Yogurt is fermented milk and contains many of the good qualities of milk. Originated in eastern Europe, yogurt is eaten by people around the world today. Apart from its good taste, yogurt has therapeutic powers that provide many health benefits.
Yogurt is loaded with healthy nutrients. It is a rich source of calcium, and yogurt with live active cultures aids the body’s absorption of calcium.
Also, yogurt contains protein that is easy to digest. Other valuable nutrients in yogurt are riboflavin, B vitamins, folic acid, lactic acid, potassium, phosphorous, iodine and zinc.
The health benefits of yogurt are so impressive that many health-conscious people eat it daily. Of all the types of yogurt in the market today, the healthiest choice is yogurt with live active cultures (good bacteria). This type of yogurt is usually labeled as ‘probiotic yogurt’.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of yogurt.
1. Aids Digestion
Yogurt is an easily digestible food. In addition, the good bacteria or probiotics present in some types of yogurt help with digestion of other foods and promote regularity. Also, yogurt is highly recommended for those suffering from different gastrointestinal conditions like constipation, diarrhea and stomach aches.
Eat one cup of low-fat yogurt with live cultures daily to soothe your tummy and keep your digestive tract running smoothly.
2. Boosts Immune System
According to several studies, people who eat two cups of yogurt daily with live cultures for three months have higher levels of immunity boosting cells compared to those who do not eat yogurt.
The good bacteria in yogurt strengthen the intestine, help the body absorb nutrients properly and make the digestive system strong. All these factors in turn boost the immune system.
To boost your immune system, eat yogurt with active cultures daily.
3. Helps Weight Loss
Yogurt can help you lose weight at a faster speed. The good bacteria in probiotic yogurt help improve metabolism and digestion, and keep you feeling full longer.
Plus, the high amount of calcium in yogurt signals your fat cells to pump out less cortisol, making it easier for you to lose weight. Also, the amino acids in yogurt help burn fat.
To lose weight, avoid junk foods and start eating yogurt with berries instead.
4. Treats Vaginal Yeast Infections
Women who have diabetes are more likely to get yeast or candida overgrowth in the vagina. Yogurt is a rich probiotic food containing Lactobacillus acidophilus that helps kill yeast. Also, it helps balance the pH inside the vagina and thus reduces the risk of yeast infections.
Eating six ounces of unsweetened yogurt daily will reduce the risk of vaginal yeast infections to a great extent. If you have a vaginal yeast infection, dip a tampon in plain yogurt and insert it in the vagina for two hours daily for several weeks.
5. Prevents High Blood Pressure
Eating too much salt is one of the key reasons behind high blood pressure. The potassium present in yogurt helps absorb and flush out sodium from the body.
According to a study presented at the High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, people who ate non-fat yogurt on a daily basis were 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure compared to others.
Eat at least one cup of low-fat yogurt every other day to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
6. Lowers Cholesterol
Yogurt with live active cultures can be very effective for lowering your cholesterol level. The live active cultures decrease cholesterol synthesis in the liver. Plus, thew probiotics also binds bile acids, which in turn helps lower cholesterol.
It can be particularly helpful for reducing the chance of cardiovascular disease among people with type 2 diabetes.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that people with type 2 diabetes who ate 10.6 ounces of yogurt containing live active cultures each day had a greater decline in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels compared to those who ate other types of yogurt.
Those who have high cholesterol must eat two cups of yogurt with live active cultures daily. Other types of yogurt are less effective in lowering cholesterol levels.