By Saiyed M. Fauzan Ali
The thick and rich textured fermented milk with a delectable and sourish taste was invented in Mesopotamia somewhere around 5000 BC. Yogurt has been consumed by people for ages. The ancient Greece cuisines included this delightful fermented dairy product, which was often consumed with honey. The Hindus related the combination of yogurt and honey as the ‘food of the gods’. Several accounts relate the use of Yogurt by the medieval Turks. These records are also present in the two famous books, Diwan Lughat Al-Turk and Kutadgu Bilig. Hence, milk fermentation has been practiced for over 7,000 years, and people in almost every culture consumed yogurt as a part of their daily diet.
Yogurt is made through the process of fermentation. It is derived through Skimmed Milk or Whole Fat Milk. You can use any type of Milk, such as Goat’s Milk, Cow Milk or Sheep Milk. The active microbes that are present in Yogurt Culture, which are also called ‘Good Bacteria’ or Probiotics are used to ferment the milk. The yogurt culture produces Lactic acid and causes the proteins present in the milk to coagulate. As a result, giving the milk a rich texture and scrumptious taste. A health study conducted by Widyastuti and Febrisiantosa, (2014) proved that the fermented form of milk contains a high amount of probiotics, which suppress blood pressure in hypertensive patients, reduces the activity of opportunistic pathogens, which may cause infection or disease, and offers an extensive range of health benefits to the human body.
People from around the world love to consume yogurt because of its rich, creamy and delectable taste. However, there is more to this delightful treat than just being a simple dessert. Yogurt is a functional food that has a variety of health benefits. Just one cup of Yogurt ingestion can provide 406 Kilojoule of Energy. Enriched with Vitamin B12, and riboflavin, which is essential for metabolic energy production, yogurt is considered to be a super food for people of all ages. I’m going to give you 10 reasons why you should consider adding this delicious fermented dairy product to your daily diet.
- It Enhances Your Complexion
Yogurt can do wonders for your skin. A Health study conducted by Kano, et al., (2013) reported that probiotics present in the fermented milk (Yogurt) positively affect the skin. The probiotics present in Yogurt called ‘bifidobacteria’ and ‘galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS)’ aids in proper bowel movement, breaking down of food, and proper absorption of nutrients. Moreover, they detoxify your skin and enhances its glow. Likewise, a famous N.Y based dermatologist, Jeannette Graf reported that Yogurt aids in the elimination of waste, which improves the condition of the skin.
In another health study conducted by Kimoto-Nira, et al., (2014) women were ingested with yogurt daily for four weeks, and it was revealed that fermented milk (Yogurt) improved the quality of the skin, increased the level of collagen and elastin, and enhanced its freshness and glow.
- Improves your Hair Health
With respect to the Daily Value (DV), a serving of Yogurt is packed with a high value of vitamin B12 (31% DV) and Riboflavin (23% DV). Many dieticians believe that adequate amounts of B vitamins, such as Vitamin B12 and Riboflavin (B2) can improve the condition of skin and hair. A health study conducted by Niiyama and Mukai, (2007) confirmed that hyperpigmentation of the skin and poor quality of hair often result from a deficiency of vitamin B12. Hence, consuming yogurt on a daily basis would reduce the chances of hair loss, and improve the quality of your hairs.
- Suppress Blood Pressure
The probiotics present in Yogurt along with Potassium (3% RDA) improve the functionality of the nervous system cells, which aids in suppressing blood pressure and improving your heart health. According to Dr. Alvaro Alonso, who belongs to the Harvard School of Public Health, three servings of yogurt ingested on a daily basis would reduce the chances of high blood pressure.
- Regulates Cholesterol
A health study confirmed that Yogurt contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus and active probiotics (Hilton, et al., 1992). The live probiotics and Lactobacillus Acidophilus are found to reduce the level of lipoproteins (LDL) present in the blood (Gilliland, Nelson, and Maxwell, 1985). Hence, the consumption of yogurt on a daily basis is highly recommended for regulating the levels of cholesterol in your body.
- It Works as a Digestant
The live probiotics present in Yogurt which are known as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus Acidophilus supports your body to break down the food, and ensure the proper absorption of nutrients. Moreover, health practitioners confirm that these active probiotics help your body to combat a very common bacteria known as H. Pylori, which often causes stomach infections (Wang, et al., 2004; Sheu, et al., 2002).
- Helps Maintain Weight
A 100g serving of Yogurt contains 6g – 10g of proteins depending upon the process of fermentation. Protein has the capability to improve your metabolism that increases the number of calories you burn every day. When you’re on a strict diet plan, you need an adequate level of protein because they help produce certain hormones in your body that helps with appetite control by signaling fullness. Therefore, consuming Yogurt on a regular basis not only provides you with the necessary amount of nutrients, but it also reduces your daily caloric assimilation which helps in controlling weight.
- Consists of Omega-3
The Omega-3 fatty acids have an extensive range of health benefits. Omega-3 is known to control blood pressure, combat cognitive impairment, and thwart cancer. Yogurt is abundant with Omega-3, which makes it a first-rate choice for meeting your Daily requirements for Omega-3.
- Improves Your Immune System
The live microbes present in Yogurt stimulate the intestinal cells that produce Cytokine, which improves digestion and ensures the adequate absorption of nutrients. This, as a result, improves your immunity. Furthermore, the Magnisium (3% RDA) and Zinc (5% RDA) present in Yogurt strengthens the immune-augmenting properties of the body (Tam, et al., 2003; Dardenne, 2002).
- Prevents Osteoporosis
This is one of the major benefits that Yogurt brings along when consumed on a daily basis. The high levels of calcium, Vitamin D, and protein present in Yogurt aids in improving bone health. According to a health study conducted by Prentice, (2004) an adequate assimilation of calcium and vitamin D plays a significant role in the prevention of osteoporosis. Similarly, another health study conducted by Heaney, (2009) which was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition revealed that making Yogurt a part of your daily diet improves bone health.
- Promotes a Better Mood
A recent health study lead by Pusceddu, Murray, and Gareau, (2018) confirmed that irregular bowel movement and other digestive disorders have a significant negative impact on a person’s mood. Hence, people who consume Yogurt benefit from the positive effects of the probiotics that aid in reducing inflammation, and regulating bowel movement, and as a result, they show less compulsive behavior, and enjoy a quality living.
The Bottom line is that Yogurt is enriched with the nutrients that improve your overall health and well being. It’s of no doubt that Yogurt is a superfood that averts a number of diseases, improves digestion and helps in maintaining weight. However, it is important to choose the right yogurt, which is natural, unsweetened and contains probiotics.
Dardenne, M., 2002. Zinc and immune function. European journal of clinical nutrition, 56(S3), p.S20.
Gilliland, S.E., Nelson, C.R. and Maxwell, C., 1985. Assimilation of cholesterol by Lactobacillus acidophilus. Applied and environmental microbiology, 49(2), pp.377-381.
Heaney, R.P., 2009. Dairy and bone health. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 28(sup1), pp.82S-90S.
Hilton, E., et al., 1992. Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 116(5), pp.353-357.
Kano, M., et al., 2013. Consecutive intake of fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium breve strain Yakult and galacto-oligosaccharides benefits skin condition in healthy adult women. Bioscience of microbiota, food and health, 32(1), pp.33-39.
Kimoto-Nira, H., et al., 2014. Effects of ingesting milk fermented by Lactococcus lactis H61 on skin health in young women: a randomized double-blind study. Journal of dairy science, 97(9), pp.5898-5903.
Niiyama, S. and Mukai, H., 2007. Reversible cutaneous hyperpigmentation and nails with white hair due to vitamin B 12 deficiency. European Journal of Dermatology, 17(6), pp.551-552.
Prentice, A., 2004. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of osteoporosis. Public health nutrition, 7(1a), pp.227-243.
Pusceddu, M.M., Murray, K. and Gareau, M.G., 2018. Targeting the Microbiota, From Irritable Bowel Syndrome to Mood Disorders: Focus on Probiotics and Prebiotics. Current pathobiology reports, 6(1), pp.1-13.
Sheu, B.S., et al., 2002. Impact of supplement with Lactobacillus‐and Bifidobacterium‐containing yogurt on triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori eradication. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 16(9), pp.1669-1675.
Tam, M., et al., 2003. Possible roles of magnesium on the immune system. European journal of clinical nutrition, 57(10), p.1193.
Wang, K.Y., et al., 2004. Effects of ingesting Lactobacillus-and Bifidobacterium-containing yogurt in subjects with colonized Helicobacter pylori. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 80(3), pp.737-741.
Widyastuti, Y. and Febrisiantosa, A., 2014. The role of lactic acid bacteria in milk fermentation. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5(04), p.435.