Power of Probiotics: The Benefits of Yogurt

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: September 19, 2023

curd in clay pot made from cow milk sour cream or natural cottage cheese
Curd in clay pot made from cow milk. Sour cream or natural Cottage cheese

When we think of yogurt, we often picture a delicious, creamy snack that is often paired with fruits or honey. However, the benefits of yogurt extend far beyond just a tasty treat. From bolstering digestive health to enhancing skin vitality, the many advantages of incorporating yogurt into our daily routines are vast and varied.

1 The Birth of Yogurt: A Brief Introduction

Yogurt, a fermented dairy product, comes from the bacterial fermentation of milk. This process involves fermenting milk using specific bacterial strains, which results in the production of lactic acid. This lactic acid gives yogurt its tangy taste and contributes to many of its benefits.

2 Dive Into Digestive Health

BestCheck placeholder
How probiotics help to cure diarrhoea and balance good and bad bacteria. Medical infographic

One of the primary health benefits of yogurt consumption is its positive impact on digestive health. Yogurt, especially types labeled with “live and active cultures,” contains healthy bacteria essential for the gut. These beneficial bacteria aid in digestion, ensuring that our digestive system functions optimally. Consuming yogurt, especially Greek yogurt which is denser in protein, can help alleviate symptoms for those who are lactose intolerant. However, those with a milk allergy should be cautious.

3 Strengthening Bone Health

illustration of healthy bone examination
Illustration of healthy bone examination

Regular yogurt consumption supports bone health due to its rich calcium and vitamin D content. Calcium is crucial for maintaining strong bones, while vitamin D aids in its absorption. Together, they work synergistically to prevent ailments like osteoporosis, a major risk factor for fractures.

4 Heart Health and Weight Management

BestCheck placeholder
Female doctor with the stethoscope holding heart

Believe it or not, eating yogurt can also contribute to heart health. Studies suggest that fermented dairy products can potentially help lower high blood pressure, a precursor to cardiovascular issues. Additionally, the relationship between yogurt and weight management is gaining traction. The protein in Greek yogurt, in particular, can keep you fuller for longer, reducing unnecessary snacking which can lead to weight gain.

5 Unlocking the Beauty Benefits: Skin and Hair Health

The benefits of yogurt are not just internal. When it comes to skin health, yogurt shines brightly. Our skin naturally loses collagen as we age, leading to wrinkles and fine lines. Topical treatment with yogurt, especially a yogurt face mask combined with natural ingredients like aloe vera gel, fresh lemon juice, or even coconut oil, can hydrate the skin, treat dry skin, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Lactic acid in yogurt acts as an exfoliant, promoting skin rejuvenation.

For those struggling with inflammatory skin conditions, yogurt might be the answer. It treats skin infections and other inflammatory skin conditions, potentially due to its probiotics and anti-inflammatory effects found in fermented milk. These same anti-inflammatory effects can also mitigate inflammatory acne lesions, giving the skin a clearer appearance.

While yogurt’s skin benefits are vast, it also promises a boost for hair health. Yogurt masks, sometimes mixed with olive oil or a few drops of lemon juice, can help combat dryness, dandruff, and promote hair shine.

6 Protecting Against UV Rays and Aging

UV ray protection is another surprising benefit of yogurt. The antioxidants in yogurt can help combat free radicals produced by UV rays, which contribute to skin aging. Applying a yogurt mask mixed with aloe vera can soothe sunburnt or irritated skin.

7 Mental Health and Immune Boost

Recent studies hint at a link between gut health and mental health. The beneficial bacteria in yogurt may influence our brain health and mood. Additionally, the benefits of yogurt also encompass bolstering the immune system by crowding out harmful bacteria, thanks to its live and active cultures.

8 The Digestive and Healthful Advantages

Digestive Health: The live and active cultures present in yogurt boost our digestive health. Consuming yogurt introduces healthy bacteria into our gut, aiding in the digestion of lactose, making it a boon for those who are lactose intolerant.

Bone Health: Rich in calcium and vitamin D, yogurt consumption fortifies our bones and teeth, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Weight Management: Opting for low-fat or skim milk yogurt can help in weight management. It’s fulfilling and provides essential nutrients without the fear of excessive weight gain.

Heart Health: Regular yogurt consumption can assist in maintaining blood pressure. Potassium, a component of yogurt, helps in negating the effects of sodium, a major risk factor for high blood pressure.

Immune System Boost: The beneficial bacteria in yogurt stimulate the immune system, fortifying the body against illnesses.

Mental Health: A balanced gut can positively impact mental health. As yogurt aids in gut health, it indirectly supports mental well-being.

9 An Exploration of Different Yogurts

  • Greek Yogurt: This variety is richer and creamier than regular yogurt. Its strained nature makes it low in natural sugar found in lactose, rendering it a more favorable option for those looking to consume dairy without the sugar spike.
  • Natural Yogurt: This type is unsweetened and unflavoured, keeping the yogurt’s natural taste intact. Natural yogurt, sans any additives, offers maximum health benefits.
  • Goat’s Milk Yogurt: A good alternative for those with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance. It has a different fat content and flavor but carries similar health benefits.

10 Choosing the Right Yogurt for Maximum Health Benefits

When looking to reap the health benefits of yogurt, it’s vital to choose the right kind. Opt for natural yogurt or plain yogurt with no added sugars. The natural sugar found in yogurt, lactose, is enough to give it a sweet touch without being overwhelming. While Greek yogurt offers more protein, regular yogurt has more natural sugar and a smoother texture. Depending on your lactose tolerance and dietary needs, you might choose between full-fat, low-fat, or skim milk yogurts. For those unable to consume dairy, alternatives like goat’s milk yogurt or non-dairy fermented products might be suitable.

11 DIY Yogurt Beauty Treatments

ingredients for homemade face mask honey olive oil yogurt
Ingredients for homemade face mask: honey, olive oil, yogurt

For those keen on using yogurt for its beauty benefits, here are two simple DIY treatments:

  • Yogurt and Aloe Vera Facial Mask: Combine two tablespoons of natural yogurt, one tablespoon of aloe vera gel, and a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Apply to the face, let sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse. This mask hydrates and soothes irritated skin.
  • Yogurt and Olive Oil Hair Mask: Mix three tablespoons of yogurt with one tablespoon of olive oil. Apply to the hair and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo as usual. This mask adds shine and combats dryness.
aloe vera and curd for face mask
aloe vera and curd for face mask

12 Precautions

  • Choosing the Right Yogurt: Always opt for yogurts that state “live and active cultures” on their packaging to reap the most benefits. It ensures that the product contains beneficial bacteria that boost gut health.
  • Beware of Added Sugars: While natural sugar in yogurt is healthy, many commercial brands add sugars, reducing the health benefits. It’s essential to read the labels and choose plain yogurt when possible.
  • Patch Test for Topical Use: Before applying any yogurt-based skincare or hair care treatment, do a patch test to ensure you don’t react adversely.

13 Wrapping Up

The myriad benefits of yogurt, from enhancing digestive and bone health to promising radiant skin and luscious locks, make it a must-have in our daily routines. Whether you eat yogurt, apply it for its beauty benefits, or both, this fermented dairy delight promises a holistic approach to health and well-being. So, the next time you delve into that creamy goodness, remember, it’s not just a treat; it’s a treasure trove of benefits!

Community Q&A

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

This article has been viewed 27 times.

1 votes - 100.00%
Updated: September 19, 2023
Views: 27 views