Yogurt is one of the magical ingredient used in our daily routines which is produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. Milk from cow, buffalo, goats, camels, etc are commonly used to produce yogurt. Yogurt contains natural anti-bacterial agents, anti-fungal agents, lactic acid and probiotic agents which have diverse useful health benefits.
Yogurt contains lactic acid bacteria which is formed and gets fermented during the process, when the raw milk is pasteurised , and it is mixed with starter, cooled at 40 -45 degrees temperature, which is best temperature for growing lactobacilli. After cooling it for few hours, it gets fermented where the milk sugar lactose gets converted into lactic acid and turns into yogurt. The set yogurt contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, one of the type of probiotic which is naturally present in yogurt. Lactobacillus acidophilus also occurs naturally in human body and it can also be found in fermented foods & other dairy products. Lacto bacilli as a natural probiotic present in yogurt, works as a great immunity booster for body. The microorganisms like lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus, streptococcus thermophilus, bifidobacteria, etc also take part in the culture production of yogurt.
Adding yogurt as an important ingredient in your daily meal can simply give your body a good amount of calcium & protein.
Yogurts are available in various types, brands and flavors. You can get basic variety of yogurt in any supermarket located nearby or in your locality. Some of the Indian brands of yogurt most commonly used are Amul, nestle, mother dairy, Britannia & yogurberry. Whereas some of the popular greek yogurt brands are fage, voskos , chobani & stonyfield.
Yogurt can also be easily prepared & set at home. Though the quality & flavor may differ from the brands you buy from market, but the nutritional value it contains is almost same.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGURT
- IMMUNITY BOOSTER
Yogurt contains natural nutrients like calcium , protein, magnesium, zinc, probiotic and other minerals which works great to build a better immunity and fight from illness.Yogurt also helps to improve the health of respiratory & cardiac system. Hence, yogurt is essential for better immunity.
- HELPS IN CHOLESTEROL CONTROL
Yogurt works as a great calorie burner, it gives body the perfect ratio of protein & carbohydrate. Thus, it helps in weight loss also.
Replace your unhealthy snack with yogurt to burn those extra belly fat.
- REGULATES BLOOD PRESSURE
Excess sodium in body leads to hypertension .And the potassium present in yogurt removes the excess of sodium from the body.The natural high quality proteins present in yogurt help to reduce the blood pressure, by promoting better circulation & normal heart rate in order to keep the heart healthy .
- HELPS IN BETTER DIGESTION
Yogurt contains probiotic which helps to improve gut activity, soothes the stomach, balances the acids in stomach and heals the inflamed digestive system. Problems like diarrhea , constipation & acidity can be cured with serving yogurt in daily meal. Having yogurt with a glass of water helps in better absorption and digestion of food.
- REDUCES INFLAMMATION
Yogurt contains anti-inflammatory properties and anti-fungal properties, it fights against yeast or fungal infections and reduces inflammation. Inflammatory diseases like vaginal infection, irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal disorders, etc conditions can be improved with consumption of yogurt.
- PROTECTS AGAINST OSTEOPOROSIS
Osteoporosis is the condition where bones become weak & brittle, and body replaces the bone tissue. Osteoporosis is commonly seen in older individuals & menopausal womens.
As yogurt contains the good calcium content, i.e 300 grms of calcium is present in one bowl of yogurt. Calcium promotes and maintains bone health & density. Thus, having yogurt in daily meal can prevent the chances of early osteoporosis.
OTHER BENEFITS OF YOGURT
- YOGURT SKIN CARE :
Yogurt is a ingredient which does wonder for your skin. Yogurt has anti- tanning & anti- aging properties. You can get rid of those blotches, pimples, dead skin by just applying yogurt on the damaged skin. Yogurt helps to whiten your skin tone, it dissolves dead skin, tighten skin pores and removes tanning from skin. It works like a natural bleach for skin. To explore the skin benefits of yogurt you can simply use homemade yogurt skin mask.
Yogurt skin mask can be simply made by adding one tablespoon of honey and few drops of lemon into yogurt. Mix altogether, apply for 10 minutes & the rinse with cool or normal water.
- YOGURT HAIR CARE:
Yogurt is useful to get rid of dandruff, oily scalp, dry and damaged hairs & frequent hair fall. You can use homemade yogurt hair mask to get rid of hair care problems. Yogurt gives amazing smoothing & hydrating effects to your hairs.
Yogurt is friendly to all hair types. Recipe to make yogurt hair mask is, take some yogurt in bowl, add few drops of lemon, add 2 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil to it, mix it well. Then apply the mask to your damp hairs, and leave it for 20 minutes. Then rinse your hairs with suitable shampoo and lukewarm water. Apply yogurt hair mask twice a week to get best results.
(NOTE- LACTOSE INTOLERANCE – Folks suffering from lactose intolerance & milk allergy should avoid eating yogurt. A lactose intolerant person is not totally contraindicated to have yogurt, as some people may tolerate it. But due to insufficiency of lactase enzyme in body, the lactose sugar is unable to break. So nutritionists usually recommend to avoid if yogurt if you are a lactose intolerant person or if you are allergic to milk products , as it can worsen health condition.)
To all those who are usually tolerant to yogurt should go and have a yogurt meal to enjoy these natural & amazing health benefits of yogurt.