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What Are the Benefits of Yogurt?

What Are the Benefits of Yogurt?

Visit any grocery store’s dairy area and you might be overwhelmed with the variety of yogurt choices. Also spelled “yoghurt,” this dessert has made inroads into what was previously exclusively the domain of ice cream, mostly as a healthier alternative. Read on to learn more about how yogurt benefits our overall health.

Although the actual yogurt craze in the Philippines probably actually peaked over a decade ago, there are still yogurt brands that you can find in malls, and these have built a loyal fanbase. Still, it begs the question: what are the different kinds of yogurt, and what are their individual benefits, if any?

yogurt benefits

What is yogurt?

Yogurt is a fermented dairy product and a nutrition-dense food. It is a rich source of calcium that provides significant amounts of calcium in bio-available form. In addition, yogurt provides milk proteins with a higher biological value. It provides almost all the essential amino acids necessary to maintain good health.

Yogurt is probably the most common form of probiotics, which contain live organisms. These are usually specific strains of bacteria that directly add to the population of healthy microbes in your gut.

Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with different bacteria, which are left in the final product. Other bacteria-fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi, are also good sources of probiotics.

Origins and composition of yogurt

The origins of yogurt can be traced back to Turkey in 6000 B.C. when fermented milk products including yogurt were discovered accidentally. This was when they used to store milk in sheepskin bags. The term yogurt was derived from the Turkish verb “jugurt” which means “to be curdled or coagulated.”

Yogurt is a rich source of milk proteins, carbohydrates, minerals such as calcium and phosphorous, and vitamins such as riboflavin (B2), thiamin (B1), cobalamin (B12), folate (B9), niacin (B3) and vitamin A. Milk proteins available in yogurt is in high quality due to its high biological value and provide almost all essential amino acids necessary to maintain good health

Types of yogurt

There are several kinds of yogurt available in the market, so it is best to be aware of the varieties before one picks out a kind of yogurt randomly.

Plain or natural yogurt is the simplest and purest form of yogurt. It can be defined as the plain and unsweetened fermented milk product containing no added color or any other additives. Plain yogurt gives the purest yogurt taste while providing the richest calcium content among yogurt variants.

Flavored yogurt is, as the name implies, yogurt that has had different flavors added to it. These include but are not limited to fruits, cereal, vegetables, chocolate, and vanilla. The sweetness of flavored yogurt is also higher than that of plain yogurt.

Yogurt Benefits

What is yogurt and what are yogurt benefits? Yogurt is a nutrient-dense food that contains essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals necessary for growth.

As a probiotic, yogurt is supposed to have therapeutic effects such as prevention of urogenital infections, alleviation of constipation, protection against diarrhea, prevention of infant diarrhea, prevention of hypercholesterolemia, protection against colon/bladder cancer, and prevention of osteoporosis.

Yogurt has reportedly improved lactose tolerance in some individuals, as well as immune enhancement and prevention of gastrointestinal disorders. Because of these known health benefits of yogurt, consumer demand for yogurt and yogurt-related products has increased over the past few decades, hence the many options you see today.

Combining the intake of yogurt and fruit could provide probiotics, prebiotics, high-quality protein, important fatty acids, and a mixture of vitamins and minerals that have the potential to exert synergistic effects on health.

Yogurt consumption has been associated with reduced weight gain and a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Key takeaways

What is yogurt and what are yogurt benefits? Beyond being the popular dessert or snack choice of the moment, yogurt has proven to have many health benefits owing to its composition and the way it is produced. As a fermented dairy product and a form of probiotics, there are essential nutrients present in yogurt. Whether it is the plain or flavored variety, combining yogurt with fruits only adds to the potential benefits already present in yogurt.

Learn more healthy eating tips here.

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Sources

Prebiotics, probiotics and your health,  https://www.mayoclinic.org/prebiotics-probiotics-and-your-health/art-203900583, Accessed December 28, 2021

The evolution, processing, varieties and health benefits of yogurt, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.643.3754&rep=rep1&type=pdf#page=354, Accessed December 28, 2021

Health Benefits of Yogurt and Fermented Milks, https://books.google.com.ph/books?hl=en&lr=&id=_2QagyHQHboC&oi=fnd&pg=PA327&dq=yogurt+benefits&ots=eBIhwcv3fw&sig=VdMGLhMJ4Lg_q1xNvsStB668HWs&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=yogurt%20benefits&f=false, Accessed December 28, 2021

Potential Health Benefits of Combining Yogurt and Fruits Based on Their Probiotic and Prebiotic Properties, https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/8/1/155S/4566576?login=true, Accessed December 28, 2021

Yogurt: Historical background, health benefits, and global trade,

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128051344000018, Accessed December 28, 2021

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Written by Jason Inocencio Updated May 11
Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen