Yogurt is a popular dairy-based product that is consumed all across the world in different forms. In India, yogurt is called curd or “dahi”. The health effects of yogurt or curd have been investigated for centuries. Yogurt is a milk product having all goodness of milk proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is made from the bacterial fermentation of milk. Apart from being tasty and luscious in its texture and flavor, yogurt is also packed with several nutrient elements.(1) Naturally, it offers many benefits to people who are having it regularly. In all cultures, yogurt is consumed as a food item but people also like to use yogurt to prepare delicious and healthy recipes including desserts and main courses.
7 Ways in Which Yogurt or Curd (Dahi) Provides Health Benefits
Numerous research works have been conducted on the health benefits of yogurt. The health benefits of yogurt are so remarkable and obvious that many people have included it in their daily diet or part of the meal. Take a look:
Yogurt or Curd as a Nutrient-rich Dairy Product:
Doctors and dieticians have unanimously agreed that yogurt is highly beneficial for people of all age groups. It is a powerhouse of nutrients like calcium, minerals, vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, protein, essential fats, etc. It not only helps to build your body systems but at the same time also helps you to remain strong against the invasion of germs. Even for people recovering from ailments, yogurt happens to be extremely nutritious and easy to digest.(2)
Yogurt or Curd is High in Protein:
Yogurt is a great source of protein. About 200 grams of yogurt has 12 grams of protein. It is the source of all nine essential amino acids like histidine, valine, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, methionine, lysine, and leucine that the body needs to function efficiently. It helps to increase your energy and helps you to burn calories. This also helps to improve your metabolism rate to a great extent.(1) Getting a proper amount of protein in your body also helps to improve and regulate your appetite. Since you eat right, it also helps in your weight management programs.
Digestion and Gut Health Benefits of Yogurt or Curd (Dahi)
Yogurt is rich in probiotics or active bacteria. These microorganisms can be very much beneficial for your digestive system. Yogurt or curd that is made at home contains the best amount of healthy and friendly probiotics that are good for digestion and gut health. The ones that are available in the market often do not have the right amount or quality of these probiotics. They often perish due to the heat treatment of the yogurt packages. People suffering from bloating or issues with bowel movements, lactose intolerance, constipation, colon issues, and H.pylori can have yogurt on a daily basis to witness an improvement over and above six weeks.(3)
Benefits of Yogurt or Curd for the Immune System
Healthy natural yogurt or curd that contains a good deal of probiotics is often considered to be extremely beneficial for the immune system. This helps you to become stronger against the invasion of germs and diseases. Moreover, the presence of micronutrients like zinc, selenium, and magnesium in yogurt or curd can boost your immune system to a great extent. The presence of Vitamin D also helps in this context.
Yogurt is rich in nutrients like calcium, potassium, and phosphorus which are highly beneficial for your bones. All these nutrients will help to make your bones stronger against the threat of osteoporosis.(1, 2) This is a condition that happens to be common amongst elderly people who suffer from weakening of bones. Elderly people often tend to suffer from low bone density which increases the threats of bone fractures.
Cardiac Health Benefits of Yogurt or Curd
Yogurt is rich in saturated fat. Although it was believed to be harmful to the heart previously, in recent times it has been agreed that saturated fat is not really harmful to the heart. In fact, it helps to increase the HDL in the body and can help to foster a healthy cardiac condition.(4)
While buying yogurt you may get various options like traditional yogurt, flavored yogurt, whole-milk yogurt, non-dairy yogurt, and many more. All these can be categorized into two heads, viz. low-calorie and high-calorie yogurts.(4) If you have a high cholesterol, it is better to avoid the high-calorie option. Also, review the sugar content written on the container. The best one is the Indian version of yogurt or curd that can be made right in the kitchen. It is formed naturally and contains all ingredients intact including friendly probiotics.