Yogurt Benefit

Yoghurt is not just a delicious snack with fruits on the bottom, it has great health benefits. It is an excellent source of protein, calcium, riboflavin and vitamin B 12. When yoghurt is compared to milk, yoghurt contains more calcium and protein because of the added cultures in the yoghurt.

Yoghurt must contain active and living cultures to be yoghurt. Cultures are composed of unique living microorganisms which are responsible for many of the health and nutritional benefits of yoghurt. Some of the health benefits of yoghurt are:

It improves natural defense, it contains a good amount of phosphorus and 88% water. People with a risk of osteoporosis should eat at least one serving of yoghurt per day.

It has also been claimed that yoghurt may protect against some types of cancer but more investigations have to be carried out.

There are three types of yoghurt: regular(whole milk), low-fat and skim. Low-fat and skim yoghurt are good for people who are on a cholesterol lowering diet or just simply watching their weights. These types of yoghurt does not raise blood cholesterol levels.

Some people have trouble digesting lactose, a carbohydrate in milk and milk products, because of the deficiency of enzyme lactase in the body. Live yoghurt cultures produce lactase and break down the lactose. Yoghurt is a healthy way to get the calcium the body needs, for the people who can not tolerate milk products.

Other benefits of live and active cultures in the yoghurt are, they may help to boost the immune system. They encourage the right kind of bacteria to multiply in the gut. These bacteria help to digest food and prevent stomach infections. Also, they help to provide relief from vaginal infections.

Yoghurt is fresh dairy product that must be stored in the refrigerator. The heat treated yoghurt has a longer shelf life but it does not give the nutritional benefits like the yoghurt with live cultures because heat processing destroys the cultures. To get the most health benefit from yoghurt, there must be a live and active cultures seal on the label.

Yoghurt is known and consumed in almost all parts of the world. Mediterranean Countries use a lot of yoghurt in their cuisine. They usually eat yoghurt, plain with no sugar along with main dishes like stuffed cabbage and spinach. They add yoghurt to their salads or use it to make traditional "meze" They also prepare yoghurt drinks made with plain yoghurt, salt and water and serve it with shish kebabs. Fried vegetables such as eggplant or zucchini are eaten with yoghurt. Cucumber and yoghurt salad is very popular among the Mediterranean countries, it is prepared with yoghurt, cucumbers, fresh or dried mint, garlic and salt.
To add more yoghurt to everyday diet, here are some healthier alternatives and tips:
Replace mayonnaise and salad dressings with yoghurt
Replace ice cream and milkshake with frozen yoghurt and mixed fruit yoghurt smoothie

Source: www.essortment.com