Benefits of Yogurt
Yogurt or sometimes spelled as yoghurt is a fermented food product. There are a few varieties of yogurt. The most common are the plain or regular yogurt, fruit yogurt, Greek yogurt, frozen yogurt, probiotic yogurt and soy yogurt.
Except for soy yogurt, all of them are made from milk. Frozen yogurt is made from milk solid or milk fat. Whole milk is often used for regular yogurt. Low fat yogurt is produced by low fat milk and nonfat yogurt is made from skim milk. Whole milk contains the highest amount of milk fat.
Yogurt is made by heating milk to a certain temperature. This is done to kill harmful bacteria and to alter the milk protein. Once the yogurt is set, it is cooled to about 110 degrees Fahrenheit and the yogurt culture or bacteria such as lactobacillus bulgaricus are added. It is then left to ferment.
The addition of these good bacteria will cause fermentation to take effect. Lactose in the milk will produce lactic acid. The process and alteration of the milk protein will produce what is called yogurt, with its texture and tangy taste.
Among the nutrients in yogurt are protein, the B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. All these plus other nutrients bring about the many health benefits of yogurt.
Among the many benefits of yogurt are:
The probiotic or active live culture in yogurt supports an excellent digestive system in the small and large intestines. It helps protect your intestinal tract. It also helps maintain the balance of bacteria, of which many are harmful, in the intestine. Other than those, it also helps with problems with gas, bloating, toxicity and constipation.
Studies have shown that one of the benefits of eating yogurt is reducing the risk of colon cancer. The lactic acid bacteria and live microorganisms in yogurt are the contributing factor. So a diet containing yogurt is one of the ways for digestive health.
One of the other benefits of yogurt is that it is an anti infection agent. It may improve the immune system. It increases the body resistance to diseases and infections.
Because yogurt, especially nonfat yogurt, is low in fat, a yogurt diet is a healthy way to lose weight. Some tests were conducted to see its effect on weight loss and it was shown to be effective. The side benefit is that it is also good for heart health.
Yogurt is good for women. Women are likely to develop vaginitis of which vaginal yeast infection or Candidiasis is the most common. One of the remedies is to include yogurt in your diet. The acidophilus in this cultured and fermented milk product may fight the overgrowth of yeast and treat the problem.