The health benefits of yogurt are vast. Yogurt is one of the oldest fermented foods in the world, and it’s eaten as a staple in many cultures. And no wonder—yogurt health benefits are plentiful and there are lots of ways to use it. The word itself is Turkish in origin and refers to a tart, thick milk.
Making yogurt doesn’t require any fancy equipment and can be done in any simple kitchen with basic ingredients: milk and a starter culture that can be bought in most good grocery stores or health food stores.
The process of making yogurt involves the fairly simple chemical process of fermenting milk, thanks to the bacterial cultures that get added to it, which are then heated and allowed to incubate for up to 24 hours.
If you are wondering about kefir vs. yogurt, the basic difference is that kefir has a milkier, more fluid consistency whereas yogurt is thick and not fluid at all. You can drink kefir yogurt, whereas you can’t drink yogurt without blending it or adding another liquid to it.
Nutritional Analysis of Yogurt
Yogurt is incredibly high in calcium, potassium, and protein, especially Greek yogurt, which can have up to 22 grams of protein per serving, which is about a cup. Most eight-ounce servings of yogurt have about eight grams of protein, but try to pick yogurt that has the most protein per gram to truly benefit, and to stay fuller for longer—no wonder yogurt is always a part of weight loss diets! Its versatility also makes it a hit: it can be eaten on its own or with fruit and granola, added to curries and smoothies, and used as a substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream in recipes that call for those high-fat ingredients.
Nutritional Information of Yogurt per 8-Ounce Serving with Plain, Whole Milk
|Carbohydrates (sugar)||11 g|
4 Health Benefits of Yogurt
Beyond the nutritional factors, there are various health benefits of yogurt that you might find surprising. Here are a few.
- Benefits of yogurt for your skin: Yogurt makes a great mask for the face because it contains lactic acid, which is used in some peels done by dermatologists, and at hefty prices. Yogurt can work as a gentle exfoliant, leaving behind smoother and softer skin. Mix yogurt with a few drops of almond oil and a little honey and put it onto your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wipe off with a warm cloth.
- Benefits of yogurt for your hair: The proteins in yogurt are wonderful for the hair, helping to strengthen and repair it. After shampooing, add a cup of yogurt to your hair and distribute evenly. Leave on for five minutes, rinse, and condition as usual.
- Benefits of yogurt for weight loss: Because yogurt is high in protein, it will keep your hunger at bay longer. Eating yogurt in the morning as part of a complete breakfast or as a snack during the day will prevent hunger from coming on too soon, which means you’ll be taking in fewer calories.
- Benefits of yogurt for men: Believe it or not, yogurt may have the ability to enhance men’s testicles and might improve semen quality. Research is ongoing.
The health benefits of yogurt cannot be argued, and it should be added as a staple in a healthy diet. Rich in calcium and protein, yogurt has immense versatility so that even if the taste or smell is off-putting and you don’t want to eat it by itself, it can easily be slipped into other recipes.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“What is Yogurt?” Cultures for Health web site; http://www.culturesforhealth.com/what-is-yogurt-history, last accessed March 7, 2016.
“Yogurt Nutrition,” Healthy Eating web site; http://www.healthyeating.org/Milk-Dairy/Nutrients-in-Milk-Cheese-Yogurt/Yogurt-Nutrition.aspx, last accessed March 7, 2016.
“Nutrition Facts,” Self Nutrition Data web site; http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/104/2, last accessed March 7, 2016.
“Nutrition Facts,” Authority Nutrition web site; http://authoritynutrition.com/foods/yogurt/, last accessed March 7, 2016.
“4 Surprising Health Benefits of Yogurt,” Health web site; http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20532821,00.html/, last accessed March 7, 2016.
“Yogurt Boosts Sexual Mojo,” Men’s Fitness web site; http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/yogurt-boosts-sexual-mojo, last accessed March 7, 2016.