Yogurt – A Health-Essential Dairy Product
What Is Yogurt Really?
Yogurt is a tarty, nutrient-rich dairy product made by fermenting milk with the bacteria called “yogurt culture”. It is a revered health food because it contains a high dose of nutrients, minerals, proteins, and live and active bacteria known as probiotics.
This popular dairy snack goes back thousands of years and is consumed the all over world. Over the years, it has established a reputation for boosting many aspects of health such as digestion, weight management, and the immune system, while helping lower the risks of certain diseases such as osteoporosis and heart diseases.
This article looks at just four of the many benefits of consuming yogurt regularly.
Health Benefits Of Yogurt
#1. It’s loaded with essential nutrients
Yogurt contains essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and B vitamins that strengthen our bones and teeth.
Calcium is an essential mineral that strengthens our bones and teeth and must be taken daily. Since yogurt is rich in calcium, it is can promote bone health and may even prevent osteoporosis. Many studies have linked this dairy product to higher bone mineral density and better physical fitness.
Most adults don’t drink milk and thus often skip their calcium intake. The good news is they can replace that must-take glass of milk with a cup of yogurt, which serves a great dose of these important nutrients.
Yogurt holds sufficient quantities of B vitamins, particularly riboflavin and B12, both of which promote heart health and safeguard against heart diseases.
Yogurt is high in many other trace minerals, (which are minerals your body only needs in small amounts) including magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. These nutrients are important for key bodily functions like regulating bone health, metabolism, and blood pressure.
One cup of yogurt supplies a significant percentage of daily required nutrients – 49% of your calcium requirement, 12% potassium, 10% Magnesium, and 28% Phosphorus.
#2. It’s rich in proteins
Yogurt can help improve metabolism, regulate appetite, and promote fullness with its high protein percentage.
Yogurt can supply a considerable amount of healthy proteins – every 8 ounces of yogurt gives you 12 grams of protein. Studies have repeatedly shown that this food causes your body to expend more energy thus improving metabolism. It helps you burn more calories.
Sufficient consumption of protein regulates appetite and encourages the production of hormones that signal the feeling of fullness. This in turn means that long-term consumption of yogurt will help steer your body towards consuming lesser calories. This is why dieticians often recommend it for weight management.
Since yogurt supplies a good quantity of protein, it curbs your appetite by keeping you full for longer. Greek yogurt in particular is known for containing a higher protein content (20 grams per 7 ounces) and promotes a better sense of fullness. This is why greek yogurt has lately been all the rage among weight loss enthusiasts.
#3. It improves digestion
Yogurt reduces gas and bloating, softens your stool, and makes you regular.
Yogurt has long held a reputation for being gut-friendly. It contains active bacteria aka probiotics that encourage the growth of healthy bacteria, which promote digestion while reducing gas and bloating. It thus aids in treating constipation and making you more regular.
Consuming yogurt often enough is excellent for the digestive tract and strengthens its functions. Studies have shown that the probiotics in yogurt help increase the number of stools a person passes while also making them softer and easier to pass.
If you have bathroom troubles or suffer from hard stool, make yogurt a part of your daily diet.
#4. It can strengthen the immune system
Yogurt decreases inflammation, which is linked to a variety of health conditions, thus strengthening the immune systems and preventing diseases.
Yogurt is a great source of probiotics and its frequent consumption can help make your immune system stronger.
Probiotics have the potential to decrease inflammation, which if not treated can lead to various health issues from gut disorders to viral infections. Studies have also proven that probiotics can help fight colds and reduce their duration, while altogether preventing them in some cases.
Besides treating inflammation, yogurt also contains the specific trace minerals that the immune system requires – zinc, magnesium, and selenium – thus potentially strengthening it all the way.
You And Your Yogurt
We understand that not everyone can take yogurt. Those who are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies have to steer clear of yogurt. But those of you who don’t have any such issues must incorporate it into your daily diet. You can start with just a cup full.
Just make sure not to heat the yogurt since that will lower its health benefits by damaging the live bacteria. You can consume it as a healthy snack with nuts, seeds, and fruits or combine it with your meals.
There are many yogurt varieties out there. When purchasing it, just make sure to get the type that contains live and active cultures so you can get your dose of digestion-improving probiotics.
Many yogurt brands add sugars to their product so look for one that says it’s unsweetened. Also, yogurts can be full-fat or low-fat. It’s up to you to pick which one but we recommend trying full-fat. Though the latter has more calories but it is tastier, supplies more nutrients, and does a great job of making you feel full for longer.