Health Benefits of Yogurt
The health benefits of yogurt have always impressed mankind. Yogurt is a powerhouse of various vitamins and minerals that are present in milk. It is also good source of easily digestible proteins. Yogurt is beneficial for maintaining cholesterol levels in the body and preventing ailments like hypertension and boost immunity. It is good for improving the strength of bones and teeth, aids in digestion and skin care.
Health benefits of yogurt are due to its preparation from milk. It is synonymous with healthy dessert option and is used to flavour dishes in oriental cuisine. Consumed either way, it maintains the health benefits of milk in a low fat option. It can also be consumed by lactose-intolerant individuals who cannot digest milk.
An added benefit of yogurt consumption is the presence of Lactobacillus, a helpful class of bacteria which ferment milk into yogurt and aid in digestion in the body. They also protect the gut from infection by harmful bacteria.
Health benefits of yogurt
Here are most prominent health benefits of yogurt:
Rich source of essential minerals: Being derived from milk, yogurt consists of large doses of calcium, essential for maintaining bone health and dental health. Adequate calcium consumption also lowers the incidence of osteoporosis in menopausal women. Yogurt is also rich in potassium and magnesium. Potassium is essential for nerve health and maintains the fluid balance in the body. Magnesium is essential for bone health at par with calcium.
Storehouse of vitamins: Yogurt contains abundant vitamin B2 and B12. Vitamin B2 is essential for healthy nerves, eyes and skin. Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining bone health and its deficiency leads to anaemia. Yogurt also contains good amounts of vitamin D and E. Vitamin D is essential for skeletal health and vitamin E aids in maintaining healthy skin as well as reproductive health.
Rich source of animal proteins: The protein content of yogurt has been found to be higher than that of milk and found to be easily digestible than milk due to the partial breakdown of proteins such as casein by the fermenting bacteria according to findings by Journal of Dairy research.
Bone health: Calcium is essential for maintaining good condition of our bones. We all know milk is a great source of calcium, but digesting milk is difficult for many people. Yogurt contains all the essential minerals, including calcium, that are present in milk and at the same time, it is also easy to digest (not just that it also aids in digestion). Therefore consuming yogurt helps in maintaining the strength of the bones. It is also good for patients suffering from osteoporosis and rheumatism. Yogurt is a boon for many people who have become lactose intolerant.
Aids gastrointestinal health: Yogurt can be used as a milk substitute for lactose intolerant individuals who cannot digest milk and hence lose out on its health benefits. Due to the presence of active bacterial strains in yogurt, it is easily digestible. In fact, the “pro-biotic” components of yogurt produced by the lactic acid bacteria present in it, aids in alleviating constipation, diarrhoea, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and even infection by peptic ulcer causing bacteria H. pylori, which may eventually lead to stomach cancer.
Boosts immunity: The pro-biotic strains of bacteria present in yogurt boost the immune system and reduce incidence of infections, inflammatory diseases and allergies, according to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Lowers hypertension: Regular intake of dairy products has been shown to lower hypertension. However, due to the presence of high fat content, excess consumption is not advisable. Yogurt combines a low fat dairy option with the benefits of dairy option.
Reduces serum cholesterol: Studies carried out by various institutes indicate a drop in serum LDL cholesterol levels on regular consumption of yogurt. Thus, daily consumption may lead to reduced cardiovascular diseases.
Prevents vaginal infections: Vaginal infections due to Candida are commonly observed in diabetic women. Daily consumption of yogurt lowers the pH of the vaginal tract and prevents Candida infections.
Cures bad breath: Yogurt is a natural cure for bad breath and can reduce halitosis by up to 80% in subjects. Levels of plaque and gingivitis were found to be lower among daily consumers of yogurt.
Effective against skin and hair ailments: Yogurt when applied topically has been proved to cure acne and skin rashes and gives a healthful glow by reducing dark circles and closing pores. It is also beneficial for hair and cures itchy scalp and dandruff.
So its apparent, yogurt is quite helpful in getting and maintaining a good healthy body. Daily consumption of yogurt provides a large chunk of essential nutrients as well.