Walk into the dairy aisles of most supermarkets and you would notice a quiet revolution happening. Traditional dairy products such cottage cheese, whipped cream and sour cream are being replaced with rows of a variety of yogurt. Have you noticed that? It is not surprising indeed when yogurt are fast gaining recognition as a food product with many health benefits.
And just what are the health benefits of yogurt?
Yogurt is good for the bones and prevents osteoporosis.
Calcium has been shown to have beneficial effects on bone mass in people of all ages, although the results are not always consistent. Adequate nutrition plays a major role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, and the micronutrients of greatest importance are calcium and vitamin D. Many dairy products, including some yogurts, are made with added vitamin D.
Yogurt packs as much protein as meat.
A small 170 grams serving of yogurt contains up to 10 grams of protein. That’s equal to a 50-60 grams serving of meat. Greek yogurt contains even more — 15 to 20 grams per 170 grams package.
Yogurt curbs your hunger.
The protein in yogurt isn’t only good for muscle repair and growth, it also also fills you up. Studies also suggest that a higher protein breakfast can curb hunger later in the day which makes yogurt a perfect pre or post-workout snack.
Yogurt may help you lose weight.
Obesity is an increasing public health problem in an industrialised economy. Fears about weight gain are often cited as a reason to cut down on the consumption of milk and dairy products. However, contrary to popular belief, research has shown that people who consume milk and dairy foods are likely to be slimmer than those who do not.
In addition to keeping you feeling full longer, Harvard researchers found that bacterial cultures in yogurt help to shed weight. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that people who ate a serving of yogurt every day lost an average of half kilograms every four years. Consumption of milk and dairy foods as part of a calorie controlled diet is associated with increased weight loss, particularly form the abdomen.
This is particularly beneficial since excess fat around the trunk region of the body is associated with greater risks to health.
The precise mechanisms involved are unclear but studies suggest they are likely to involve calcium found in milk, yogurt and other dairy foods. The evidence also suggests that calcium from dairy sources has a substantially greater effect than calcium from supplements.
Yogurt is good for digestion.
Yogurt with active cultures help certain gastrointestinal conditions, including lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. The benefits are thought to be due to the enhancement of the body’s immune system with yogurt. Research shows that children recover faster from diarrhea when eating yogurt. It’s good to eat yogurt while taking antibiotics. The yogurt will minimize the effects of the antibiotic on the friendly bacteria in the intestines.
To reap the benefits, make sure your favorite yogurt contains at least one billion colony-forming units (CFUs) of live cultures. Most brands list this info on their websites.
Yogurt may help lower blood pressure.
In a study which tracks more than 5,000 Spanish university graduates for about two years, it found a link between dairy intake and risk of high blood pressure. The observed a 50% reduction in the risk of developing high blood pressure among people eating 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy a day (or more), compared with those without any intake. Consuming fat-free and low-fat yogurt may help lower your risk of developing high blood pressure. Special proteins in dairy regulate blood pressure, and high levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium contribute to the blood pressure-lowering effects.
Yogurt is packed with vitamins.
Discard all about taking laboratory-produced vitamin and mineral supplements. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, yogurt is an excellent source of potassium, zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin, iodine and Vitamin B12 which research have shown to strengthen and stabilize the immune system.
Yogurt helps fight bad breath.
Yogurt contains lactic acid, a friendly bacteria that has been shown to fight gum diseases, like gingivitis, that cause bad breath.
Yogurt is good for the skin.
No need for pricey derm treatments to smoothen your complexion. Yogurt contains lactic acid, which is a component in some chemical peels. So besides eating it, use yogurt on your face as it gently exfoliates the top layers of the epidermis, which can clear up blemishes and discolorations, and may even reduce fine wrinkles.