Yogurt Benefits, Nutrition and Health

Yogurt or dahi as we Indians call it, is a healthy food made by adding a starter culture of good bacteria to pasteurised milk. The bacteria acts on the lactose present in milk to convert it to lactic acid and give it a thick creamy texture; this make it appetising. Yogurt is healthy for its various benefits; read on to stay healthy all year round.

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Probiotic:
Probiotic literally means ‘for life’. Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the micro flora in the intestine. Lactic acid is one of the largest groups of probiotic bacteria of which, lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt is the best for the digestive tract. It can be a useful aid in treating diarrhoea, gas, colon cancer, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

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Antibiotics:
Antibiotics have the unwanted effect of wiping off the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria from the body. This affects the micro flora of the gut. Those on antibiotics can benefit from this healthy food.

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Rich source of protein:
Yogurt comes from milk; hence, it is a complete protein. Yogurt works synergistically in your body to lower fat by increasing the lean muscle, being low on lactose sugars and it staves off hunger by preventing a sugar spike in the blood.

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Lactose intolerance:
Most of the Indians being vegetarian miss out on complete proteins available readily from the animal proteins. Milk being a complete source of proteins is yet acceptable by a lot of Indians as a vegetarian source. Many people who are lactose intolerant, who cannot digest milk, actually do well with yogurt as it contains the enzyme lactase, which is needed to break lactose sugars.

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Rich source of calcium:
Yogurt is a great source of calcium, which is an essential mineral that lowers blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol.

Cortisol is responsible for fat accumulation in the body. Enough calcium signals your fat cells to pump out less cortisol and aids in fat loss.

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Rich source of calcium:
To prevent osteoporosis, calcium and vitamin D3 play an important role. Many yogurts now are fortified with vitamin D3. Hence, yogurt again serves to be beneficial.

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Rich in vitamins and minerals:
Yogurt is rich in phosphorous, zinc, iodine and B complex vitamins like riboflavin-B2, pantothenic acid-B5 and Methylcloblamin-B12.

Riboflavin and methylcoblamin are very important for releasing energy from carbohydrates. B12 or methylcoblamin is generally found copiously in animal proteins. Yogurt is therefore beneficial for vegetarians.

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Prevents DOMS:
DOMS or Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness is commonly seen in some, post an intense workout or for a beginner. While it’s not clear as to why we experience delayed muscle soreness happens, excess of lactic acid accumulation in the muscle is believed to be the trigger. Stretching, lots of water and potassium, a trace mineral also helps in this condition.

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Prevents DOMS:
Yogurt being a good source of protein and also potassium can come to the rescue. Also potassium helps in flushing out excess sodium from the bloodstream and hence, proves helpful in lowering high blood pressure.

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