11 Amazing Health Benefits of Yogurt | Weight Loss, Glowing Skin & Many More
Health Benefits of Yogurt are Countless. The fermentation of milk by bacteria makes the yogurt. These bacteria ferment the lactose sugar found in the milk to produce lactic acid giving it a unique texture and flavor. The yogurt was accidentally discovered by Asian civilizations. It contains calcium which is good for bones and protein which boosts the energy. Its balanced consumption helps you lose weight, whereas its excess intake can even result in weight gain. Since, Yogurt increases your immunity, stimulates vitamin B production, and aids digestion, therefore, it should be a part of everyone’s diet (1).
Nutritional Facts about Yogurt
Yogurt is a rich source of Fats, Protein, Whey, Casein, Ruminant Trans Fats, Carbohydrates, Vitamins, and Minerals (2).
Specifically, 100 g of yogurt contains various components in the following amounts:
Protein: 3.5 g
Carbs: 4.7 g
Sugar: 4.7 g
Fiber: 0 g
Fat: 3.3 g
Saturated: 2.1 g
Monounsaturated: 0.89 g
Polyunsaturated: 0.09 g
Omega-3: 0.03 g
Omega-6: 0.07 g
11 Health Benefits of Yogurt
1. Eliminates Calcium Deficiency
Yogurt being an excellent source of calcium ensures the calcium levels in your body stay normal. Thus, it reduces the risk of osteoporosis; a condition wherein the bones get brittle and weak. Mostly the older adults suffer from osteoporosis which often causes the bone fractures in them. Dairy products such as yogurt protect your body against the debilitating effects of osteoporosis. Consuming yogurt on a daily basis increases the bone density by providing the required amount of calcium to the body. There are so many other calcium-rich foods which can help you increase calcium levels. It is one of the best health benefits of yogurt.
2. Produces Enzymes Which Synthesize Vitamin B12
Yogurt is a good source of essential vitamins such as vitamin B12 which keeps heart diseases and neural tube birth defects at bay. The body also requires it for the production of RBCs, synthesis of DNA, and a healthy brain and nerve function. Vitamin B-12 is mostly found in foods obtained from animal sources. This can cause vegetarians fall short of this vitamin. An 8-ounce serving of yogurt contains 1.3 mcg (which is 53% of the recommended dietary allowance) of Vitamin B12. Additionally, yogurt helps in the absorption of Vitamin B12 from other foods by promoting the release of stomach acid, required enzymes, and the intrinsic factor. There are many benefits of vitamin B12.
3. Rich Source of Protein
As I mentioned above, yogurt contains a high amount of protein; 8.3 g of protein per cup (245 g). Protein is required by the body to repair muscles. Sometimes, the protein content of yogurt even exceeds that of the milk due to the addition of milk during its commercial preparation. There is an abundance of protein-rich foods around us. Yogurt proteins are mainly of two types; casein and whey. Casein is water-insoluble protein, whereas whey readily dissolves in water. Both of them are easily digestible and contain essential amino acids. Because of this fact, the yogurt can be consumed preferably as a protein-rich snack after lunch.
4. Good for Digestion
Yogurt is beneficial for lactose-intolerant individuals as it contains probiotic bacteria which easily digests lactose. On the top of that, it improves your gut health, reduces the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome and also reduces antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Good digestion is one of the best health benefits of yogurt.
5. Enhances Immunity
Consuming yogurt on a daily basis can boost your immune system and reduce your likelihood to get ill with its probiotic activity. Probiotics which are the health-promoting bacteria reduce inflammation which is caused due to viral infections and various gut disorders. Probiotics also help you cope with the common cold. Moreover, yogurt contains selenium, zinc, and magnesium that play a positive role in your immunity. Overall, it improves your immunity and enables your body to deal efficiently with various diseases.
6. Helps in Weight Loss
Your goal of weight loss can be easily reached with a regular intake of yogurt. It is rich in protein which pairs with calcium to boost the hormones that reduce your appetites such as GLP-1 and peptide YY. It also reduces obesity by lowering your body fat, and waist circumference. With yogurt, your body gets all the essential nutrients without getting more of the calories. Thus, it efficiently helps you in your weight management. There are many more foods for quick and healthy weight loss.
7. Good for Heart
The saturated fat in yogurt helps your body raise its levels of good HDL cholesterol. This cholesterol protects your heart and keeps it working healthily. The risk of developing a heart disease due to the over-consumption of salt is also lowered considerably. This is done by the potassium in yogurt that assists your body to flush out the excess sodium. Thus, eating yogurt is a great way to maintain a healthy heart.
Here is an amazing video from Guru Mann on yogurt benefits
8. Promotes Fast Recovery Post-Workout
After an intense workout, your muscles undergo damage and stress. Proper nutrition helps your muscle fibers in its healing. Yogurt contains proteins that can be assimilated by your body to repair the muscles. Also, your body parallelly begins to synthesize proteins by itself to further boost the repair process. There are many more pre-workout foods also which you can try and satisfy your taste buds
Besides, the carbohydrate content of yogurt helps your body replenish its depleted energy levels. Thus, your body recovers efficiently after your workouts with yogurt.
9. Controls Blood Pressure
Yogurt is found to reduce high blood pressure which acts as a risk factor for various heart diseases. Therefore, people who are suffering from hypertension can consume yogurt to improve their high blood pressure condition.
Yogurt is also beneficial for healthy individuals as it lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure by 50%. It keeps your blood pressure within a normal range and thus protects you from diseases caused by hypertension.
10. Helps in Formation of Healthy Gut Bacteria.
Eating fermented foods such as yogurt can benefit your health by increasing the number of healthy gut bacteria. Regularly eating yogurt rises the lactobacilli bacteria in your intestines. They further grow and produce even more bacteria and aid digestion.
It also decreases the number of Enterobacteriaceae; bacteria which causes inflammation and other diseases.
Yogurt also modifies the intestinal bacteria to improve symptoms associated with lactose intolerance. Plain yogurt is the best choice for flavored yogurt for this purpose. This yogurt is just a mix of bacteria and milk, and no sugars are added to it.
The soy yogurt stimulates the growth of other beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria and at the same time decrease the disease-causing bacteria.
11. Prevents Gastrointestinal Diseases
The yogurt is rich in good bacteria and fights from your side with the harmful bacteria that are trying to make you sick. It restores the required number of good bacteria in your intestines that have anti-inflammatory powers and acts as a natural antibiotic.
The gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease are prevented effectively by this yummy snack. These disorders occur due to less microflora or good bacteria in your gut. This shortage makes you prone to such diseases. Thus, yogurt prevents the onset of gastrointestinal diseases and reduces their intensity as well.
Types of Yogurt
1. Whole Milk Yogurt: Whole milk yogurt contains 6-8 g of fat per cup. Most of the times, the whole milk yogurt comes with a layer of creamy yogurt on the top.
2. Low-Fat Yogurt: Low-fat yogurt has 2-5 g of fat per cup.
3. Non-Fat Yogurt: Non-fat yogurt is less tangy than whole milk yogurt and low-fat yogurt. Also, its fat content is less than 0.5% by weight.
4. Greek Yogurt: It is a strained yogurt whose ‘whey’ has been removed to make it thicker. It can be made as sugary as the other conventional yogurts by adding fruit preservatives or sugar.
5. Whipped Yogurt: Whipped Yogurt has a lighter consistency due to more air content in it. It is low in calories, protein, calcium, and other nutrients.
6. Goat’s Milk Yogurt: It is full-flavored yogurt that may taste more like gamy.
7. Soy Yogurt: With a texture and consistency similar to dairy yogurt, it is made from soy milk.
8. Labneh (Labne): Labneh is smooth in texture and creamy with sour cream. It is found mainly in the middle east.
9. Sheep’s Milk Yogurt: Similar to the goat’s milk yogurt, it is also creamy and full-flavored with a slightly gamier flavor.
Tips for consumption of Yogurt
- You can also provide your body with vitamin D by choosing the yogurt brands which contain this vitamin.
- You can pair the protein-rich yogurt with fiber-rich fruits or high-fiber cereal to make it a perfect snack for breakfast.
- Add low-fat yogurt to your smoothie to make it creamier.
- Low-fat yogurt is high in protein and calcium.
- Yogurt can be a perfect morning or afternoon snack at your work too. Store it in the office refrigerator.
- You can use yogurt as an ingredient in various recipes.
- It can also be used to replace fat content in cake mixes.
Yogurt is an excellent food product that is enriched with health-boosting nutrients. Its regular consumption reduces the risk of various diseases associated with the heart such as hypertension. It also helps in reducing your weight and keeps your digestion healthy.
However, it is necessary to be watchful while choosing the yogurt variety. Plain yogurt without the added sweeteners works best and contains the right amount of probiotics.