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Yogurt has been consumed by humans for a significant amount of time.
Because it is so rich in nutrients, including it in your diet daily may improve several different elements of your health. For instance, research has shown that yogurt can help reduce the chance of developing heart disease and osteoporosis, in addition to assisting with weight management.
What exactly is yogurt, and how exactly does it get made?
The fermentation of milk by bacteria results in the production of yogurt, a popular dairy product.
“Yogurt cultures” are the bacteria that are utilized to manufacture yogurt, and they are responsible for fermenting lactose, the natural sugar that is found in milk. This process results in the production of lactic acid, a chemical that is responsible for the curdling of milk proteins and the resulting distinctive flavor and texture of yogurt.
All kinds of milk can be used to make yogurt in its various forms. Those that are prepared with whole milk are considered to have a full-fat content, whilst options that are made with skim milk do not contain any fat.
Yogurt that has not had any additional colorants is characterized by its white appearance, thick consistency, and sour flavor. However, the majority of commercially available products have additional components, such as sugar and flavoring agents that are synthetic.
The following are six health benefits of natural yogurt that are supported by scientific research:
1. It contains a significant quantity of essential nutrients.
Yogurt is an excellent source of nearly all of the nutrients that are required by the human body.
It is well recognized to have a high calcium content, which is an essential mineral for maintaining strong teeth and bones. The calcium you need to meet 49 percent of your daily requirements can be found in only one cup.
In addition to this, it contains a lot of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and riboflavin, both of which may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as several birth defects affecting the neural tube.
In addition, one cup gives you 28 percent of your daily phosphorus requirements, 10 percent of your magnesium requirements, and 12 percent of your daily potassium requirements. These minerals are necessary for a variety of biological activities, including the control of blood pressure, the maintenance of metabolism, and the health of bones.
It is normal practice to add vitamin D to yogurt, even though yogurt does not naturally contain this essential on its own. Vitamin D is important for maintaining healthy bones and immune systems and may lower one’s risk of developing certain ailments, such as heart disease and depression.
2. It has a high protein content.
Yogurt has a respectable quantity of protein, with approximately 12 grams of every 8 ounces (or 227 grams) of yogurt.
There is evidence that eating protein can help your metabolism by causing an increase in your daily energy expenditure, also known as the number of calories that you burn.
Because it stimulates the synthesis of hormones that indicate fullness, getting an adequate amount of protein is also essential for the proper regulation of hunger. It may assist you in reducing the total number of calories that you consume, which is excellent for managing your weight.
Individuals in a study conducted in 2014 who had yogurt as a snack reported feeling hungrier less frequently and consuming 100 fewer calories overall for dinner than participants in the study who had taken lower-protein snacks with the same number of calories.
If you consume Greek yogurt, which is a particularly thick form of yogurt that has been strained, the effects of yogurt on making you feel full will be amplified even further. It has a higher protein content than conventional yogurt, with 20 grams of protein per 7 ounces (200 grams) of serving size.
Greek yogurt has a greater capacity to moderate appetite and postpone feelings of hunger than other types of dairy products, such as whole or skim milk.
3. Digestive health may be improved by certain types of foods
Live bacteria, often known as probiotics, can be found in certain kinds of yogurt. These probiotics may have been present in the starting culture or they may have been added after the yogurt had been pasteurized. Consuming these may be beneficial to the health of the digestive system.
The beneficial bacteria that are found in most yogurts have been eliminated through the process of pasteurization, which is a heat treatment. Even some yogurt variants that are marketed as containing “live, active cultures” frequently experience some probiotic loss due to the varying temperatures at which they are stored as well as other factors. Despite this, the best way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your probiotics is to read the label and make sure that the product contains both live and active cultures.
It has been shown that certain types of probiotics, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus, which are found in yogurts can lessen the uncomfortable symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common disorder that affects the colon. These symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, gas, and a burning sensation in the abdomen.
Several studies on individuals with irritable bowel syndrome who frequently ingested fermented milk or yogurt containing Bifidobacteria were analyzed as part of a systematic review. They observed that after a period of two weeks to eight weeks, there was a significant reduction in the symptomatic abdominal discomfort associated with IBS in fifty percent of the research that was conducted on the topic.
According to the findings of another study, women who suffered mild digestive problems benefited from eating yogurt containing Bifidobacteria since it reduced their symptoms and enhanced their quality of life in regards to their health.
In addition, several studies have demonstrated that probiotics may protect against diarrhea and constipation that are associated with the use of antibiotics.
4. It could improve the function of your immune system.
Regular consumption of yogurt, particularly yogurt that contains probiotics, may help to improve your immune system and lessen the likelihood that you will become ill as a result of contact with disease-causing organisms.
It is well established that probiotics have the potential to inhibit inflammation, which has been associated with a wide variety of pathologies in the human body, ranging from gut diseases to viral infections.
According to the findings of certain studies, taking probiotics may also help cut down on the frequency, length, and intensity of the symptoms associated with the common cold.
Additionally, yogurt’s immune-boosting benefits can be attributed, in part, to the trace minerals magnesium, selenium, and zinc that it contains. These minerals are well-known for the important role they play in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Yogurt enriched with vitamin D may provide an even greater boost to the immune system. Researchers have looked into the possibility that vitamin D could help ward off illnesses like the flu and the common cold.
5. It may be beneficial to the health of the heart
One of the reasons why yogurt’s health benefits are frequently debated is due to the amount of fat that it contains. It is predominantly composed of saturated fat, with only a trace quantity of monounsaturated fatty acids present.
In the past, it was believed that eating saturated fat caused heart disease; however, recent research has shown that the relationship is more complex. Despite this, fat-free and low-fat types of yogurt continue to be quite popular in the United States.
When addressing whether or not saturated fat is healthy, it is essential to take into account where the fat comes from or what other kinds of fats are being consumed in their place.
A diet high in saturated fats from processed fast food will not produce the same benefits as a diet high in saturated fats from dairy products like yogurt which contain the full amount of milk fat. There is a dearth of conclusive evidence to support the assertion that the fat included in yogurt is detrimental to one’s health. There is a possibility that it is beneficial to heart health in certain aspects; nevertheless, additional research is required.
The consumption of saturated fat from whole milk products has been shown in certain studies to boost levels of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol, which may be beneficial to the health of the heart. According to the findings of other studies, the consumption of yogurt is associated with a lower rate of coronary disease.
Additionally, dairy products such as yogurt can assist in lowering excessive blood pressure, which is one of the primary risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Those who have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure appear to be the ones most affected by the effects.
6. It could help with the management of weight.
Greek yogurt in particular possesses several qualities that may assist with the management of one’s weight.
To begin, it contains a significant amount of protein, which, in conjunction with calcium, helps to raise blood levels of hormones that suppress hunger, such as peptides YY and GLP-1.
In addition, the consumption of yogurt has been linked in several studies to lower overall body weight, as well as a lower proportion of overall body fat, and a smaller waist circumference.
According to the findings of one study, eating yogurt and other full-fat dairy products may help lower the number of people who are overweight. This runs counter to what was previously thought to be the case regarding the link between consuming dairy products with full fat and an increase in body weight.
According to the findings of other studies, people who consume yogurt have a better overall diet than those who do not consume yogurt. This is owing, in part, to the fact that it has a relatively high nutrient content despite having a relatively low-calorie level.