Benefits of yoghurt

Benefits of yoghurt

As many yoghurt eaters already know, this dairy product isn’t just a tasty snack. It’s also incredibly good for you, being a great source of calcium and protein, and it’s also believed to assist the digestive system and immune system. It might even add years to your life.

Yoghurt, made from fermented milk with added bacterial culture, is considered one of the world’s oldest health foods. It was eaten in ancient Persia where it was believed to help virility and longevity, later spreading throughout the Middle East and Asia where it was used to treat intestinal problems. According to Dairy Australia the product became popular around the globe due to the dispersion of immigrants after World War One.

It’s the living culture of bacteria in yoghurt which is thought to be of such great benefit to your intestinal health.

The acidophilus and bifidus and the probiotics in it, it’s these live cultures that have the major health benefits, in particular for the immune system and regulating the action of the digestive system, Catherine Smith, a naturopath and nutritionist who works at Uclinic in Darlinghurst, said.

With naturopathy we believe disease starts with poor gut function, so maintaining the health of your gut is important. It’s important in the function of your immune system.

There is research to back this theory about boosting the immune system. In fact there is also research which shows the Persians may have been right about yoghurt prolonging life. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods ( one study found elderly people who ate yoghurt more than three times a week lived longer than those who had it less than once a week.

Research has also found yoghurt may help prevent vaginal yeast infections and assist overweight people lose weight faster.

People who have just minor symptoms like bloating and gas can also really benefit from yoghurt culture, Smith said.

For a really therapeutic effect you’re looking at needing to have yoghurt in the diet on a regular basis. If you want to improve your gut health it needs to be there every day.

Smith recommended avoiding yoghurts that have artificial flavours, colours and added sugar. Consumers should also be aware that some products with added fruit also come with more sugar.

Organic yoghurt was the best, Smith believed.

Yoghurt can be enjoyed on its own for a mid-morning or afternoon snack, at breakfast with muesli or cereal or with some chopped fruit.

Smith recommended that people who are lactose intolerant should avoid eating yoghurt, though some with this condition have no problem eating the product.

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