Yogurt is basically a fermented & coagulated product of Milk where specific strains of bacteria are allowed to grow in controlled conditions.
It is amazing how by introducing just a wee bit of bacterial culture to warm milk, a unique product so vastly different is achieved. The once watery fluid is converted to a nice silky but firm product.
Higher content of fat and protein yield thicker and firmer yogurt. Yogurt from Buffalo milk, for instance, is much firmer than cow’s milk.
Today, we have dairy yogurt (animal based) and non-dairy yogurt (plant based).
Non-dairy yogurt is usually achieved from soy, coconut, almond or peanut milk with less protein but high fiber. It is consumed by vegans and people who have lactose or milk allergy.
Listed below are some health benefits of Yogurt:
- Food and Culinary aid
- Customarily yogurt is eaten in one or many meals in India & it varies depending on the climatic conditions and availability integral to each area. In most parts of South India, eating rice with yogurt and maybe some spicy pickle signifies the culmination of a meal.
- In some parts of India yogurt is eaten at breakfast. Yogurt can also be used as an ingredient in dessert and savoury dishes. It may form the basis of a dish in its raw form, or it can be a component of a cooked dish. It is used along with a thickening agent(s) like coconut or rice flour or gram flour (besan) and other spices for gravy. It is also used as a dip (hung curd) by reducing the water content or be the raw material to form cheese of all types.
- Calcium and Vitamin D content: Strengthens the entire skeletal system – all bones and teeth.
- Manages normal blood pressure.
- Loaded with vitamins: contains vitamins like Riboflavin, vitamin B5, B12 which helps in maintaining the health of red blood cells and nervous system.
- Keeps digestive system healthy (as a prebiotic – due to the acidity of yogurt).
- Prevents stomach ulcer.
- Improves immunity.
- Contains easily digestible Protein (as compared to Milk).
- Lowers blood cholesterol level.
- Fruit Smoothies are an excellent pre and post workout food.
- And not the least when watered down to thin buttermilk, it can aid in weight loss as it provides the nutrients and also fill you up.
It is also a natural beauty aid:
- Yogurt is used as a face mask acts as a cleanser, kills dead cells, reduces wrinkles and rejuvenate skin – Exfoliates and makes skin more youthful
- Acts as a hair mask –provides, softness, radiance and body
- Prevents dandruff and hair loss
Yogurt doubles to form amazing frozen desserts when combined with fresh or dry fruits, sweetening agents, nuts and chocolate or fruit sauce. It provides fewer calories than Ice creams but great taste and a healthier Kick.
Authored by Freshmenu, a food-tech company that brings fresh, chef-made meals to foodies of Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi/NCR with a new menu every day