Did you know that yogurt is not only delicious, but it’s also packed with health benefits?
From reducing the risk of heart disease to improving digestion, yogurt is a fantastic food choice for people of all ages.
Here are six impressive health benefits of yogurt that you should know about.
What is yogurt, and how is it made?
Yogurt is a fermented dairy product made from milk with bacteria and cultures added.
It usually contains live bacteria (such as lactobacillus) and cultures contributing to the yogurt’s distinctive taste and texture.
Yogurt can be made from cow, goat, sheep or camel milk, although most commercial yogurts are made from cow milk.
Some versions of yogurt also contain other ingredients, such as fruit or soy products.
To determine if a yogurt has been pasteurized, check the label for whether it was heated at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
To make yogurt, you need five basic ingredients: milk, a starter culture (also called “culturing”), sugar or another sweetener, an acidic ingredient such as yogurt powder or lemon juice, and a container (such as a glass jar).
These ingredients are mixed and allowed to ferment for some time.
During this process, lactic acid bacteria slowly convert sugars in the milk into lactic acid.
The lactic acid then acts on the milk proteins to develop the unique flavours and textures of yogurts.
Once the fermentation process is complete, you may store your yogurt in various ways:
In glass jars (ideal because they prevent contamination during transport), plastic containers with tight-fitting lids (great for keeping out air.
Yogurt with active cultures may be beneficial to the gut:
While further research is needed, there is some indication that yogurt with active cultures may aid in the treatment of some gastrointestinal diseases, such as Lactose intolerance, Constipation, Diarrhea, Colon cancer, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Infection with Helicobacter pylori In a review study, experts from Tufts University’s Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging concluded.
The benefits are assumed to be the result of Microflora changes in the intestine, The amount of time it takes for food to pass through the intestines. Improving the body’s immunological system.
Some Probiotic Strains May Boost the Immune System:
Another recent study found that drinking a drink containing three specific probiotics reduced the type of diarrhea that some people experience after taking antibiotics. Some probiotic strains may boost the immune system.
While there is still a lot to learn about probiotics and the immune system, recent research suggests that certain probiotic strains can help: Probiotics may help with inflammatory bowel disease by changing the intestinal microflora and reducing the immune system response to worsening the disease, according to one review article.
Another study found that probiotics can help with infection resistance and recovery.
In a study of elderly people, researchers discovered that those who consumed a probiotic found in fermented milk had a significantly shorter duration of all illnesses.
They claimed that the length of winter infections could be cut in half (including gastrointestinal and respiratory infections).
According to a recent Taiwanese study, yogurt containing two probiotics, lactobacillus, and bifidobacterium, improved the success of drug therapy (using four specific medications) on 138 people with persistent H. pylori infections.
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori can cause stomach and upper small intestine infections. It can cause ulcers and increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Active Culture Yogurt Can Help Prevent Vaginal Infections:
Vaginal infections caused by Candida (or “yeast”) are a common problem among diabetic women.
In a small study, seven diabetic women with chronic candidal vaginitis ate 6 ounces of frozen aspartame-sweetened yogurt per day.
Although most women had poor blood sugar management throughout the research, the vaginal pH (a measure of acidity or basicity) of the women who ate yogurt with active cultures fell from 6.0 to 4.0. (normal pH is 4.0-4.5).
Infections with Candida albicans were also reduced in these women. The pH of the ladies who ate yogurt without active cultures was 6.0.
Yogurt may protect you from osteoporosis:
“Adequate diet is critical in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, with calcium and vitamin D being the most important micronutrients,” explains Jeri Nieves, Ph.D., MS, director of bone density testing at Helen Hayes Hospital in New York.
Although the outcomes are not always constant, calcium has been proven to benefit bone mass in people of all ages, according to Nieves, an assistant professor of clinical epidemiology at Columbia University. “If the vitamin D dose is high enough, the combination of calcium and vitamin D has a definite skeletal effect,” she adds. What constitutes “sufficiently high?”
According to Nieves, 400 IU of vitamin D per day is considered appropriate for persons aged 51 to 70. (On food labels, look for the Daily Value amount.)
However, more may be preferable. “This amount is likely to be sufficient for most young individuals for skeletal health,” Nieves said in an email interview, “but many would argue that for general health, more than the 400 IU may be required, even at these younger ages.” More vitamin D, according to Nieves, can assist older persons in particular.
Vitamin D is added to several dairy products, including some yogurts. Check out the table below to see which brands have added vitamin D, and read the labels when you go shopping.
Yogurt may help to lower the risk of high blood pressure:
Two-year research in Spain studied over 5,000 university graduates and discovered a link between dairy consumption and the risk of high blood pressure.
In an email conversation, Alvaro Alonso, MD, Ph.D., a researcher in the department of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, says that those who eat 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy a day (or more) have a 50% lower risk of having high blood pressure than those who don’t.
Although most of the low-fat dairy consumed by the study participants was in the form of milk, Alvaro believes low-fat yogurt would have a similar effect.
According to Dutch researchers, higher dairy consumption (mostly from milk and yogurt) was reportedly associated with reduced blood pressure in 2064 Dutch men and women aged 50 to 75.
Yogurt May Assist You In Feeling Better Fuller:
In a study conducted by the University of Washington in Seattle, the hunger, fullness, and calories eaten at the next meal were examined on 16 men and 16 women who had a 200-calorie snack.
The snack was one of the following: Semisolid yogurt with peach chunks that is eaten with a spoon In a drinkable form A dairy beverage with a peach flavor.
Juice from a peach, even though those who ate the yogurt snacks ate no fewer calories at their next meal, both types of yogurt resulted in reduced hunger and higher fullness ratings than the other snacks.