The health benefits of yogurt are due to the fact that it is prepared from milk. It is often offered as a healthy dessert option and is used to flavour dishes in a number of Eastern 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 in the body. They also protect the gut from succumbing to infections by harmful bacteria.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
Here are some of the most prominent health benefits of yogurt:
Rich Source of Essential Minerals: Being derived from milk, yogurt consists of large doses of calcium, which is essential for maintaining bone health 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!
Storehouse of Vitamins: Yogurt contains abundant levels of 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 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 reproductive health.
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 milk is difficult for many people. Yogurt contains all the essential minerals, including calcium, that are present in milk, but 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 patients suffering from osteoporosis and rheumatism. Yogurt is a boon for many people who suffer with being lactose intolerant.
Rich Source of Animal Proteins: The protein content of yogurt has been found to be higher than that of milk and is found to be more easily digestible than milk due to the partial breakdown of proteins, such as casein, by the fermenting bacteria. This is according to findings by the Journal of Dairy research.
Boosts Gastrointestinal Health: Yogurt 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.
Boosts Immunity: The pro-biotic 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.
Lowers Hypertension: The 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 option.
Reduces Serum Cholesterol: Studies carried out by various institutes indicate a drop in serum LDL cholesterol levels when a person regularly consumes yogurt. Thus, daily consumption 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 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.
Cancer: Intake of yogurt may also provide relief to those suffering from colon cancer. New study suggests that a diet rich in dairy products may slightly extend lives of people diagnosed with colon cancer.
Effective Against Skin and Hair Conditions: Yogurt, when applied topically, has been proved to cure acne and skin rashes and gives a healthy glow by reducing dark circles and closing pores. It is also beneficial for the hair and cures itchy scalp and dandruff.
It is quite apparent that yogurt is helpful in achieving and maintaining a healthy body. The daily consumption of yogurt provides a large chunk of essential nutrients as well.