Yogurt is named after "Yoghurmark" which means "to thicken" in Turkish. This thickened product is a derivative of milk prepared by adding bacterial cultures to milk. These bacteria transform lactose present in the milk into lactic acid. In this process milk thickens and gets transformed into Yogurt. Yogurt is a fermented milk product in an easily digestible form. It is nutritious and is a good source of Iodine, Calcium, Phosphorus, Protein, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B12, Tryptophan, Potassium, Molybdenum and Zinc. Its availability throughout the year makes it a ready-to-eat healthy food. In some countries, it is taken with every diet.
Yogurt Health Facts
Yogurt for Longevity: Yogurt that is prepared at home or is processed properly, contains friendly bacteria which have many health benefits. These live bacteria can help in boosting immune system and could increase life. Research shows that elderly people who consumed yogurt regularly could resist diseases related to immune system better than their counterparts. In the study, 162 elders were studied for five years. It was found that those who consumed yogurt or milk at least thrice a week had 38 percent lower death incidences than those who consumed yogurt or milk products less than once in a week.
Yogurt for Vaginal Yeast Infection: Yogurt may increase resistance against yeast infection of Vagina. In a research, women who complained of frequent yeast infections were asked to consume yogurt everyday for six months. Yeast infections in these women declined threefold.
Yogurt for Immunity: Yogurt boosts immunity. In a research on animals, published in the Journal of Nutrition, it was found that Lactobacillus casei bacteria of yogurt increased immunity of body to resist Pneumonia. In the study, it was found that animals fed on a balanced diet with lactobacillus case could recover in 7 days when faced S. Pneumoniae as compared to those fed on balanced diet without lactobacillus case who took 21 days to recover. A study on 33 women aged 22 to 29 years also reestablished that ability of body to resist infection increases with daily consumption of yogurt. In the study, two groups of women were formed. Women were fed 100g Yogurt or probiotic Yogurt for first two weeks. In next two weeks, the quantity of Yogurt or probiotic Yogurt increased to 200g. In the final two weeks, no Yogurt was given to participants. In the study, it was found that T lymphocytes (a kind of white blood cells that play significant role in cell-mediated immunity) increased by 31 to 33 percent in participants who consumed probiotic yogurt. Increase in CD69 ( which is an expression of activation of T lymphocytes) was observed in participants who consumed both yogurt and probiotic Yogurt. Even in the period when no Yogurt was consumed the increased ability to fight pathogens persisted. Therefore, Yogurt/ probiotic Yogurt consumption leads to increased cellular immunity which is the first defense mechanism of the body in which it uses white blood cells to protect against infection. Cellular immunity helps in resisting yeast, viral, parasite infection and helps in fighting cancer development.
Yogurt for increasing HDL Cholesterol: Regular consumption ( 100g per day ) of Probiotic Yogurt is found to be effective in increasing HDL cholesterol and decreasing LDL cholesterol. Yogurt , like Probiotic Yogurt, was also found to decrease LDL cholesterol but did not increase HDL, according to a research study.
Yogurt for losing Weight: According to a study published in International Journal of Obesity, fat loss could be maximized by taking one to two servings of Yogurt when on a low-calorie diet. The study also said that more lean muscles could be retained by participants on a low-calorie diet that included consumption of yogurt. In the study, 16 obese participants were fed low-calorie diet that had three Yogurt portions as part of the diet plan. These participants lost 81 percent more abdominal fat and 61 percent more overall fat than those who were fed diet having equal number of calories without Yogurt.
According to Journal of the American Dietetic Association, calcium rich food consumption is associated with lower body fat in children. The benefit of calcium in losing weight also extends to adults according to a study published in Obesity Journal. Low-fat dairy products such as Yogurt and Cow milk are very useful in losing weight.
Yogurt for reducing Colorectal Cancer risk: According to a study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, full-fat Yogurt and other dairy products could help in reducing risk for development of Colorectal Cancer. Full-fat Yogurt and other dairy products contain CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) which protects against cancer.
Yogurt for building Bones: Yogurt contains lactoferrin, a protein that enhances activity of cells (osteoblasts) that build bones. Lactoferrin also hampers production of cells (Osteaclasts) that break down bones thereby helps in preventing osteoporosis and also in reversing it. It is useful to consume both milk and Yogurt for best results as effect of lactoferrin varied with dose. At higher doses, it stimulated osteoblasts increase.
Yogurt for preventing and curing Arthritis: According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that Lactobacillus present in Yogurt helps in preventing Arthritis and in curing its effects. The study showed positive results in animals.
Yogurt for preventing Ulcers:According to a study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Yogurt could help in suppressing activity of the bacteria (Helicobater pylori) responsible for majority of Ulcers.