Delicious and Nutritious: The Benefits of Eating Yogurt

Yogurt is a popular food product that can be made from various types of milk. The process of milk fermentation, which is used to make yogurt, has been practiced by various civilizations for more than 6,000 years.

The practice of milk fermentation is believed to have begun in Central Asia and was the best way to preserve milk before the availability of refrigerators. Microorganisms known as probiotics ferment the natural sugars present in milk. This causes the protein in the milk to curdle. This process is responsible for the texture and taste of yogurt.

Yogurt lovers across the glove are thrilled with the product. Yogurt is one of the most-consumed fermented dairy products on the market. But what is not as well-known is the many positive health benefits of eating yogurt.

1 - Nutrient Density

A serving of yogurt contains many of the nutrients needed by the human body on a regular basis. One cup of yogurt has nearly half the calcium the body needs in a day. Yogurt also scores high marks for B-complex vitamin content.

Yogurt is high in potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. These three minerals are essential to the regulation of a number of important metabolic processes.

2 - Digestion

Some yogurt types contain beneficial bacteria that support digestive health when consumed. These beneficial bacteria are also known as probiotics.

There are some probiotic types that have demonstrated the ability to provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome. Yogurt has also shown the ability to improve the digestive function of individuals that have not been diagnosed with a digestive disorder.

3 - Boost Immune System

Yogurt, especially options that include probiotics, is excellent for the immune system. A strong immune system increases the ability of the body to avoid illnesses of all types.

Probiotics have also shown the capability to lower inflammation in the body. When inflammation is lowered, conditions ranging from viral infections to disorders of the gut occur with less frequency.

The immune system support provided to yogurt eaters can also be attributed to the zinc, magnesium, and selenium content the food possesses.

4 - Weight Loss

There are several reasons that yogurt is a great food choice for individuals looking to lose weight.

The first of these reasons is the protein content of yogurt. The protein in yogurt works in tandem with the food's calcium content to produce hormones that suppress the appetite. It has also been shown by studies that the consumption of yogurt is associated with a decrease in waist circumference, body fat percentage, and total body weight.

One independent review drew a parallel between the consumption of full-fat dairy products and a decrease in obesity. This is an important finding because it stands in opposition to previously held views regarding full-fat dairy product consumption.

5 - Lowers Cholesterol

The probiotics in yogurt are also excellent at lowering LDL cholesterol. This cholesterol is considered 'bad' cholesterol and has been linked to atherosclerosis and disease of the coronary artery. Individuals that consume yogurt on a regular basis decrease their risk for both of these diseases. These positive effects have been seen in both clinical studies and with individuals suffering from hypertension.

6 - Omega 3

Yogurt, like all dairy products that come from grass-fed cows, is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids promote healthy weight loss, a reduction in blood pressure, and decreased inflammation throughout the body.

The Omega 3 content in yogurt may be just what the doctor ordered for individuals who adhere to a vegetarian diet. This is because vegetarians sometimes find it difficult to locate other adequate sources of the fatty acid regularly.

7 - Prevents Yeast Infections

Diabetic women are more susceptible to vaginal yeast infections than other women. The cause of these infections is the Candida Albicans fungus. Diabetic women often have unbalanced ph levels which can cause Candida to become a problem. The excess glucose present with diabetes then serves to feed the fungus.

Yogurt contains a probiotic that eradicates yeast. Daily consumption of yogurt is an excellent way to treat a problem with yeast infections.

8 - Mood Enhancement

A study completed at the Oppenheimer Family Center demonstrated that digestive health directly affects the mood of an individual. This effect has been highly evident in women that consume probiotics to aid with ailments of the digestive tract. These women have experienced enhanced moods, a decrease in compulsive behaviors, lower levels of anxiety, and decreased nervousness.

Researchers also suggest yogurt for individuals taking antibiotics. This suggestion is based on the fact that antibiotics eliminate both good and bad bacteria present in the gut. Yogurt will offset this effect by helping to replace the good bacteria.