Yogurt has so many health benefits, the only dairy product that is safe to be taken even by those who are lactose intolerant.
What Is Yogurt?
The word yogurt comes from a Turkish word, meaning “thick” and “dense“. It is a dairy product made from bacterial fermentation of cow’s milk, goat’s milk or soya milk. Fermented milk (lactose) produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and its “tang“.
How Is Yogurt Made?
Yogurt is made by introducing specific bacteria strains into milk, which is then fermented under controlled temperatures for a few hours. The bacteria ingest the natural lactose and release lactic acid as a waste product.
The acidity from lactic acid causes the milk proteins to curdle into the texture that yogurt has. This acidity (pH=4.5) prevents the proliferation of potentially pathogenic bacteria.
What Bacteria Does Yogurt Contain?
The bacteria in yogurt contains healthy bacteria like Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Streptococcus Thermophilus and Lactobacillus Acidophilus. The L.Acidophilus may be considered a probiotic that inhabits the intestines and vagina, and protect against unhealthy organisms in the gut.
The Health Benefits Of Yogurt
The friendly bacteria from yogurt helps maintain a healthy gut flora and are particularly beneficial to be taken after the use of antibiotics or other drugs, excess alcohol, stress, a serious illness or exposure to toxic substances.
There are so many health benefits from yogurt that many health-conscious people are making it a daily habit to take yogurt. Even people who are lactose-intolerant can safely enjoy yogurt without any ill-effects. Here are only some of the benefits, brought about because of the good bacteria in yogurt:
- Helps in the treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal conditions
- Prevents antibiotic-associated diarrhea
- Boosts a weak immune system and prevents infections
- Reduces vaginal yeast infections
- Provides relief from indigestion that causes wind and flatulence
- Controls the growth of fungus in cases of candidiasis infections
- Treats and recolonizes the gastrointestinal tract after a course of antibiotic therapy
- Binds anti-carcinogenic substances and prevents colon cancer
- Lowers cholesterol level and thus risk for heart diseases
- Easily assimilated calcium reduces risk of osteoporosis and dental diseases
- Beneficial in relieving constipation
- Clears up symptoms of IBS, colitis and bowel diseases
- Fights urinary tract and bladder infections
- Aids the body in the manufacture of the B vitamins
- Helps to stop anal itching
- Reduces estrogen hormones in women
- Reduces inflammatory and hypersensitivity responses
- Reduces symptoms of lactose-intolerance
- And the list goes on …
Yogurt And Babies
While yogurt has many good health benefits, DO NOT feed yogurt to infants, especially those under age one. The proteins in yogurt may trigger diarrhea, sleeplessness and colic. It may also cause skin and breathing allergies later in the child’s life.
Learn To Make Your Own Yogurt
There are many advantages if you make your own yogurt at home. For one, there is no added harmful sugar and preservatives. And, it will be much more economical in the long-run.
You can be creative with your home-made yogurt and add in fresh fruits like banana, mango, papaya, etc. It is also delicious and healthy if you mix with it a tablespoon of flaxseed oil.