Why Yogurt is not only good for our health now can protect us Against High Blood Pressure
What is Yogurt?
Yogurt is a dairy product made by culturing cream and/or milk with live and active cultures. The cultures in yogurt are living organisms. Yogurt that’s produced in the U.S. is made with two specific live and active cultures: Lactobacillus bulgaricus (L. bulgaricus) and Streptococcus hermophiles (S. hermophiles). These metabolize some of the milk sugar (lactose) in the milk into lactic acid. This action helps change the consistency of liquid milk into yogurt.
L. bulgaricus and S. hermophiles are required by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards for a product to be called yogurt. Other cultures may be added but are not required. The live and active cultures in DANNON® yogurts are selected by the Culture Research Laboratory at the Daniel Carasso International Research Center.
What are the health benefits of eating Yogurt?
Here many health benefits of yogurt:
Yogurt is rich in calcium, which is essential for maintaining colon health and reducing the risk of colon cancer.
Calcium works with the live cultures found in some yogurt to increase absorption by the bones, making yogurt an excellent choice to help prevent osteoporosis.
Lactose source for proper digestion
Yogurt is an important source of calcium for people who have difficulty digesting the lactose (sugar) in milk, because yogurt contains lactase -– the enzyme we need to break down lactose for proper digestion.
Eating yogurt may help with digestion, but for yogurt to have this positive effect, you not only have to eat it with live bacteria, but you should also eat it daily. Why? Only a small amount of the bacteria it contains can withstand the acidity of our stomachs and reach the intestines. As well, the bacteria will pass through your digestive system within a day or two, so to ensure that it is in your intestines at all time, you should eat yogurt every day.
Deficiency of this B vitamin is associated with congenital malformations in infants. Synthetic folic acid added to food is absorbed at almost twice the rate of that found naturally, making its addition to food extremely beneficial to pregnant and nursing women. Low levels of folic acid are also linked to coronary heart disease and stroke. You can find folic acid in Yoplait Source Cardio yogurt.
Some yogurts contain this vitamin, which is important for helping our bodies absorb and use calcium. Vitamin D is especially important for people over 50, who need twice the amount as those under 50. You can find it in yogurts such as Astro Jeunesse, Yoplait Source, and Danone Activia, Cardiva and Silhouette.
Since our bodies can't synthesize these essential fatty acids, we have to get them through food. Omega-3s contribute to normal growth and development of our brain, eyes and nervous system; they can also reduce the risk of heart disease, inflammatory problems and depression. You can find them in yogurts such as Astro BioBest Omega 3, Danone Cardiva and Yoplait Source Cardio
Yogurt keeps colds away
Dig into four ounces each day and you may find yourself sniffle-free in the months ahead, according to a study at the University of Vienna. Women eating this amount had much stronger and more active T cells, which battle illness and infection, than they did before they started consuming it. "The healthy bacteria in yogurt help send signals to the immune-boosting cells in your body to power up and fight off harmful bugs," says lead study author Alexa Meyer, PhD, a nutrition researcher at the university. Allergy sufferers, who typically have low levels of certain T cells, may also find relief by adding yogurt to their diets. In a study in the Journal of Nutrition, people who ate seven ounces a day had fewer symptoms than those who opted for none at all.
Yogurt can help your smile.
Despite its sugar content, yogurt doesn't cause cavities. When scientists at Marmara University in Turkey tested low-fat, light, and fruit flavors, they found that none of them eroded tooth enamel, the main cause of decay. The lactic acid in yogurt appears to give your gums protection as well. People who eat at least two ounces a day have a 60 percent lower risk of acquiring severe periodontal disease than those who skip it.
Raw doesn't mean better
Virtually all the yogurt in your grocery store has been pasteurized -- that is, exposed to high temperatures to kill any harmful pathogens. Raw-dairy fans claim that unpasteurized milk, yogurt, and cheese are better for you because they contain more health-boosting bacteria, but pasteurization doesn't destroy beneficial probiotics, Newgent explains. Plus, studies show that those who eat raw yogurt don't have stronger immune or digestive systems than people who stick to the pasteurized stuff. And raw-dairy products carry a risk of food poisoning. "E. coli and salmonella are two of the pathogens that can lurk in these foods and end up in your body," Newgent says.
Yogurt is a high-protein food.
Yogurt can be an excellent source of protein, but "one variety may contain more than double the protein of another," Blatner says. Greek yogurt, which is strained to make it thicker, has up to 20 grams of protein per container; traditional yogurt may have as few as five grams. If you're eating it for the protein, look for brands that provide at least eight to 10 grams per serving.
Yogurt is loaded with vitamins.
One serving is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Yogurt also contains B12, which maintains red blood cells and helps keep your nervous system functioning properly. "Vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products, such as chicken and fish, so strict vegetarians can easily fall short," says Jackie Newgent, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and author of Big Green Cookbook. Eating more yogurt can help close the nutrient gap: An eight-ounce serving contains 1.4 micrograms of the vitamin, about 60 percent of what adult women need daily
Yogurt can give you flat abs.
Eat 18 ounces a day and you can drop a jeans size. People who ate that much -- in conjunction with cutting their total calories -- lost 22 percent more weight and 81 percent more belly fat than dieters who skipped the snack, according to research from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. They also retained one-third more calorie-torching lean muscle mass, which can help you maintain weight loss. "Fat around your waist produces the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to accumulate even more belly flab," says nutrition professor and lead study author Michael Zemel, PhD. When you eat yogurt, the calcium signals your fat cells to pump out less cortisol, making it easier for you to drop pounds, while the amino acids help burn fat.
New Research- How Yogurt May Protect Against High Blood Pressure
A new study finds adding low calorie yogurt to your diet may help lower your risk of high blood pressure. The new information presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions, has found that long-term yogurt eaters had a lower systolic blood pressure, as well as a diminished risk of developing high blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure is the measure of how powerful the blood is against the walls of your arteries when your heart is beating. It is the top number in a blood pressure reading. Hypertension can be a commonly misunderstood condition. According to the American Heart Association, untreated high blood pressure damages and scars your arteries. Tears and scars in the arteries can act like a net catching debris traveling through the bloodstream, such as cholesterol and plaque, which can then lead to build ups or blockages. It is important to be aware of blood pressure measurements, because symptoms are many times non-existent.
Past studies have established various health benefits of yogurt. Frequent consumption has been associated with healthier body weight and lower body mass index. Adding a low calorie yogurt to your daily diet may reduce your risk of high blood pressure. Yogurt contains calcium, many needed daily nutrients and is easy to add to a meal or have as a snack. A great source of protein, yogurt keeps you feeling full slightly longer and also has liquid that provides hydration. These researchers conducted a study lasting 15 years following more than 2,000 volunteers who did not have high blood pressure at the beginning of the study. Over the study period, participants filled out questionnaires three different times to measure yogurt intake.
Results showed that 31 percent of volunteers were less likely to develop high blood pressure when at least 2 percent of their daily caloric intake was yogurt, equivalent to at least one six-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt every three days. Their systolic blood pressure also increased significantly less than those who did not eat yogurt. These findings support a common belief that low-fat dairy products reduce blood pressure. A healthy diet including low-fat yogurt, paired with physical activity, can help prevent chronic diseases such as hypertension and manage your health. It should be noted that this study was presented at a conference and published as an abstract. It has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.(Source-American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions)