Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich dairy food packed with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your gut flora.
The beneficial yeast and friendly bacteria in the kefir culture consume most of the lactose (or milk sugar), making it a more tolerable dairy product for those who are lactose intolerant.
Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt or other cultured products and include: Lactobacillus caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.
Kefir also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which compete with, dominate, and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body.
Because most of the sugar (lactose) has been consumed by the beneficial bacteria, kefir is very low in sugar and scores low on the glycemic index, as well.
NOTE: See our Best Brands for nutrition information. The FDA has no information on kefir.