For many centuries, people have been consuming yoghurt because of its tasty and creamy nature. However, they are oblivious of the health benefits of yoghurt.
Manufacturers, on the other hand, are aware of these benefits, and that is the reason there is an array of yoghurt at every grocery store.
The article will tell you about these health benefits so that you can indulge more and enjoy good health.
What is Yoghurt?
Yoghurt is a type of dairy product that is produced through bacterial fermentation of milk. It is made from yoghurt cultures, a bacteria that ferment milk’s natural sugar or lactose.
The fermentation process yields lactic acid, which causes the protein in milk to coagulate hence the unique texture and flavour that yoghurt has.
You can use any milk to make yoghurt. However, the skimmed milk will produce fat-free while the whole milk will produce full-fat yoghurt.
Plain yoghurt has many health benefits than most commercial brands that have additives such as artificial flavours and sugar. The unflavored yoghurt is white, thick and has a tangy taste.
The following are the health benefits of yoghurt.
1. Boost Immune System
It’s vital to consume yoghurt regularly because it contains probiotics that strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system stimulates a quick immune response, thus fighting off infections and diseases.
Probiotics reduce inflammation responsible for health conditions like gut disorders and viral infections. Thus, the bacteria can reduce the severity, duration, and incidence of the common cold.
Further, yoghurt has trace minerals like magnesium, zinc and selenium responsible for boosting your immune system health. You should also purchase vitamin D-fortified yoghurts for they have immune-enhancing properties thus keeping flu and common cold away.
2. Prevent Yeast Infections
The consumption of yoghurt is linked to reduced yeast infections. Ladies should consider taking yoghurt after antibiotics to minimize yeast infections. The dairy product has active cultures that are vital in balancing the pH levels, thus reducing the potential of having the uncomfortable yeast infection.
3. Weight Management
Yoghurt is rich in protein, and together with calcium, the nutrients enhance the production of appetite-reducing hormones such as GLP-1 and YY.
The dairy-based beverage is linked to lower body fat percentage, body weight and waist circumference. Those individuals that consume yoghurt tend to eat better than those who don’t. Yoghurt replaces unhealthy snack, thus helping you to cut down calories and burn belly fat.
4. Healthy Heart
The yoghurt fat content is made up of saturated fat and a few traces of monounsaturated fatty acids. The composition raises a controversy as to whether yoghurt is healthy because, for many decades, saturated fat is linked to causes of heart disease. However, the dairy aisle has varieties of low-fat and fat-free yoghurt options. Thus, you can consume these types of yoghurt to maintain good HDL cholesterol and a healthy heart.
Dairy products like yoghurt can help to reduce high blood pressure which contributes to heart disease. Therefore, it’s recommended to increase the consumption of yoghurt when one has high blood pressure.
5. Protection against Osteoporosis
Yoghurt has several nutrients essential for healthy bones. These are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, protein and vitamin D when you consume a fortified brand.
The minerals prevent weakening of bones or osteoporosis, which is common in the elderly. A person with osteoporosis has low bone density, and as a result, he is at a higher risk of experiencing bone fractures.
6. Beneficial to the Digestive System
Yoghurt has probiotics, live bacteria that are either added after pasteurization or found in the starter culture. The bacteria is added after pasteurization because it’s a heat treatment process that destroys all these essential microorganisms.
Therefore, you should consume yoghurt that has active cultures or effective probiotics for they are beneficial to the body.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are some of the probiotics used to relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms which is a colon disorder. Thus, yoghurt can improve stool frequency and bloating as well as protect against constipation and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
7. Rich in Nutrients
Yoghurt has plenty of nutrients such as calcium that strengthens your bones and teeth. It’s rich in B vitamins like B12 and riboflavin that protects you from the risk of heart disease.
It’s loaded with phosphorous, magnesium and potassium, which are essential minerals that support different biological processes like metabolism, regulating blood pressure and bone health.
On the other hand, yoghurt doesn’t contain vitamin D naturally, yet it’s vital in boosting the immune system, bone health or reducing risks of depression and heart disease. Therefore, most brands fortify yoghurt with this vitamin.
Who shouldn’t Take Yoghurt?
Although yoghurt is a healthy food, there are certain instances where you might opt for a different snack. The following are some of these scenarios.
Milk Allergy: Milk has proteins such as whey and casein that causes allergy. The body reacts when exposed to dairy products by swelling, get hives or anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition.
Lactose Intolerance: When you are lactose intolerant, you shouldn’t consume yoghurt because it will affect your digestive system. Such an individual lacks lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose or milk sugar.
The intolerance contributes to digestive symptoms like diarrhea, and abdominal pain when you consume dairy products. Still, there are a variety of plant-based options that are tasty and nice to your stomach that you can drink instead of the dairy product.
Render Medications Ineffective: The dairy product can inhibit the effectiveness of specific medications. For instance, you should halt the consumption of yoghurt whenever you’re on immunosuppressants and antibiotics like ciprofloxacin.
Thus, you should check with your doctor when you’re not sure how some medications will react when you consume yoghurt.
The Bottom Line
Yoghurt is a nutrients-loaded drink that may boost your overall health when taken regularly. It can help you manage your weight, prevent yeast infections and is beneficial to your digestive health.
The supermarkets have a wide range of yoghurt; thus, you should choose wisely. You can opt for plain unsweetened yoghurt because it has probiotics that offer maximal health benefits.
It’s also vital to select plant-based products when you’re allergic to milk, have lactose intolerance or when taking specific medications that are rendered ineffective by dairy products such as yoghurt.