Can you eat kefir when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat kefir when pregnant, what is kefir, is it healthy to eat kefir when pregnant, what is the risk of eating kefir when pregnant and how can you add kefir to your healthy and balanced diet when pregnant. 

Can you eat kefir when pregnant?

Yes, kefir is considered safe and healthy to eat when pregnant as long as it has been made with pasteurized milk. All store-bought kefir has been made with pasteurized milk and follows food regulation standards, according to the FDA.

Kefir falls into the category of dairy products such as yogurt. You need to be careful if you buy homemade kefir or in small stores where it is not labeled if it is made with pasteurized milk. 

What is kefir?

Kefir is a drink made from fermented milk, it can be made with cow, goat, or sheep milk. It is believed that kefir originated centuries ago in Eastern Europe. Kefir can be very similar to thin yogurt or ayran. The method to make it is to inoculate the milk with kefir grains. 

The major producer of Kefir is Russia followed by Poland where it has been used as a breakfast, lunch, and dinner beverage. In other countries like South Slavic, it can be consumed any time of the day or in cold soups served during the summer. 

Kefir is a fermented food. The process takes place at ambient temperatures and uses lactose to fermentate. The fermentation of kefir initiates by adding kefir grains with lactobacillus kefiranofaciens and other probiotics. 

Because of this process kefir has less lactose, so it is easy to digest by people that have lactose intolerance problems. The composition changes by breaking down about 25% of lactose.

Is it healthy to eat kefir when pregnant?

Kefir is a healthy fermented food that can be consumed when pregnant. Kefir is an excellent source of probiotics for good intestinal and vaginal health. The main concern of eating kefir when pregnant is that it has to be made with pasteurized milk.

The benefits of including fermented food such as kefir are

  • Fermented food helps to build a strong ecosystem in your digestive system and vaginal canal, which can help with a healthy delivery.
  • Help to build a good microbiome in amniotic fluid that boosts baby’s health
  • Kefir helps to absorb more and better nutrients in food because of probiotics content
  • It helps to boost digestion
  • Kefir adds enzymes to help digestion
  • Kefir reduces the risk of bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections, pregnant women are more prone to have infections because of hormonal changes and pH imbalance.
  • Prevents constipation
  • It may help prevent preterm labor and preeclampsia
  • Excellent source of folate and vitamin b12

What is the risk of eating kefir when pregnant?

Kefir is generally safe for everyone if taken up to 12 weeks. Excess amounts of kefir can cause bloating, nausea, intestinal cramping, and constipation but the side effects go once you stop taking kefir. 

Kefir may contain 0.5% of alcohol. Some people say there is zero-tolerance when it comes to alcohol and pregnancy but this amount should be safe. The alcohol quantity is for a whole bottle of kefir.

There is not enough evidence to say that kefir is safe to eat when pregnant but the main concern is that you need to choose kefir from pasteurized sources. Pasteurization may kill some friendly bacteria or probiotics but it is safest for you. 

How can you add kefir to your healthy and balanced diet when pregnant?

Kefir can be added anyway to your diet. You can drink it at breakfast, lunch, or dinner or you can use it instead of yogurt or mix it with your favorite yogurt to add some probiotics. 

It goes very well with fruit in your favorite smoothie or juice. It can be added to your overnight oats, used as a creamer or make kefir bread or pancakes. 

Here is a link for 10 kefir beverages you can buy at your supermarket. Kefir bought at the supermarket are safe to eat because they have been pasteurized. 

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat kefir when pregnant? What is kefir? Is it healthy to eat kefir when pregnant? What is the risk of eating kefir when pregnant and how can you add kefir to your healthy and balanced diet when pregnant?” 

Citation

https://www.webmd.com/diet/kefir-good-for-you

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dangers-of-kefir#daily-intake-recommendation

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