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Kefir helps kick a stomach virus

Kefir











Just when I thought I'd have this stomach virus the rest of the year, just when I thought that losing 10 pounds in a week might be excessive, I stopped that virus in its tracks with a big glass of peach kefir.

What is kefir? Pronounced kuh-feer, it is a cultured yogurt drink loaded with stomach-friendly probiotics. I had been Googling about for "stomach virus cure" and stomach flu diet" and more than once came across advice on eating yogurt or similar foods with probiotics.

I had a little Lifeway peach kefir left in the fridge, so I had it for dinner a couple nights ago. Then I had a glass before bed and the next morning for breakfast. And for the past two days I've been feeling fine.

Kefir makes a great breakfast beverage or afternoon snack. It has around 160 calories for an 8 ounce glass, 11 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat. It also has those healthy tummy bugs and 30 percent of your calcium for the day.

The consistency is that of a thinner smoothie and the taste is tart, yogurty and sweet (as long as you don't get the unflavored -- I'm not brave enough to try that). And like yogurt, kefir tends to be well tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant (me!). It comes in a bunch of flavors -- I like peach the best but blueberry's also tasty (if you can get past the gray-blue color). There's even a cappuccino flavor but I don't think that would pair well with the tart base. If you've ever had a glass of lassi at an Indian restaurant it's a similar experience.

I get my kefir at the regular grocery store, but if you're store isn't as enlightened you usually can find it at Whole Foods and other natural grocery stores.

Lifeway is the predominant brand (and it also owns the organic Helios brand) but Nancy's is another.

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