Yogurt is considered as a dietary powerhouse since it is packed with a high amount of minerals, vitamins, and protein, as compared to milk (1). Whether eaten plain, used for dips and salad dressing, or blended with ice and fruit to prepare a smoothie, yogurt health benefits are marvelous. You can also use yogurt to solve your beauty problems. Let’s discuss in detail what benefits yogurt can render you if consumed on a regular basis.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
1. Maintains Bone Health
Being rich in vitamin D and calcium, yogurt fulfills the nutritional deficiencies and takes care of bone health in the elderly (2). Yogurt also decreases the risk of getting a fracture in the later stages of life (3). Research studies have also proven that 1 cup plain yogurt (low-fat) provides 300 mg calcium, which helps prevent osteoporosis (4). Thus, including this dairy product in your daily diet keeps the skeletal tissues in the pink (5).
2. Beneficial for Lactose Intolerance
People suffering from lactose intolerance can’t consume dairy products, so they are devoid of vital nutrients that these products provide. A good news for lactose intolerants is that they can consume yogurt without any fear of side effects. Daily intake of yogurt provides macronutrients to the body for proper functioning (6).
3. Treats Urinary Tract Infections
Probiotics, such as lactobacilli, help prevent recurrent urinary tract infection (7, 8). Yogurt (a probiotic) contains “good bacteria” that keep a check on the growth of “bad bacteria” in the vagina (9).
Note- Probiotics or yogurt are not the alternatives for antibiotic treatment, so consult your doctor before using them.
4. Keeps Digestive Tract Healthy
Probiotics stimulate the production of mucus. Thick mucus layer prevents the invasion of bacteria. Probiotics also trigger the mucosal immune system to secrete defensive Ig (immunoglobulins) in the intestinal tract of the patients, thereby, protecting against ulcerative colitis (10).
Probiotic yogurt has anti-inflammatory properties that provide relief in inflammatory bowel disease (11). Research studies have also found efficacy of yogurt in the treatment of acute diarrhea (12, 13). The problem of constipation can also be cured by including yogurt in the daily diet (14, 15).
5. Good for Dental Health
Yogurt contains casein phosphopeptides (CPPs), which avert demineralization and boost remineralization of dental enamel. CPPs have anticariogenic activity, and they effectively secure ACP (Amorphous Calcium Phosphate) on the tooth surface. CPP-ACP prevents various dental problems like plaque accumulation, tooth erosion (abrasion) and sensitivity, hypomineralized enamel, white spot lesions, and mild fluorosis (16, 17).
6. Reduces High Blood Pressure
As per the reports of the American Heart Association journal ‘Hypertension’, probiotics rich food (such as yogurt) lowers the high blood pressure, thereby, reducing the risk of end-stage renal ailment, heart failure, coronary heart disease, and stroke (18, 19). For best results, you must consume “active live cultures” containing yogurt without adding sugar.
7. Helpful in Weight Reduction
Yogurt helps maintain a healthy weight. Higher intake of this milk product results in less expansion of waist circumference (20, 21). The addition of yogurt to regular meals speeds up the process of fat burning as well as trims your belly (22). Moreover, snacking on high-protein yogurt controls appetite and decreases frequent food intake, which further aids in weight loss (23).
8. Provides Energy Post Workout
Consumption of dietary protein after workout enhances the adaptive response of the skeletal muscle to prolonged workout as well as boosts muscle protein synthesis rates (24). Yogurt, being an excellent source of proteins, decreases the breakdown of muscles and renovates muscle tissue after exercise (25).
9. Prevents Common Cold and Flu
Serve yogurt that comprises of “active cultures” to children in order to prevent cold (26). The good bacteria in yogurt also strengthens the immune system, thus averting flu (27). In a study, probiotics with live micro-organisms were found effective in curing upper respiratory tract infections (such as common cold); however, more studies and research are required to confirm this (28).
10. Balances Blood Sugar Level
Yogurt is helpful in diabetes management. It boosts up the antioxidant level and improves rising blood glucose in type 2 diabetic patients. Moreover, it also suppresses oxidative stress, which in turn holds the progress of diabetes (29). Probiotics in yogurt decrease inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity, but this proposition is not yet confirmed in clinical trials (30).
Also, yogurt is the only probiotic that kids like the taste of. If you are looking to improve your child’s gut health, yogurt is the way to go.
Beauty Benefits of Yogurt
11. Delays Premature Aging
Looking for a natural ingredient to reduce those wrinkles and fine lines? Here too, yogurt comes to your rescue. It has alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which eliminate wrinkles and cure skin dryness. These acids also remove the dead skin cells and stimulate the cellular renewal (32).
12. Prevents Skin Disorders
Whether taken orally or applied topically, yogurt is quite beneficial for the skin. Vitamin A in yogurt prevents acne breakout and warts (33, 34). It is also helpful in the treatment of several other skin ailments, such as eczema, canker sores, and fever blisters, due to the presence of lactobacillus (35).
13. Cures Sunburn
In a study, probiotic supplements are found to heal the burns (36). Yogurt is well-off with zinc, which protects skin cells from the damage caused by the ultraviolet radiations (37, 38). Just spread a thin layer of cold yogurt on the sunburned skin and wash it off after 10-12 minutes.
14. Moisturizes the Skin
Yogurt, being loaded with natural AHAs, moisturizes the skin. To lock moisture, you just need to clean your face with water and apply yogurt. Let it stay for 12-15 minutes and then rinse with plain water. It will leave your skin supple, soft, and glowing.
15. Improves the Skin Tone
Yogurt, being a natural exfoliant, removes dead cells and improves the texture and tone of the skin. It works wonders for all types of skins. Lactic acid is widely used in the cosmetic industry, due to its skin lightening properties (41, 42). Apply yogurt (a good source of lactic acid) to reduce the age spots and get flawless skin.
16. Reduces Hair Fall
Vitamin B complex is an essential component for hair growth, and yogurt is rich in it (43, 44). Apply yogurt on the scalp and leave it for 30 minutes. Then, rinse it off with a mild shampoo. Regular use of yogurt on hair strands will reduce the hair fall to a great extent.
17. Thwarts Dandruff
Research studies have established the bactericidal activity and anti-inflammatory properties of the yogurt, which help alleviate dandruff (45, 46, 47). The mixture of lemon and yogurt, when applied to the scalp, helps get rid of this problem. You can also prepare several other hair masks using yogurt to control dandruff and dry scalp.