If you’re still trying to beat the summer heat, we’ve got something to help cool you down. It can also improve your digestion and help you feel healthier. We’re talking about yogurt! Yogurt is one of the most versatile dairy products out there. It’s an important part of traditional Indian diets, and Ayurvedic medicine teaches that it has amazing benefits.
Benefits Of Yogurt.
1. Helps Strengthen Bones And Teeth
Yogurt contains the same nutrients as milk so it still contains significant amounts of phosphorus and calcium, two minerals that are essential for bone health. This may reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and arthritis as you get older.
2. Improves Immunity
Yogurt with live cultures in it, as opposed to the pasteurized versions, seem to help improve immunity. Research shows that people who regularly consume yogurt with live cultures show fewer allergy symptoms. Researchers also suggest (based on initial studies) that yogurt could help increase immunity in generally weaker populations like the elderly. Eating yogurt regularly could reduce the chances of them falling seriously ill.1
3. Improves Digestion
You may have heard of probiotics or ‘good bacteria’ in products like yogurt which are made using a culture. Yogurt which contains these bacteria is incredibly good for your gut. These bacteria help soften stool and increase the frequency of bowel movements.2 If you have trouble with constipation, consider probiotic yogurt as a solution to get things moving.
4. Improves Skin And Hair
Yogurt has long been used in India in dozens of traditional home remedies for hair and skin. Yogurt is said to be a bleaching agent which may help pigmentation and brighten your skin tone. It’s also said to be incredibly moisturizing if you have dry scalp issues. It may also help kill dandruff-causing bacteria. Even if you’re not keen on applying it to your skin and hair, consuming it may do the trick too. Studies conducted on rats show that feeding them probiotic yogurt made their coats shinier and thicker.3
5. Gives You Sufficient Nutrients
Yogurt has been shown to improve metabolism and quality of diet among adults. People who regularly ate yogurt seem less likely to have deficiencies in mineral or vitamin intake. They tend to show higher potassium levels. They were also 34% less likely to have deficiencies of vitamin B2 and B12 as well as minerals like calcium, zinc, and magnesium.4
6. Improves Blood Sugar
Yogurt has been shown to control blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance. Studies show that diabetics who eat yogurt show reduced levels fasting blood sugar. It also seems to improve antioxidant activity in diabetics.5
7. May Be Suitable For Lactose Intolerance
Those that have lactose intolerance may find that they can tolerate yogurt much more than milk. This is because the bacteria that cause the milk to ferment into yogurt also break down the sugars in it, making it much easier to digest.6 This is great because it provides an easy source of calcium and phosphorus for those who have a lactose intolerance.
Should You Eat Yogurt At Night?
There are those that recommend not eating yogurt in the evening, with, or after dinner. Ayurvedic medicine tells us that yogurt promotes the production of mucus. So if you’re someone who gets the sniffles quite often, it may be a good idea to stay away from yogurt at night. Ayurveda also recommends that if you choose to eat yogurt at night, you should add a spoon of sugar or black pepper to aid digestion.
Now that you know how beneficial yogurt can be, go ahead and help yourself to a daily serving!
|↑1||Meydani, Simin Nikbin, and Woel-Kyu Ha. “Immunologic effects of yogurt.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 71, no. 4 (2000): 861-872.|
|↑2||Probiotics may ease constipation. Harvard Health Publications|
|↑3||Levkovich, Tatiana, Theofilos Poutahidis, Christopher Smillie, Bernard J. Varian, Yassin M. Ibrahim, Jessica R. Lakritz, Eric J. Alm, and Susan E. Erdman. “Probiotic bacteria induce a ‘glow of health’.” PloS one 8, no. 1 (2013): e53867.|
|↑4||Wang, Huifen, Kara A. Livingston, Caroline S. Fox, James B. Meigs, and Paul F. Jacques. “Yogurt consumption is associated with better diet quality and metabolic profile in American men and women.” Nutrition Research 33, no. 1 (2013): 18-26.|
|↑5||Ejtahed, Hanie S., Javad Mohtadi-Nia, Aziz Homayouni-Rad, Mitra Niafar, Mohammad Asghari-Jafarabadi, and Vahid Mofid. “Probiotic yogurt improves antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic patients.” Nutrition 28, no. 5 (2012): 539-543.|
|↑6||What’s So Great About Yogurt? Tufts University.|