Yogurt is a powerhouse of various vitamins and minerals that are also present in milk. It is a good source of easily digestible proteins and is beneficial for maintaining cholesterol levels in the body and preventing ailments like hypertension. Yogurt also helps in boosting immunity, is good for improving the strength of bones and teeth, skin care, and aids in digestion.
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What is Yogurt?
Yogurt is a dairy product prepared from the bacterial fermentation of milk. It is often offered as a healthy dessert option and is used to flavor dishes in a number of cuisines. Regardless of how it is consumed, it retains the health benefits of milk in a low-fat form. It can also be consumed by lactose intolerant individuals who cannot normally digest milk.
An additional benefit of yogurt consumption is the presence of Lactobacillus, a helpful class of bacteria that ferments milk into yogurt and aids in the digestive process of the body. They also protect the gut from succumbing to infection by harmful bacteria.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
The health benefits of yogurt have always been important to mankind. Here are some of the most prominent ones;
Rich in Minerals
Being derived from milk, yogurt consists of large doses of calcium, which is essential for maintaining bone and dental health. Adequate calcium consumption also lowers the incidence of osteoporosis in menopausal women. Yogurt is rich in potassium and magnesium. Potassium is essential for nerve health and maintains the fluid balance in the body. Magnesium is just as essential for bone health as calcium!
Yogurt contains abundant levels of vitamin B2 and B12. Vitamin B2 is essential for healthy nerves, eyes, bones, and skin and its deficiency leads to anemia. Yogurt also contains healthy amounts of vitamin D and E. Vitamin D is essential for skeletal health and vitamin E aids in maintaining healthy skin, as well as good reproductive health.
Protects Bone Health
Calcium is essential for maintaining the good condition of our bones. We all know that milk is a great source of calcium, but digesting it is difficult for many people. Yogurt contains all the essential minerals, including calcium, that are present in milk, and is also much easier 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 people suffering from osteoporosis and rheumatism.
Rich Source of Animal Protein
According to findings by the Journal of Dairy research, the protein content in yogurt has been found to be higher than that of milk. It is also known to be more easily digestible than milk due to the partial breakdown of proteins, such as casein, by the fermenting bacteria.
Yogurt is also a boon for people suffering from lactose intolerance. It can be used as a milk substitute for lactose intolerant individuals who cannot digest milk and would normally 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, aid in alleviating constipation, diarrhea, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and even infections by peptic ulcer-causing bacteria H. pylori, which may eventually lead to stomach cancer.
The probiotic strains of bacteria present in yogurt boost the immune system and reduce the incidence of infections, inflammatory diseases, and allergies, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A regular intake of dairy products has been shown to lower hypertension. However, due to the presence of high-fat content, excessive consumption is not advisable. Yogurt combines a low-fat dairy option with the benefits of a normal dairy.
Reduces LDL Cholesterol
Studies carried out by various institutes indicate a drop in serum LDL cholesterol levels when a person regularly consumes yogurt. Thus, daily consumption of this dairy dessert may lead to a reduction in cardiovascular diseases.
Prevents Vaginal Infections
Vaginal infections due to Candida are commonly observed in diabetic women. The daily consumption of yogurt lowers the pH levels of the vaginal tract and prevents Candida infections.
Cures Bad Breath
Yogurt is a natural cure for bad breath and has reduced halitosis by up to 80% in test subjects. Levels of plaque and gingivitis were also found to be lower among daily consumers of yogurt.
Intake of yogurt may also provide relief to those suffering from colon cancer. A new study suggests that a diet rich in dairy products may slightly extend lives of people diagnosed with colon cancer.
Skin & Hair Care
Yogurt, when applied topically, has been proven to cure acne and skin rashes, and gives it a healthy glow by reducing dark circles and closing pores. It is also beneficial for hair, as it soothes the itchy scalp and treats dandruff.
From the above list, it is quite apparent that yogurt is greatly helpful in achieving and maintaining a healthy body. The daily consumption of yogurt provides a large chunk of essential nutrients as well.