Yogurt: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Yogurt: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Overview

When it comes to bacteria, many people will think immediately that they are the root of many health problems.

In fact, there are also beneficial bacteria that play an important role in the function of some body parts.

Without the participation of these good bacteria, your body will get attacked by the growth of bad bacteria.

That’s why you should consume some foods which contain good bacteria to maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in your body.

Undeniably, yogurt is one of the most popular sources of live bacteria that bring a lot of health benefits.

Every year, the United States produce about 4 billion pounds of yogurt. The production involves the combination of live bacteria and milk.

The origin of yogurt is still unidentified, but it is claimed to appear first in Central Asia and the Middle East where people used milk from sheep, camels or goats.

Nowadays, the main source of milk to produce yogurt comes from cows and the consumption of yogurt is ubiquitous all around the world.

Nutrition Facts

Yogurt - Nutrition Facts

The first thing that needs to be mentioned in yogurt nutrition facts is its high content of proteins (1).

This amount of proteins in yogurt is said to surprass that in milk and there are two main types of proteins, namely, casein and whey.

The difference between these two types of proteins comes from their water solubility. Specificially, whey is soluble in water while casein is not.

Casein makes up for about 80 percent of the amount of proteins in yogurt and they are beneficial for your body’s ability to absorp other minerals (2).

Meanwhile, with 20 percent of its content, whey is commonly used by athletes and those going to gym.

Another important part in yogurt nutrition facts is fat, which is responsible for a wide range of yogurt, such as low fat or even fat-free.

If you are looking for yogurt nutrition information on carbs, they are simple sugars, namely, lactose and galactose. However, the amount of lactose in yogurt is not as high as that in milk.

Besides, almost every type of yogurt in the market is added with sweeteners.

Despite the variety in nutrition facts, all kinds of yogurt provide you with some essential minerals and vitamins, such as calcium, phosphrus, vitamin B12 or riboflavin…

After the analysis of yogurt nutrition facts, it is reasonable to recognise many health benefits of yogurt.

Health Benefits of Yogurt

Below are top 10 health benefits of yogurt that can make a significant change in your well-being.

1. Digestion

Yogurt - Digestion

Undoubtedly, one of the most famous health benefits of yogurt is to foster the function of your digestion.

By consuming yogurt, your body will gain a lot of active cultures that are beneficial for the balance in your intestinal flora.

This makes yogurt a suitable substance for treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea (3) (4).

Furthermore, with the help of probiotics in yogurt, you might be less exposed to irritable bowel syndrome (5) (6).

Another advantage of probiotics is to enhance the lactose digestion.

This helpful for those with lactose intolerance (7).

Bottom Line: Thanks to the content of live cultures and probiotics, yogurt can enhance the digestive system by reducing the risk of diarrhea, constipation and problems with bowel movements.

2. Immunity

Among top health benefits of yogurt, it is impossible not to mention its positive effects on the immune system.

There have been many studies that concentrate on this quality of yogurt.

They revealed that the presence of live bacteria in yogurt is responsible for boosting immune system (8) (9) (10).

In an study with old participants, they used probiotics.

At the end of the study, their cellular immunity experienced some enhancement (11).

Bottom Line: With the provision of good bacteria, yogurt can enhance your immune system and protect you from many common health problems.

3. Lower Blood Pressure

When the level of blood pressure increases abnormally, it is hypertension.

Then, it is likely that you might experience cardiovascular disease soon.

Fortunately, one of the best health benefits yogurt is to help you regain the control on their blood pressure.

Therefore, yogurt helps to reduce hypertension (12).

Nevertheless, yogurt is not the only product from milk that has the same property.

When examining other milk products, scientists also saw the same effects (13).

Bottom Line: Milk products, including yogurt, are great agents to help you have lower blood pressure and avoid heart disease.

4. Bone

Thanks to its richness of calcium, the benefits of milk on human bone have been well-known for thousands of years.

And the same can be witnessed in health benefits of yogurt as it is made from milk.

Therefore, yogurt can provide your body with protein and calcium in order to improve your bone density (14).

Besides, it is particularly useful for the elderly who often have a higher risk of osteoporosis (15).

This problem often makes your bones weaker and brittle. However, you can reverse the bad effects with the support of dairy products, such as yogurt.

Bottom Line: Containing great amounts of proteins and calcium, yogurt can prevent osteoporosis and foster your bone health.

5. Reduce Cholesterol

In the list of top yogurt health benefits, it is worth noticing its effectiveness to reduce blood cholesterol.

Its efficiency has been proved by a number of studies on both animals and humans (16) (17).

The probiotics in yogurt can make an interference in the growth of LDL cholesterol which is harmful to our heart (18).

Bottom Line: The daily use of yogurt will result in a reduction in the number of bad cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

6. Vaginal Infections

Yogurt - Vaginal Infections

Vaginal infections, in fact, are very common in women and they happen due to the development of Candida fungus.

These infections might trigger a series of problems, from bad odor to the itchiness, and disturb daily life of these women severely.

Fortunately, one of the best health benefits of yogurt that women can find useful is to fight against Candida fungus (19).

A study asked 33 women who suffered from candidal vaginitis to include yogurt in their diet for half a year.

The result showed that yogurt could lower the infection significantly (20).

Bottom Line: The use of probiotics has been effective to treat vaginal infections and yogurt is one of the best probiotics.

7. Skin Care

For long, one of the most traditional health benefits of yogurt has been revealed in the industry of skin care.

In some trials, yogurt provides much moisture for the skin and makes it white and bright (21) (22).

Yogurt may even reduce the appearance of dark circles and clogged pores on the face, which helps prevent acne effectively.

Bottom line: Unsweetened plain yogurt is the best recommendation to apply directly on the skin to improve your skin health.

8. Bad Breath

Yogurt is often consumed after each meal, not only because of its positive impacts on the digestion, but also because it can help you get rid of bad breath from foods.

Moreover, some studies suggested that probiotics present in yogurt might be beneficial for the oral health as well (23).

9. Cancer Prevention

The association between the consumption of yogurt and lower cancer risk has been examined.

This is also one of the most controversial health benefits of yogurt for many years.

Although there is still no firm confirmation about the effectiveness of yogurt, the results of many studies are promising.

The use of cultured milk and yogurt might bring positive changes in the exposure to bladder cancer, according to a study on Swedish male and female participants (24).

Some research reckoned that yogurt has protective impacts to fight against colon cancer.

Bottom Line: Yogurt is a great contributer to cancer prevention; however, more studies are needed to provide harder evidence.

10. Hair Care

Yogurt - Hair Care

Last but not least, top health benefits of yogurt also include the effects on the condition of our hair.

According to some research, some bacteria in yogurt, say, Propionibacterium, are great factors to keep you away from dandruff (25).

It is also a quick relief from itchiness on the scalp, which might hinder your daily activities (26).

Side Effects

In addition to health benefits of yogurt, you had better pay the same attention to its side effects.

Yogurt might worsen everything if you do not use it in the right way.

The American Gastroenterological Association warned that probiotics can lead to bloating and gas.

Too much yogurt even causes you to experience some mild problems related to the stomach.

On the other hand, some people, especially children, are allergic to milk and its products.

Therefore, it is better to keep yogurt far away from this group so as to avoid annoying reactions (27).

Another side effect of yogurt comes from the producer’s addition of sugar into it.

The added sugar can have negative influence on patients with diabetes or heart disease (28).

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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