10 Health Benefits Of Yogurt
Yogurt is a dairy product made by the bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as “yogurt cultures,” which convert lactose into lactic acid. The probiotics in yogurt can promote good digestive health.
Yogurt is one of the most nutritious and healthy foods available to us. It is a rich source of protein and vitamin B, and it contains essential minerals like zinc, potassium, iodine, and phosphorous. Other than this, yogurt is also full of beneficial bacteria that keep our digestive system healthy.
Yogurt can be made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or sheep’s milk. You can either buy it from the stores or make it at home. If you buy yogurt from stores, go for plain yogurt, as flavored yogurts usually contain added sugar, which may not be good for your health.
There are many types of yogurt that differ in their nutritional profile and consistency. For example, Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt due to the removal of whey. Whey is the liquid part of milk that remains after curdling and straining. It contains most of the protein and lactose in milk.
In addition to being delicious and nutritious, there are many potential health benefits of yogurt.
Here are ten health benefits of yogurt that are supported by science:
- Improving bone health by increasing calcium absorption
Yogurt contains calcium, which helps keep bones strong. It can also provide vitamins D and K2, which help the body absorb calcium. Whole-milk yogurt tends to be better for bone health than low-fat varieties.
- Reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Several studies have shown that eating yogurt can significantly improve symptoms of lactose intolerance, including diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Researchers found that people with lactose intolerance who regularly ate yogurt could tolerate up to 50 grams of lactose per day without noticing any symptoms.
- Preventing vaginal yeast infections (Candida albicans)
Most yogurts contain a probiotic called Lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps maintain the vagina’s acidity level and keeps Candida albicans in check. If you’re prone to yeast infections, eating six ounces of plain yogurt with live cultures every day is recommended.
- Boosts your immunity
Consuming yogurt — mainly if it contains probiotics — regularly may strengthen your immune system and reduce your likelihood of contracting disease-causing agents.
Probiotics are known to potentially reduce inflammation, linked to several health conditions ranging from viral infections to gut disorders. Research shows that probiotics may also help reduce the incidence, duration, and severity of the common cold in some instances. Moreover, the immune-enhancing properties of yogurt are partly due to its magnesium, selenium, and zinc, which are trace minerals known for the role they play in immune system health. Vitamin D–fortified yogurts may boost immune health even further. Vitamin D has been studied for its potential to prevent illnesses such as the common cold and flu.
- Improves digestion
Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria called probiotics, which may help keep the digestive tract healthy. These bacteria improve digestion by breaking down lactose and reducing the symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as gas and bloating.
- Maintaining a healthy heart.
Eating yogurt regularly can help lower your cholesterol levels and prevent plaque buildup in your arteries, thus preventing atherosclerosis and reducing your risk of heart disease.
- It supports gut health.
The beneficial bacteria in yogurt may help improve digestion and relieve constipation. Some types of yogurt contain probiotic bacteria that can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. However, plain Greek yogurt does not have these effects because it does not order live bacterial cultures.
- Alleviates symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
According to a study published in 2009 in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Consuming an average of 3 ounces per day alleviated IBS symptoms such as abdominal discomfort and bloating compared to patients who did not eat yogurt. Patients in the study who consumed yogurt reported decreased abdominal pain and bloating within one month and said less severe symptoms after two months.
- Promotes healthy skin
Yogurt also supplies us with protein, essential for growth and repair in children, teenagers, and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Protein provides us with energy and helps us to feel complete.
- Reducing the risk of colorectal cancer
One of the reasons yogurt may help prevent cancer is that it contains live probiotic cultures, which help maintain a healthy digestive tract. Studies have shown that people with a healthy digestive tract have lower rates of colorectal cancer. In addition, yogurt is an excellent source of several essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamin B12, and riboflavin. It is also a good source of protein and potassium.