Yogurt contains bacteria. They are
Lactobacillus, Streptococcus thermophilus and Bifidobacterium which are called probiotics. These have positive
effects on brain health. Probiotics are supposed to help reduce social anxiety in young people who were genetically
predisposed to neuroticism-a psychological trait that makes people prone to anxiety, depression
Yogurt is also thought to reduce
inflammation by improving the integrity of the intestinal lining and hence, prevented toxins, produced by the gut,
from entering the bloodstream. These toxins, when they enter the bloodstream, promote inflammation. Yogurt prevents
Yogurt is also supposed to reduce
post-meal glucose levels of the obsess people and increases glucose metabolism.
Yogurt is a healthful food and is a useful
source of vitamins and minerals. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus. It provides useful
amounts of vitamin A, several B vitamins and zinc. It is more digestible than milk for people with lactose
intolerance. However, flavoured, sweetened commercial yogurt may be high in calories.
Yogurt contain the active good bacteria
and they help suppress the growth of harmful microorganisms in the body. It is useful in restoring the normal
intestinal flora, the beneficial organisms that inhabit the intestinal tract. Eating yogurt while taking
antibiotics can be helpful in restoring the intestinal flora.
To make yogurt, pure cultures of bacteria
are added to pasteurised milk. Fermentation is allowed to proceed until the desired acidity is reached, then it is
stopped by cooling the yogurt to refrigerator temperature. The bacteria consume the milk sugar or lactose for
energy and excrete lactic acid, which curdles the milk. The end product reflects the fat, mineral and vitamin
content of the milk. Following fermentation, yogurt has only 1/3 to 2/3 o the amount of lactose found in milk and
hence, is more easily digested by people with lactose intolerance.
Yogurt can be made at home by mixing a few
spoonsful of commercial yogurt that is made with live cultures into low-fat milk and leaving the covered mixture
overnight at lukewarm or room temperature.
Good yogurt, to be effective, must contain
100 million bacteria per dose to be effective. It should be absolutely fresh and contain live cultures of
acidophilus or Bifidobacterium, preferably both. Products that are heavily pasteurised or have been in the
refrigerator for a long time will have very few active bacteria.
One serving (240 ml) of yogurt contains
415 mg of calcium, 530 mg of potassium, 2 mg of zinc, 24 mg of cholesterol, 1.2 micrograms of vitamin B12, 30
micrograms of folate and 0.5 mg of riboflavin. It contains 140 calories. The yogurt contains the same amount of fat
as the milk it was made with.
Goat’s milk yogurts are made with whole
goat’s milk, which adds a sharp flavour. These yogurts are lower in saturated fat and somewhat lower in calories
than cow’s milk products.
Custard-type yogurts are thickened with
pectin, gelatine, corn-starch, or alginate thickeners. These ingredients do not make a substantial difference to
the nutritional content, but people hypersensitive to corn and other additives should check labels