You have to admit, you wouldn’t expect yogurt to be considered as a healthy food. It’s too similar to ice cream. It tastes really great too, either on its own or with fruits, nuts, and other mixes.
Yogurt is actually a fermented dairy product made from traditional cow’s milk. You can use goat’s milk or sheep’s milk as well. The process produces lactic acid. This causes milk proteins to curdle, which then gives it its unique taste.
This food is considered a probiotic food as well. What are probiotics, you ask? Well, they are good bacteria that is good for your digestive health. Your best bet are natural yogurts, which are plain, unsweetened, and unflavored. The commercial brands contain plenty of added ingredients that are not good for your health.
Many health buffs consume this product on a daily basis, believing that it will prove to be beneficial in the long run. And they’re right.
Nutritional Content of Yogurt
Yogurt has a high content of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and riboflavin. It also has other nutrients, like protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fat. It has vitamins A, B1, B5, B6, C, D and folate and choline. Also, it contains minerals like zinc, selenium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper.
Benefits of Yogurt
Indeed, there are plenty of ways this product can help improve our lives. Below are just a few prime examples.
A recent study shows that the probiotics in yogurt improves the gut mucosal immune system. They do so by increasing the cytokine-producing cells in the intestine. Introducing probiotics to infants helps to prevent immune-mediated diseases in childhood. They also decrease the number of days of having a fever, antibiotic prescriptions, and trips to the doctor.
In adults, the probiotics enhance resistance to and recovery from infections. This is because the T cells, which battle against infection and illness, are more active. The probiotics, vitamins, and minerals present in yogurt all work together to boost the immune system and prevent certain illnesses.
The probiotics in yogurt show they boost cognitive function, specifically in areas that process emotion and sensation. There is a significant increase in people’s mental capabilities and mental health.
The antioxidants also protect your brain cells from harmful free radicals that bring much damage. Also, the good bacteria protect the brain by regulating harmful cytokines and lipopolysaccharides. If these two hit high levels, this leads to mood disorders, depression, short-term memory loss, and cognitive disorders.
Also, eating yogurt also reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. If there is a healthy management of gut bacteria, then it positively affects chronic stress.
And bonus, yogurt may be helpful to patients with brain injuries. This food helps improve their cognitive functions. This has positive effects on their neurobehavioral and social functioning and helps the patients adjust to the situation.
The properties of yogurt can leave you with younger-looking skin and less wrinkles. The skin is actually given an additional layer of protection against cutaneous actinic damage.
You can even add yogurt to your daily beauty regimen. Suffering from dry skin? Go ahead and apply yogurt mixed with coconut oil on those problem areas, leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse. Yogurt can even be applied topically on acne to help soothe those spots.
Consuming yogurt regularly will most definitely improve your digestion and make sure you have regular bowel movement. Yogurt balances the microflora in the gut. This lessens the risk of bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, and constipation.
They are also good to eat for those who are lactose intolerant as they help with the digestion of lactose.
Studies show that regular yogurt consumption is associated with lower body weight, body fat percentage, and waist circumference. It also decreases the risk of overweight and obesity.
And plus, if you regularly eat yogurt, you might get those flat abs you’ve always dreamed about. According to Michael Zemel, a nutrition professor, “Fat around your waist produces the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to accumulate even more belly flab. When you eat yogurt, the calcium signals your fat cells to pump out less cortisol, making it easier for you to drop pounds, while the amino acids help burn fat.”
The combination of calcium and vitamin D play a part here. They both increase bone density. They make sure that during childhood and adolescence, there is a proper formation of the bones. Lastly, they also preserve bone strength and also prevent osteoporosis, which is the weakening of bones, specifically among the elderly.
Consuming fat-free yogurt will help you get a healthier heart. Its proteins and mineral content help regulate high blood pressure. They also increase the production of HDL “good” cholesterol and reduce the overall incidence of certain heart diseases. In addition, the live probiotics in this dairy product decreases bad cholesterol levels.
Ladies, eating yogurt or even inserting it into the vagina (gross, I know) is a popular folk remedy to treat vaginal infections. It is also helpful in fighting off yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Yeast infections occur when there is overgrowth of a fungus in small amounts in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis is a common infection in women of childbearing age. It occurs when the good bacteria are overrun by bad bacteria in the vagina.
According to studies, the intake of probiotic yogurt reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Yogurt promotes good digestion. It also makes sure of the absorption of necessary nutrients throughout the digestive tract. This is vital for healthy blood sugar regulation.
Also, since this food has high-quality carbs and protein, this is an excellent food for slowing down an unhealthy increase in blood sugar. Of course, you have to make sure you eat yogurts without added sugars, such as unflavored Greek varieties.
Last Few Words
Indeed, the consumption of yogurt has plenty of benefits. It is very rich in nutrients that will improve your health when taken regularly. It may fight off certain diseases, and many studies are ongoing to see what else yogurt can do.
But remember, not all kinds of yogurt can provide you with the same benefits. Stick to products that are plain and unsweetened and have probiotics. Yogurt from goat’s milk is your best bet. It is the closest dairy to human breast milk. That means it’s easier to digest. Also, look for yogurts that have been cultured for 24–29 hours. This ensures the highest levels of probiotics and the lowest levels of lactose.
Stay clear of the commercial yogurts that have added sugar. These are also most likely overprocessed and have additional thickeners and preservatives that take away from the food’s nutritional benefits.