YOGHURT……….a dairy wonder
Yoghurt is a thick pudding-like food, made by the natural bacterial fermentation of milk. As with all dairy products it naturally contains many nutrients essential to growth, development and maintenance of the human body.
Yogurt can be given to children as part of a weaning diet, included in packed lunches, used in the cooking of sweet and savoury dishes or just as a quick nutritious snack.
Yogurt has been associated with many health benefits and provides an important and popular addition to the diet. Yogurt is a valuable health food for both infants and elderly persons. For children, it is a balanced source of protein, fats, carbohydrates, and minerals in a texture that kids love. For senior citizens, who usually have more sensitive colons or whose intestines have run out of lactase, yogurt is also a valuable food.
Health benefits of Yoghurt
- Good source of high quality protein: Since milk is the source of yogurt, it becomes a source of animal protein (about 9 grams per 6-ounce serving), plus several other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium.
- Gut friendly food: There have been some evidences that yoghurt with active culture may help certain gastrointestinal conditions like diarrhoea, constipation, constipation, inflammatory bowl diseases.
- May help prevent osteoporosis: Yogurt is rich in calcium, probiotics, and Vitamin D – all nutrients that are essential to maintaining bone health. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. It protects against osteoporosis by helping to create new bone cells. One should check the labels of a yogurt product and buy the brand that provides the most vitamin D.
- Beneficial effect in lowering blood pressure: A new study has suggested that adding low calorie yogurt to your diet may help lower your risk of high blood pressure. A healthy diet including low-fat yogurt, paired with physical activity, can help prevent chronic diseases such as hypertension and manage the health.
- Helps in building immunity: The bacterial cultures in yogurt have also been shown to stimulate infection-fighting white cells in the bloodstream thus boosting the immunity.
- Yogurt can lower cholesterol: There are a few studies that have shown that yogurt can reduce the blood cholesterol. This may be because the live cultures in yogurt can assimilate the cholesterol or because yogurt binds bile acids, (which has also been shown to lower cholesterol), or both.
- Yoghurt in weight loss: Yogurt’s unique nutritional profile may have the power to help you burn fat, protect your metabolism and maintain your muscle strength when eaten as part of a healthy diet. Non fat yogurt can also help you cut calories when you use it to replace higher-calorie foods.
How to eat it: One can eat yogurt plain, add it to a smoothie or mix it in with oats and nuts. It can also be used a salad dressings, in the preparation of cookies, ice cream, breads, tarts etc.