What is Probiotic Yogurt?
Probiotic yogurt is yogurt that contains live bacterial cultures that can provide known health benefits. While all yogurt contains active cultures, they are not necessarily packed with the most beneficial bacteria. Specific brands and manufacturers specialize in producing probiotic yogurt, as it is largely considered a healthier option. Consuming any amount of yogurt will increase your gut’s probiotic balance, and is also a rich source of other nutrients.
Probiotic yogurt, like traditional yogurt, is made by adding bacterial cultures to fresh milk (or cream), which will cause the lactose to convert to lactic acid, providing the recognizable tang and thickness of yogurt. Greek yogurt is also probiotic in nature but has had much of the liquid whey and lactose strained out. Some of the most common bacterial strains in probiotic yogurt include Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Streptococcus thermophiles.
Probiotic yogurt nutrition is very similar to regular yogurt and includes good amounts of protein, roughly 5 grams per cup of this yogurt variety. It also provides good amounts of calcium and dietary fiber, as well as small amounts of sodium and vitamin C. This is in addition to the different probiotic strains in the yogurt that can help with overall health.
Probiotic Yogurt Benefits
- Improve digestion
- Boost immune system
- Promote vitamin B12 and K production
- Improve heart health
- Prevent and manage type 2 diabetes
- Reduce colorectal cancer risk
- Aid in weight loss
- Regulate the mood
- Reduce cholesterol
- Prevent yeast infection
- Protect against osteoporosis due to good mineral content
- Relieve chronic pain
- Lower risk of neurodegenerative disease
While consuming probiotics is known to relieve problems in the gut, sometimes the addition of the bacteria to the gut can have reverse effects. Essentially, when your bacterial composition changes so quickly, it could take time to re-balance and may result in the following:
After using probiotic yogurt regularly for some time, however, these side effects should disappear. If they don’t, speak to a doctor about other options for regulating your gut health. Additionally, this yogurt does have high levels of sugar and calories, so moderation is recommended to avoid weight gain.