Yogurt can be derived from various milk types including skim milk, whole fat milk, etc. You can use goat’s, sheep’s, or cow’s milk to make dairy-based yogurt. Milk fermentation has been practiced for over 6, 000 years. Before the convenience of refrigerators, fermentation was the best way to preserve milk. It is believed that milk fermentation started in Central Asia.
Yogurt is a dairy product produced by milk fermentation. The live microorganisms present in yogurt, also called probiotics or good bacteria, ferment the milk’s natural sugar or lactose. Thus, producing lactic acid and causing milk proteins to curdle, giving yogurts its distinctive taste and texture.
People love yogurt for its rich and creamy indulgence. In fact, it is among the most consumed fermented dairy products in the world. However, there is more to yogurt than just being a snack or dessert. Yogurt is considered a super food, providing a great deal of benefits.
Nutrition Info (per 100g)
Thiamine-0.025mg 2% RDA
Pantothenic acid- 0.330mg 7% RDA
Vitamin B6- 0.065mg 5% RDA
Vitamin B12- 0.75μg 31% RDA
Magnesium- 11mg 3% RDA
Phosphorus- 135mg 19% RDA
Potassium -141mg3% RDA
Zinc -0.52mg 5% RDA
13 Amazing Health Benefits of Yogurt
1. Enhances Complexion
It has countless benefits to offer, including beauty and skin care. If your face is normal to dry, keep it well hydrated by having a yogurt face-mask at least once a week. This also helps skin become supple and radiant.
You can also prevent wrinkles and fine lines from showing. Yogurt contains lactic acid that serves as an exfoliating agent, shedding the topmost layer of unhealthy cells to reveal brighter and more elastic skin.
With its presence of lactic acid as well as zinc, yogurt can treat acne. Applying plain yogurt on your face daily can prevent its reoccurrence. You may as well add lemon juice to yogurt to erase any trace of blemish and pigmentation left behind by acne.
In addition, yogurt soothes parched skin and blisters caused by exposure to UV rays, owing to its high amounts of zinc. Likewise, it can treat ringworm and athlete’s foot. It is important to use natural yogurt and not refrigerated supermarket varieties, as the sugar content is likely to be troublesome.
2. Nourishes Hair
It’s moisturizing qualities can also benefit your hair. It helps repair dry damaged hair, leaving it soft and manageable. Since your hair follicles are getting proper nourishment from yogurt’s abundance of nutrients such as vitamin B5, plus its moisturizing qualities, episodes of hair loss would be unlikely. Moreover, yogurt has an anti-fungal property, which makes it an ideal remedy for dandruff.
3. Prevents Hypertension
It has notable amounts of potassium, a potent mineral hailed by cardiologists and nutritionists as a blood pressure regulator. Potassium effectively decreases sodium re-absorption and helps eliminate excess sodium from the body. Additionally, potassium stimulates nervous system cell function, which is crucial in lowering blood pressure and for improving overall heart health. Sodium is attributed as being the main cause behind high blood pressure, which often leads to hypertension and kidney disorders if not monitored. Dr. Alvaro Alonso from Harvard School of Public Health suggests that consuming at least three servings of yogurt per day reduces the risks of developing high blood pressure.
4. Regulates Cholesterol Levels
Yogurt has an abundance of live probiotics, also known as the good bacteria. The presence of Lactobacillus Acidophilus effectively decreases low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in blood. High levels of bad cholesterol or LDL is linked to coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. Regular intake of yogurt is recommended to reduce the overall incidence of such diseases. The effects are prominent in a controlled clinical study as well as in individuals with high blood pressure.
5. Aids in Proper Digestion
It contains a multitude of live cultured bacteria such as the Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. These probiotics relieve bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Yogurt helps stimulate the microflora in the bowel and allows smooth peristaltic processes.
Moreover, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium combats H. pylori, a type of bacteria that cause infection in the stomach and intestine. If not addressed, it could lead to gastric ulcers and stomach cancer.
6. Lowers the Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Diabetes Mellitus
Probiotics promote healthy digestion, which in turn can help prevent against colorectal cancer. Large intake of probiotic yogurt also help lower the chances of acquiring type-2 diabetes. Maintaining healthy glucose levels also require proper absorption of nutrients throughout the digestive tract.
7. Provides Omega-3 for Vegetarians
Omega-3 fatty acids aid in weight loss, regulate blood pressure, decrease inflammation, fight cognitive decline, and prevent cancer. Dairy products from grass-fed cows, which includes yogurt, are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids. If your diet does accommodate consumption of meat but you still use dairy, yogurt would be an excellent choice to help meet your omega-3 requirements.
8. Helps Prevent Yeast Infections
Women who have diabetes are prone to vaginal yeast infections, and the parasitic fungus Candida Albicans is the main culprit behind it. Candida is a common problem with women who have diabetes since they tend to have imbalanced pH levels, and an abundance of excreted glucose which feeds the problem at hand. Yogurt contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic bacterium that destroys yeast by producing hydrogen peroxide.
Eating yogurt every day or applying it directly to the affected area to treat the infection, though it is not advised to try and eliminate entire cultures- yeast is a normal part of the female microflora.
9. Strengthens Immune System
Regular consumption of it helps strengthen your immune system and decreases your chances of acquiring an illness. The live active microorganisms found in yogurt stimulate the gut mucosal immune system by means of encouraging cytokine producing cells in the intestine. The resulting benefit of an improved digestion is proper absorption of nutrients, which will boost immunity. Likewise, the good bacteria help reduce inflammation, which is linked to numerous health conditions. It has magnesium, selenium, and zinc that also reinforce its immune-enhancing property.
10. Supports Weight Management
It notably contains high amounts of protein, with an average about 6 grams for every 100-gram serving but up to 10g depending on the production technique. Protein promotes metabolism by raising the number of calories that your body burns throughout the day. Getting enough protein is crucial in appetite control, as it boosts the production of certain hormones that signal fullness. Hence, it decreases your caloric intake that is favorable in weight loss.
11. Quicker Workout Recovery
It is beneficial to those who work out because of its impressive protein content. Greek yogurt, considered as the healthiest type of yogurt, is ideal for a post workout snack due to its balanced protein and carbohydrate content. Eating yogurt help repair damaged muscles and improves glycogen accrual in muscle cells.
12. Promotes Better Moods
According to a study from UCLA’s Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress, your digestive health can affect your temperament. Studies show that women who benefit from the effects of probiotics on the digestive tract are usually in better moods and display less compulsive behaviors, nervousness, and anxiety.
Moreover, researchers from the same study noted that yogurt consumption is ideal when taking in antibiotics. Antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria that reside in the stomach; thus, reinforcing probiotics by eating yogurt would be beneficial.
13. Assist In Prevention of Osteoporosis and Improves Bone Health
Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies are the two main culprits of osteoporosis. Dairy products are good sources of calcium. Yogurt, however, has a combination of calcium and vitamin D, as well as other key nutrients for promoting bone health such as phosphorus, potassium, and protein. Together, these vitamins, minerals and nutrients increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
While yogurt offers a great deal of benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with lactose intolerance must be cautious as it may bring a few complications. Also, be wary of sweetened conventional yogurts. These commercialized yogurts have added sugars and colorants to mimic certain fruit flavors. It is best to avoid such types and opt for yogurt derived from grass-fed cows.