridge or the odd latte. (I am not much of a coffee drinker at home, but occasionally I do make a latte. I only got hooked on them a few months ago. ) I make about four liters of kefir a week, sometimes more. I don’t think I would be alive if it were not for kefir. I have had ulcers and have irritable gut syndrome and kefir keeps it in check pretty good. If I go about three days without kefir, I am in big trouble. There was many years from the time I left home in 1972 that I did not know that kefir could be made from store bought milk. So I used butter milk and yogurt, it did the job to a degree, but not near as good as kefir. I noticed Kefir became available in stores in the later 90s, when I first saw it anyways. I tried all kinds of ways to make it (including grains and other ways, I forget all the different ways I tried) then figured out that all I had to do is use a spoon of the previous batch to inoculate a container of fresh milk and leave it on the counter for about three days and I had perfect kefir. To me it is a miracle food and one of my best medicines. There is lots of information online about the benefits of kefir and the probiotics in kefir. I would guess that kefir has the full line of beneficial bacterial and yeast cultures. I can’t see how it can be any other way. All healthy mammal milk contains a whole range of natural beneficial bacterial and yeast cultures, native to the area. The key is the mammal has to be truly healthy, eating a natural high quality diet and free of stress. When the diet is compromised and the mammal experiences undue stress the quality of the milk will suffer accordingly. These bacterial and yeast cultures are ubiquitous in nature. If you pick a piece of fruit off a tree and eat it, it is covered in these cultures.

    • peg

      Please tell me what toake with my Kefir? my is sour what iam I doing wrong? can i cook withit? what to do I can not fined any recipes for cheese or yourt to make can you help. thanks Peg

      • Easiest thing you can make is labneh. Strain out the kefir grains to start your next batch, then put the finished kefir back on the counter to continue to ferment. It will eventually separate; you will see the whey. Then strain that through cheesecloth. I let mine get quite dry, then roll into balls. Then I roll the balls in a mixture of dried herbs, sea salt (not much) and some red pepper flakes. Then I pack them LIGHTLY into a wide mouth pint canning jar and fill to the top with organic olive oil. Keep on the counter. Just make sure the oil completely covers the cheese. When you want some cheese, you stab a ball of labneh and spread it on some sourdough bread or a good cracker. When the cheese balls are all gone, add some red wine vinegar to the leftover olive oil, give it a good shake, and you have a FABULOUS salad dressing!! There will be bits of labneh in the dressing.

        • jay

          HOLY COW!

  • Linda

    i just started using the Kefir, and I love it.I have made it with several types of milk, Is there a reason the Almond milk takes longe to culture? Can you ever make it wrong, where it does not grow

    • xtopher66

      I find it takes 12 hours longer and you can tell when it separates like milk kefir and needs a stir. In 3 months my tiny grains are 10 times bigger fed on cows milk (with alternate Coconut or Almond milk ferments). I probably use too much grains per volume of liquid but it ferments quicker but is more sour and effervescent. I give my extra supply to my aunty who has cancer. It has I believe help cure my IBS providing i stick to whole foods I prepare myself. I drink a little champagne every now and then or KFC and no issues. The key is balance.

      • Renee

        You’re right it CURED my husbands IBS

        • Marcie Perry

          was that just drinking one glass per day?

    • Renee

      Linda We love Kefir too. I make it weekly for my kids & husband. & have seen many health benefits! It has surprised me in a good way!!!

      • Renee

        He gave up A-1 milk (grocery store milk) and drinks A-2 in his coffee(we get that at a Guernsey farm or Sprouts grocery store & I make his Kefir with A-2 milk. He drinks one glass a day

    • Daniel O’Hearn

      I’ve yet to see it grow in any sort of vegan milk. If we could figure out how it may be possible it sure make a lot of vegans happy.

      • Jenny Lam

        it grows very well in soya milk!

      • kelly

        Ripple milk. It is made from peas. Before you turn your nose up….try is. They sell it at Target.
        It makes my kefir extra thick. Of course, as I strain my grains thru my screen style strainer, ( I have been doing this for many, many years) I rotate it quickly out in front of me, in a circle motion, thus the grains are rolling over the screen strainer. If you use any other material of a strainer, you will not get the very thick kefir. I give the strainer a couple of bangs into my very large funnel and Voila….super thick kefir.