Yogurt with blackpberries

Yogurt is usually a favorite for many! It is power packed with rich calcium and high protein. They are also good source of vitamins and minerals. Yogurt is considered to be very healthy because they contain good bacteria (live active cultures) that is more like the bacteria in the human intestines. Since they are pro-biotic, it contains many necessary nutrients required for a healthy body.

They contain probiotic bacteria like – Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria bifidus and Lactococcus paracasei. Yogurt also contains vitamins, riboflavin, phosphorus and potassium. Since it if fermented from fluid milk, they contain the nutrition as the milk.

Benefits of yogurt

Power packed with Vitamins

One serving (150 ml) of yogurt can provide necessary iodine, zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin, potassium and Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). They are also very good source of Vitamin A and B12. Vitamin B12 is very important to produce more red blood cells and maintain the nervous system’s function in our body.

Yogurt and lychee mousse
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Helps you lose “love handles”

Our body fat produces a hormone called cortisol. Researchers have found that fat around the waist produce more cortisol compared to other body parts. Yogurt can reduce the production of cortisol as they are rich in calcium. Calcium can signal the fat cells, telling them to produce less cortisol. Hence you will easily lose the belly fat and the fat in your waist. People who are obese, can try consuming yogurt on a regular basis to reduce weight. Yogurt also contains amino acids that can help to burn fat.

Reduces blood pressure

The high potassium content in yogurt, helps your body to get rid of unwanted sodium content. High levels of sodium can hurt the function of kidney and heart. It leads to cardiovascular issues and causes hypertension. It is advised that people who already have issues with blood pressure and hypertension, to consume 2 servings of yogurt every day.

Post workout snack

Yogurt has the protein and carbohydrates in the right ratio. When you finish your workout session and have a serving of yogurt, your muscles can recover quickly with the amino acid content in it. They also boost your energy by supplying enough carbohydrates.

It is advised that your drink water immediately after consuming yogurt, as the protein in yogurt helps you absorb more water and hydrates your intestines effectively.

Prevents cold and infections

Consuming yogurt on a regular basis can help you fight cold and flu by increasing the immunity. It naturally increases the amount of T cells and increases the immunity. People who have more T cells fight infections and prevents from getting infected.

Yogurt
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Good bones and teeth

The calcium content in yogurt helps your bones to stay strong. They are effective in bone building and maintenance. Yogurt also helps in treating infections in gums and the lactic acid protects your gums from germs and bacteria. It can help your ward off bad breath too.

There are many varieties of yogurt that are packed and available at many stores all around the year. Greek yogurt, low-fat yogurt, flavored yogurt, medium fat and high protein are major varieties seen in the market. You can also choose what suits you best and consume in regularly.

Yogurt recipes

Recipe – How to make yogurt at home

Making yogurt at home can save you a lot of money and also you know what you use to make the yogurt. So you feel safe to consume how much ever you want.

Ingredients required

  • 1 ltr whole milk (you can use any type of milk, whole milk will give you thicker yogurt)
  • 50 ml of commercial yogurt (purchased from shop)

Method

  1. Take a thick bottom vessel and boil the milk in it.
  2. Once the milk boils and raises, you can switch of the flame.
  3. Cool the milk until its warm (touch with your finger to check).
  4. Take 50ml yogurt (commercial) and dilute it with little amount of warm milk.
  5. Whip both milk and yogurt well.
  6. Now add the mix to the warm milk and cover the vessel or container with a lid.
  7. Keep the vessel or container in a warm place.
  8. You need to let the milk untouched for 5 to 6 hours or overnight (the yogurt needs to set).
  9. Once the yogurt is ready, you can store it in the refrigerator.
White yoghurt
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When you need to make the next batch, you can use 50ml of already set yogurt.

Please note, when the container is not placed in a warm area (point 7), it will take more time for yogurt to set. Though it takes more time, the quality and taste will be the same.

Goodness of yogurt for babies and toddlers

  • Yogurt helps to reduce the irritation in stomach and regulates the acidity level.
  • The lactic acid in yogurt helps to boost immunity that fights bacteria, which causes nausea, diarrhea, inflammations and infections in the stomach/intestines.
  • It effectively works on those you are affected with jaundice or hepatitis.
  • It helps to soothe your baby and gives a good sleep.
  • Yogurt’s probiotic nature helps to cure urinary tract infections.
  • The nutrients in yogurt provides all necessary vitamins and minerals.

Yogurt can be consumed by babies who are 6 months and above. Do not serve chilled yogurt to babies as they might catch cold. It is advised that you do not add sugar or honey to yogurt, when you serve for babies and toddlers.

Yogurt with touch of apricot jam
Yogurt with touch of apricot jam.
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You can add fruits to make it tastier. Mango and banana go very well along with yogurt. You can mash the fruits and mix with yogurt.

As a word of caution, always start with a small quantity and increase the quantity when you find there are no allergies. Yogurt may not suit babies who are lactose intolerant. If you also see any allergies, stop feeding yogurt immediately and consult a doctor. Please avoid serving flavored yogurt to babies and toddlers as they contain high amount of sugar, which will affect the baby’s health.

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.