10 Health Benefits of Yogurt

You know that yogurt is good for your health. In fact, it is believed that yogurt can increase your lifespan if consumed 3 times a week. What makes it so healthy? Let’s find out.

A 6 ounce serving of yogurt contains about 100 to 150 calories, 8 to 10 grams of proteins and less than 20 grams of sugar. The calcium and vitamin D contents found in yogurt can meet 20% of the required daily value of both the nutrients. Plain yogurt contains 3.5 grams of fat. Some of the other important nutrients found in it are vitamin B5, vitamin B12, zinc, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and iodine. An 8 ounce serving is enough to provide you with 60% of the essential vitamins required by you daily.

Health Benefits of Yogurt

Here some of the reasons why it should be a part of your daily diet.

Strong Bones
The high contents of calcium and vitamin D found in yogurt make it an ideal food for strengthening your bones. 8 ounces of yogurt contain 450 mg of calcium, which is more than the same quantity of milk can provide. The presence of vitamin D ensures the proper absorption of calcium. It prevents the loss of bone density especially in women and saves you from osteoporosis and fractures.

Rich in Protein
Yogurt is rich in proteins which is essential for maintaining a good health. Proteins support growth and also provide the body with energy.

People who work out should try yogurt as a snack as it is ideal for the recovery process after a workout. Also people who do not consume meat can choose yogurt to get the required dose of proteins. The protein contents vary from one type of yogurt to another, e.g. plain yogurt contains 5 grams of protein per container whereas the same quantity of Greek yogurt contains 20 grams of protein.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is not a dream any more. You can cut down your belly fat by consuming just 18 ounces of yogurt. Many researches have been conducted in the past which support this statement. One such study was conducted at Harvard in the year 2011 in which the relationship of certain types of food with weight loss was analyzed over a period of 4 years. In this study yogurt proved to be beneficial for weight loss.

Another study revealed that dieters who consumed 18 ounces of yogurt daily lost 22% more weight and up to 81% belly fat compared to the dieters who didn’t consume yogurt.

Cures Yeast Infection
Yogurt contains some friendly bacteria, bacteria Lactobacillus which is very effective for treating vaginal yeast infection. One important thing to understand is that not all yogurts contain this particular type of bacteria. It is suggested to look for the labels saying “live and active cultures”.

Lowers Blood Pressure
Yogurt and other low-fat dairy products have shown some promising benefits for lowering the blood pressure and also reducing its incidences. One of the reasons is the presence of potassium in it which is effective for lowering the blood pressure. It has also been found helpful in reducing cholesterol.

Excellent Food for Colon Health
Yogurt can provide dual benefits for your colon. Here again the presence of Lactobacteria reduces the risk of colon cancer. These friendly bacteria stop the bile from converting into carcinogenic acid as a result the colon is protected by various diseases.

The presence of rich calcium contents also supports the colon health. According to a research, a daily consumption of 1,200 mg of calcium can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer up to 75%. What else can be a much better source of calcium than yogurt?

Good for Digestive System
The good bacteria present in yogurt play a vital role in promoting good digestion. It is also effective for the treatment of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and pylori infection.
People who are lactose intolerant can substitute milk and other dairy products with yogurt.

Boosts Immune System
Yogurt boosts your immune system and enhances its power to fight diseases like asthma, gastrointestinal disorders and common cold. A research conducted in Vienna proved that 4 ounces of yogurt can keep you safe from cold for months. The same amount is much more effective for women in combating infections.

Protects Gums
Whether it is a plain yogurt or flavored one, you can consume it without the fear of tooth decay. In fact, the lactic acid present in it protects your gums. The daily consumers of yogurt are 60% less likely to develop periodontal disease than those who don’t.

Helps in Absorption of Essential Nutrients
Yogurt aids in the assimilation of calcium and vitamin B complex. The high contents of lactic acid promote the absorption and digestion of calcium.

So the bottom line is try to add yogurt to your daily diet and get strong bones, a boosted immune system, healthy gums and a life free of infections.

Image courtesy: Flickr,  Mom the Barbarian