Yoghurt, also called yogurt, curd or dahi, is one of the healthiest foods in the world. Prepared by bacterial fermentation of milk during the fermentation process, the bacteria produce lactic acid from the lactose of milk and gives the milk a thick texture.
There are three types of yoghurt: regular (whole milk), low-fat and skimmed. Low-fat and skimmed yoghurt are good for those on a cholesterol-lowering diet or weight reduction programmes. The body can digest yoghurt in about one hour as compared to the three hours it takes to digest milk.
Yoghurt is consumed in various forms in households all over India. It is used in its original form, as part of a preparation’s cooking ingredient, as an accompaniment, eaten or drunk with sugar or salt and can be part of the breakfast, lunch or dinner.
It has many health benefits. Here is a list of health benefits of yoghurt:
Stronger Teeth and Bones
Being rich in calcium, phosphorous and Vitamin D, yoghurt strengthens the teeth and bones, that is, the skeletal system, and helps in prevention of arthritis.
Yoghurt boosts the body’s immune system and prevents various infections by stimulating the white blood cells which fight infection. Probiotics boost the count of infection fighting white blood cells and improve overall immunity. Look for “live active culture” on the label, as all yoghurt available in the market is not probiotic.
Good for Heart
Eating yoghurt daily helps in the reduction of cholesterol levels thus lowering the risk of high blood pressure and hypertension.
Controls Blood Sugar Level
The live yoghurt culture and easily digestible protein in yoghurt help control the blood sugar level. Greek yoghurt has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and controls blood sugar in people with diabetes. Flavoured or a sweetened variety of yoghurt must be avoided by diabetics.
Probiotic yoghurt helps proper functioning of the digestive system. Easily digestible, it can be consumed by lactose intolerant people. It helps resolve diarrhoea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and gastrointestinal infections. It also prevents the formation of ulcers in the stomach and small intestines and decreases the risk of stomach cancer.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, yoghurt is an excellent energy booster. Working as an antioxidant, it helps faster recovery after intense workouts.
Excellent Skin Remedy
Using a mix of besan (gram flour), lime juice and yoghurt as a face mask makes the skin fair, soft and glowing. Wash mixture off after 15 minutes using lukewarm water.
For radiant skin, apply a mixture of yoghurt, almond and honey to the face for 20-30 minutes.
Sour yoghurt applied on the face and neck for 15 minutes removes acne and dead skin cells.
A mixture of orange peel powder with yoghurt lightens skin tone.
For fair soft skin, apply a mix of rosewater, turmeric and yoghurt to face 15 minutes. Then wash with lukewarm water.
Exfoliate skin by mixing egg, oats and yoghurt and apply to the face.
Its anti-fungal property makes yoghurt the best home remedy to fight dandruff. Apply a mixture of yoghurt and henna on the scalp and wash it after 30 minutes. This helps get rid of dandruff and makes the hair shiny and soft.