Yogurt contains various nutrients that the human body needs. Yogurt is known for its high calcium content, which is an essential mineral for healthy teeth and bones.
Humans have been consuming yogurt for hundreds of years. Yogurt is a very nutritious food and regular consumption can enhance your health in several ways. For example, yogurt can reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, as well as help manage weight loss.
According to Authority Nutrition, yogurt is one of the most popular dairy products in the world, which is made by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacterium used to make lactose yogurt ferments the natural sugar in milk.
This process leads to the production of lactic acid, the substance that causes milk proteins to clot, forming the unique taste and texture of yogurt. Yogurt can be made from different types of milk, and samples made from skim milk are known as skim yogurt, and samples made from whole milk are known as high-fat yogurt.
Plain yogurt, without any additives, is thick white and liquid and has a spicy aroma. Unfortunately, many yogurt brands contain added ingredients such as sugar and artificial flavors. Such yogurts are not good for health.
In contrast, plain, unsweetened and natural yogurt has significant health benefits, some of which we will learn more about below.
It is rich in nutrients
Yogurt contains various nutrients that the human body needs. Yogurt is known for its high calcium content, which is an essential mineral for healthy teeth and bones. Just one cup of yogurt can provide 49% of your daily calcium needs.
Yogurt also has a high content of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and riboflavin, both of which may help protect you against heart disease and birth defects.
One cup of yogurt can provide 38% of a person’s daily requirement of phosphorus, 18% of potassium and 12% of magnesium. These minerals are essential for several biological processes, including regulating blood pressure, metabolism, and bone health.
One of the most important nutrients naturally present in yogurt is vitamin D, but it is usually fortified with it. Vitamin D improves the health of the immune system and bones and may reduce the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease and depression.
It is rich in protein
Yogurt can provide you with a significant amount of protein – about 12 grams per 200 grams. Protein supports metabolism by increasing energy intake, or the amount of calories you burn during the day.
Getting enough protein is also important to regulate appetite because it increases the production of hormones that make you feel full. This condition can automatically reduce your overall calorie intake, which is good for weight control.
The characteristic of enhancing the feeling of satiety of yogurt becomes more evident by choosing Greek yogurt, which is one of the concentrated yogurts. Plain Greek yogurt has a higher protein content than regular yogurt and provides 22 grams of protein per 200 grams.
Helps with digestive health
Some types of yogurt contain live bacteria known as probiotics. Consumption of such yogurts can help digestive health. Unfortunately, many yogurts are pasteurized, and this heat treatment can also kill the beneficial bacteria in the yogurt.
To ensure the presence of effective probiotics in yogurt, buy samples that are labeled probiotics. Some types of probiotics in yogurt, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, have been shown to reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a common disorder that affects the large intestine.
In addition, several studies have shown that probiotics may protect you against antibiotic-related diarrhea as well as constipation.
Strengthens the human immune system
Regular consumption of yogurt, especially samples containing probiotics, can strengthen the human immune system and reduce the risk of disease.
Probiotics can reduce the inflammation associated with several diseases, from viral infections to intestinal disorders.
Research has shown that probiotics may in some cases help reduce the incidence, severity, and duration of colds.
In addition, the immune-boosting properties of yogurt are due to the presence of magnesium, selenium and zinc, which play an important role in the health of the human immune system.
Yogurts fortified with vitamin D further strengthen the health of the immune system. Vitamin D has been studied for its ability to prevent diseases such as colds and flu.
Protects you against osteoporosis
Yogurt contains some key nutrients for maintaining healthy bones, including calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, and sometimes vitamin D. All of these vitamins and minerals are good for preventing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that is common among the elderly. People with osteoporosis have low bone density and are at risk for bone fractures.
Research has shown that consuming at least three servings of dairy products such as yogurt a day helps maintain bone mass and strengthen bones.
It can be good for heart health
Yogurt fat is one of the reasons why the health of this food is controversial. Yogurt contains mostly saturated fats, with a small amount of monounsaturated fatty acids.
In the past, saturated fat was thought to cause heart disease, but recent research has shown that this may not be true. There is no evidence that yogurt is bad for your health, and in fact, it may be good for your heart.
Some research has shown that consuming saturated fat from whole milk products can increase good cholesterol (HDL), which can help maintain heart health. Other studies have shown that consuming yogurt can reduce the incidence of heart disease.
In addition, dairy products such as yogurt can help lower high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Can help with weight management
Yogurt has several properties that can help with weight management. This product is high in protein, which along with calcium can increase the release levels of appetite-controlling hormones such as YY peptide and GLP-1.
In addition, several studies have shown that yogurt consumption is less associated with body weight, body fat percentage and waist circumference.
Yogurt may not be suitable for everyone
Some people should be careful about consuming yogurt because it can have side effects, especially in cases of lactose intolerance or milk allergy.
Lactose intolerance occurs when the body lacks an enzyme called lactase that you need to break down lactose. Lactose is the sugar in milk. These conditions lead to the formation of gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea after consuming dairy products.
Therefore, people with lactose intolerance may need to avoid yogurt. However, some people with this condition may be able to tolerate it.
If you are lactose intolerant, you may need a trial and error to determine if you can consume yogurt.
Dairy products contain casein and whey proteins that some people are allergic to. In these cases, milk triggers a reaction that can cause symptoms ranging from hives and swelling to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Accordingly, if you are allergic to milk, the best option is to avoid yogurt.
Many yogurts contain high amounts of added sugar, especially those with a low-fat label. Excess sugar consumption has been linked to some health problems, including diabetes and obesity.
How to choose the best yogurt for your health
Plain and unsweetened yogurts are the best option because they benefit from minimal ingredients without added sugar.
Choosing low-fat or high-fat yogurt is a personal choice. High-fat varieties have more calories, but that does not mean they are unhealthy. You just have to pay attention to the recommended dose.
Also, yogurts containing live and active bacteria are good choices due to the health benefits of probiotics.