Health benefits of yogurt
Yogurt, a simple nutritious food has been included in our daily diet. Why? Because there are so many health benefits of yogurt along with its delicious taste that it becomes almost impossible to exclude it from our food. These days you can easily find that dairy section of grocery stores are flood with supplies of yogurt, not just plain but also different flavoured yogurts to appeal masses of people. Yogurt is very rich in calcium, protein and potassium and is also a house of various minerals and vitamins. We all know how yogurt looks like and tastes like but how is it formed? You can make your own yogurt at home and it is simple. Yogurt is a product of cultured milk which has been thickened and soured. This is achieved by using specific lactic – acid producing bacterial cultures which are added to milk. The lactic acid generated leads to the coagulation of the proteins present in the milk which gives thickening effect and sour taste to yogurt. Various health benefits of yogurt include the following:
- Eat yogurt to lose weight: yogurt has very low calorie count. If you are planning to loose some weight, do not forget to include yogurt in your diet. Yogurt weight loss technique involves the action of calcium which is present in abundance in yogurt. Cortisol hormone produced by fat cells in the body leads to further accumulation of fat, particularly near the trunk region. The calcium helps in signalling the cells to lower down the Cortisol production and thus it becomes easier to loose weight.
- Probiotics yogurt: from various health benefits of yogurt, the most important is its function as probiotic. Check your yogurt container; if it has words like “active and live cultures” means your yogurt has good bacteria which are very useful for digestive system. These bacteria also help in boosting the immune system of the body. Sometimes, when person is is on antibiotics, he may suffer from various side effects like indigestion, diarrhoea, bloating and even intestinal pain. This occurs because antibiotics, when kill the bacteria leads to upsetting of the digestive system. Probiotics yogurt can come to your rescue at this stage by restoring the balance of good bacteria in your intestine and aiding in digestive process. Best probiotic yogurt helps in providing relief from the side effects of antibiotics.
- Vitamins in yogurt: with just one serving of yogurt you can get essential vitamins like phosphorous, potassium, iodine, zinc, riboflavin and Vitamin B5. Also, Vitamin B12 present in yogurt helps in proper functioning of the nervous system as well as in keeping the red blood cells healthy.
- Yogurt as post work out meal: proteins in yogurt make in an excellent post workout meal. Protein to carbohydrate ratio is very high in protein, specifically in Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt nutrition includes very high protein. The amino acids provided by the proteins, help the muscles to repair after workout session and on the other hand carbohydrates help in replacing the energy stores of the muscles. Another health benefit of yogurt is that it helps in better absorption of water by the body.
- Yogurt helps in preventing high blood pressure: is yogurt good for your health? By now you must have learned how important it is to include this healthy protein rich food in our diet especially if all your diets are salt based. Excess of sodium intake can gradually lead to increase in blood pressure of the body. Yogurt can help in controlling the situation as potassium present in yogurt flush out excess sodium from the body.
- Yogurt can help in preventing osteoporosis: calcium helps in promoting the skeletal health of the body and plays vital role in preventing osteoporosis. Thus, yogurt being rich in calcium can prevent osteoporosis. Make sure you opt for yogurt containing Vitamin D along with calcium.
- Yogurt boosts immune system: if you want to stay away from infections, eat yogurt. Yogurt has been found to boost the immune system of the body increasing its capability to fight infections. The bacteria in yogurt help in stimulating the white blood cells in the body that fight infections.
If you are not much of yogurt fan, you can always try other options like yogurt cheese. Yogurt cheese is thickened yogurt that has been given the texture of cheese and tastes great in salads and as toppings. Apart from yogurt cheese, you can also go for yogurt sauce with combination of herbs like mint, basil etc to add flavour to it. Making yogurt at home is quite easy with all the raw materials available in your kitchen. All you need is fresh milk, sugar, pinch of salt and a spoonful of yogurt with existing bacterial culture and your yogurt is ready.
Yogurt face mask for beautiful skin
Since yogurt is full of vitamins, it is very beneficial for skin and is commonly used in facemasks, particularly in homemade face masks. Vitamins and minerals present in yogurt helps in nourishing and revitalizing the skin. Yogurt face masks are also helpful in controlling the pimples with its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. There are variety of yogurt facemasks that you can make at home, using milk, honey and oats along with it. Vitamin B2 present in yogurt is responsible for the regeneration and the growth of new skin cells. It moisturizes and protects the skin from the damage caused by the free radicals.
Also other vitamins present in yogurt like Vitamin B12 helps in healing the rough skin. It works in lightening the skin tone and evening out the discolorations of the skin including the scars of acne. Vitamin B5 also works along with Vitamin B12 in brightening the dull skin and also in lightening the dark sports. Calcium in yogurt plays important role in healing the dry and withered skin. If you wish to maintain the youthful glow on your skin, the lactic acid in yogurt will help you in it. It combats the free radicals which are responsible for skin ageing.
When yogurt is mixed with honey and oats, it forms a perfect yogurt face mask that works wonders for all skin types. Honey works in softening and moisturizing the skin. The anti-oxidants present in honey work along with yogurt in fighting against the damage caused by free radicals. Honey also helps in reducing the wrinkles and fine lines. Oatmeal on the other hand, works as an exfoliant. Oatmeal is used in nourishing the skin by removing excess of sebum along with dirt from the sin pores. Oatmeal acts as absorbent for sucking out the oil that leads to clogging of skin pores which give rise to blackheads and acne. While using yogurt face mask, try to use pain probiotic yogurt as the flavoured or the sweetened yogurt can sometimes lead to irritations on the skin. Taking steam before the yogurt face mask is also beneficial in opening the pores of the skin. This allows the nutrients present in the mask to be absorbed by the skin easily.
Home made yogurt- easy to make, good to eat
Now that we all know, how good yogurt is for our health, we must try to include it in our daily diet. Yogurt is easily and readily available in the market and even better options are available for you at home- just make it in your own kitchen. Yes, yogurt is easy to make at home and is equally delicious. You just need to follow few simple steps to have this power food with you all time. Home made yogurt also allows you to save some money. The ain ingredients that you need to make homemade yogurt is milk and some pre-existing yogurt. Try to use plain probiotic yogurt instead of flavoured ones to get the original tangy taste of the yogurt. Also, you do necessarily need to use regular milk. If you want to use skim milk, go ahead with it though regular milk with fat content in it leads to creamier and thicker yogurt.
Also, while you add the pre-existing yogurt, make sure it has live and active yogurt cultures in it. If you are buying new container of yogurt in from the market, make sure you check the label for the active yogurt cultures. These live yogurt cultures are responsible or turning milk into yogurt. Among the equipments needed to make yogurt at home, all you need is a container which can maintain the temperature and a covering lid for the container. Now, for home made yogurt firstly, boil the milk and stir it occasionally to prevent it fro scorching. Then let the milk to cool down till it becomes warm. On the other hands, thin down the pre-existing yogurt by adding milk to it and stir it nicely so that the yogurt and the milk get mixed nicely. Now pour the warm milk and yogurt in a vessel in which you want to set the yogurt and cover it with lid. Keep it for minimum four hours and preferably overnight to let the yogurt set.
Your delicious homemade yogurt is ready to be used. If you wish, you can add dry fruits, milk powder and any flavor in your yogurt.