In this article, we will talk about one of the healthiest food that holds a very important place in our diet, cooking and has overtaken the dairy aisle. This is Yogurt and its health benefits were long touted by health conscious population. Besides health benefits, yogurt also posses numerous beauty benefits. Believed to have originated in Asia, over the years yogurt gained lots of popularity and now many forms of it are available such as frozen yogurt, curd, flavored yogurt, Greek yogurt and a lot more.
Now the question is what makes yogurt a popular choice among all healthy foods?
Well, most of you will say probiotics or live bacteria. But there are lots of other nutrients too, that make yogurt a dietary superstar.
What is Yogurt
Yogurt may be defined as bacterial fermentation of the milk. The sugar in the milk is fermented by the bacteria to form lactic acid.
The lactic acid reacts with the protein that is present in the milk and yogurt is formed.
Nutritional analysis of Yogurt
One thing that makes yogurt a superfood is no doubt the presence of a live strain of probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that are known to boost body’s immunity and maintain a balance of bacteria that are needed to maintain a healthy digestive system. But besides probiotics, yogurt is also a rich source of protein, calcium, riboflavin, zinc, iodine, potassium, phosphorous, folic acid, lactic acid and vitamin B complex. The best part about yogurt is it is low in calories.
The best choice among all the forms of yogurt is probiotic yogurt that has live cultures in it.
Surprising health benefits of Yogurt
Yogurt is energy boosting, immunity boosting and bone strengthening super food that helps you to maintain a healthy body weight and keep diseases at bay. Let us learn about it in detail.
1. Yogurt boosts immunity
A research has found that people who consume yogurt daily are less likely to catch a cold and flu. This suggests that yogurt improves your immunity and helps the body’s defense system to fight against infectious microorganisms. The probiotics present in the yogurt produces disease-fighting cells. Consume 1-2 cups of yogurt daily to have much stronger and active T-cells and develop resistance to diseases.
2. Yogurt aids digestion
The nutrients that are present in the yogurt are easily absorbed by our digestive system. It neutralizes the heat that is produced by the spicy foods and soothes the digestive tract. It decreases gas and relieves bloating of the stomach. The good bacteria present in yogurt aids the digestion of other food items as well as promotes the absorption of minerals and vitamins. If you are suffering from indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, stomach ache, gastritis, stomach ulcers or any other gastrointestinal issues yogurt should be your first choice among all home remedies to treat your condition.
Yogurt is also found effective to ease the side effects of antibiotics such as diarrhea, bloating of stomach and intestinal pain.
3. Eat yogurt even if you have lactose intolerance
People with lactose intolerance suffer from discomfort, gas and bloating on consuming milk. Thus, they have to say no to milk. But to get all the nutrients, especially calcium that is present in milk they can rely on yogurt. Yogurt is easy to digest in comparison to milk. The lactose present in the yogurt is very small in the amount and is converted to lactic acid by the probiotics. This makes it easy to digest and absorb.
4. Yogurt prevents osteoporosis
Yogurt, as we have discussed above, is rich in calcium and also contains vitamin D. 8 ounces of yogurt is enough to provide the amount of calcium that is needed a day. This amount is sufficient to maintain the skeletal health.
The live cultures and lactic acid present in the yogurt promotes the absorption of calcium. This, in turn, strengthens the bone and prevents osteoporosis in the future. Yogurt with added vitamin D is also available in the market and you can go for it to keep your bones healthy.
5. Eat yogurt to reduce the risk of blood pressure
Studies have shown that people who take 1-2 cups of low-fat yogurt daily are 50 percent less at the risk of developing high blood pressure. The reason behind is that yogurt has the property to flush out the excess of sodium from the body.
6. Yogurt reduces the level of cholesterol in the body
The good bacteria in the yogurt lowers the level of cholesterol. On one hand, they effectively reduce the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. On the other hand, the good bacteria bind up with bile salts and lowers the cholesterol level. If you are suffering from high cholesterol, a daily intake of 2 cups of probiotic yogurt is recommended to help you lower the cholesterol level.
7. Yogurt prevents heart diseases
To keep heart disease at bay eat, 100 grams of yogurt daily. It cuts the consumption of trans fats, saturated fats, regulates the blood pressure, and lowers the cholesterol level.
8. Yogurt keeps your gums and teeth healthy
As we have discussed above that yogurt contains calcium, vitamin D and phosphorous. All these nutrients along with strengthening the bones also play important role in strengthening teeth. The lactic acid protects the gums and prevents cavities. If you are suffering from bad breath yogurt can be your home remedy. The good bacteria present in the yogurt, checks the growth of unfriendly bacteria that causes bad breath. To keep periodontal disease at bay, consume 2 ounces of yogurt every day.
9. Yogurt treats yeast infection
Yeast infection is very common in females, especially during pregnancy. It causes itching, soreness, burning and cheesy vaginal discharge. But live culture containing yogurt can help you get rid of the infection. It balances the pH level of the vagina and kills the yeast. The best part is yogurt is safe to use and easily available. Also, the soothing and cooling property of yogurt eases the symptoms of vaginal infection.
Take a tablespoon of yogurt and insert it into the vagina. Alternatively, you may add a half cup of yogurt to the lukewarm bath water and soak yourself in it for 10-15 minutes or douche with it. Dietary intake of yogurt also helps in treating and preventing yeast infection.
10. Yogurt helps in muscle building
Add yogurt to your daily diet. It is rich in protein and contains good fats. Thus, it helps in building muscles. Take yogurt after workout to recover fast.
11. Eat yogurt to maintain an ideal body weight
The good bacteria present in the yogurt improves digestion and boosts metabolism. The high protein content also plays its role in burning fat. Also, it provides you a feeling of fullness, lowers hunger rating and makes you take fewer calories. All these factors help you to lose weight.
12. Yogurt treats oral herpes
The probiotics present in yogurt promote digestion, boosts immunity and flushes out body toxins and bacteria. By adding a cup of yogurt to daily diet you can prevent oral herpes. Even application of yogurt on fever blisters promotes healing.
13. Eat yogurt to prevent colon cancer
The intestinal friendly bacteria present in the yogurt promote the growth of good and healthy bacteria in the colon. They kill the carcinogenic microorganisms in the colon, Besides this, the high calcium content of yogurt binds with the bile acids that are cancer producing and prevents the colon wall from it. All these factors prevent the cancer of the colon. Eat yogurt every morning on an empty stomach and keep your colon healthy. Better avoid yogurt in dinner.
14. Yogurt helps you to get the glowing and fairer skin
If you have sunburn or your skin has become, dull, dark and unhealthy apply yogurt to your face and get back glowing skin. Just apply plain yogurt after washing your face and rinse it off with plain water after 20 minutes. In a few weeks, you will get the desired result.
Also, yogurt promotes the absorption of water and keeps your skin hydrated.
15. Yogurt helps you to get rid of dandruff and makes your hair healthy
Zinc, calcium, protein, lactic acid, and other nutrients present in yogurt promotes the growth of hair and makes your hair strong. If you are suffering from dandruff or itchy scalp, apply plain yogurt to scalp and hair. Leave it for a half hour and then have shampoo. Do this once a week and your hair will become long, thick and shiny and scalp free from dermatological issues.
The health benefits of yogurt are very impressive and affect your health in many ways. We have listed them above in hope that you will get motivated enough to add yogurt to your daily diet. But yes, do to add artificial sweetener to yogurt. To enhance the taste you may add honey or pure maple syrup to it.