There’s something so very wonderful about yoghurt, isn’t there? Perhaps, it’s the way a mere spoonful is capable of setting off an explosion of flavours in your mouth – sweet, tart and refreshing all at the same time. Or maybe the secret lies in its texture – smooth and creamy as it glides along your tongue.
Or could it be its undeniable versatility? Whether it’s adding some to your favourite banana-strawberry smoothie, the oat-bran cereal that you have for breakfast everyday or your mother’s signature chicken curry, you can guarantee that the flavours will turn out to be absolutely divine!
Cream of the crop
Are you salivating just yet? I know I am. But while yoghurt is scrumptious, there’s more to it than taste. It’s also a nutrition powerhouse! From building strong bones to boosting digestive health, yoghurt can do wonders for your body. No wonder many people call it a food for the gods (hah! take that, chocolate!).
So, what exactly are the health benefits you can reap from regular yoghurt consumption? Read on to find out. Now, you have more reasons (other than its yummy flavour, of course) to incorporate this creamy food into your daily diet!
You may have noticed the word ‘probiotics’ printed on the labels of yoghurt containers. But what does it mean? Well, probiotics are a form of friendly bacteria which can help strengthen your digestive system, while preventing the proliferation of harmful bacteria. Some studies have found that probiotics may be beneficial for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea and eczema, among other ailments. Examples of these friendly bacteria are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
An important thing to take note of when purchasing yoghurt is to look for products which display the words ‘live, active cultures’ on the labels. This indicates the bacteria in the yoghurt are still active. Hence, you can rest assured that you’ll reap the maximum health benefits.
Easy on the tummy
For those with lactose intolerance, that is. As these people experience difficulty digesting lactose (a type of sugar available in milk), milk products are pretty much off-limits. As a result, they end up missing on valuable calcium. But it’s a different story with yoghurt. Yoghurt contains lactase (an enzyme which helps break down lactose), so lactose-intolerant people will find yoghurt an easier dairy product to digest.
Packed with protein
When you think protein, foods like eggs and meat pop into your head. But don’t be fooled – yoghurt packs a good punch of protein, too! Regular yoghurt typically contains 5-10g of protein, while Greek yoghurt has 13-20g.
Also, those who are looking to maintain a healthy weight may be pleased to know that the protein in yoghurt can help provide a feeling of satiety. This will be great news for those who are looking for ways to curb their snacking problem.
Good oral health
Yup, you read that right! Yoghurt doesn’t just give you a healthy gut, it also boosts teeth and gum health. The calcium in yoghurt helps keep teeth strong, while probiotics aid in slowing down the growth of dental caries-causing bacteria.
Besides that, people struggling with bad breath can rejoice as yoghurt’s also great for relieving bad breath! Studies have found that consuming 6oz of yoghurt daily can significantly reduce bad breath-inducing compounds such as hydrogen sulphide.
Eager to drop some pounds, especially in your belly area? Well, yoghurt might just do the trick. A study has found that compared to people who ate 400-500mg of calcium daily, those who consumed 1,200-1,300mg of calcium daily from dairy foods (eg, yoghurt) experienced 64% more fat loss (with 66% of fat loss occurring in the abdominal area).
It is believed that the calcium in yoghurt can signal fat cells to release less cortisol (a hormone which signals our body to accumulate stomach fat). Hence, less cortisol in the body may make it easier for you to lose weight.
Aside from calcium (which gives you strong teeth and bones), yoghurt boasts many other nutrients. An example is folic acid, which is especially beneficial for pregnant women as it helps prevent congenital deformities in infants. Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) is commonly found in yoghurt and aids in red blood cell production. Other nutrients include vitamin D (which ensures efficient calcium absorption in the body) and omega-3 fatty acids (which play a significant role in our growth and development).