Yogurt is not a modern or trendy superfood. It is an ancient food probably widespread in all nomadic and farming communities that kept sheep, goats, water buffalo or horses or other milk bearing animals.
In my mind I associate yogurt with Bulgaria which gave its name to the bacterial culture Bulgaricus that makes yogurt from milk – and with India from the Indian yogurt drink called lassi and from the side dish called raita, (pron. as writer) which is totally yummy!
Why is Yogurt a superfood?
Let’s look at the health benefits of yogurt starting with…
Allergies and Sensitivities
People who cannot digest or tolerate cow’s milk can frequently digest and tolerate yogurt very well. As the milk from which yogurt is made ferments the lactose in milk is turned into glucose and galactose which are much better tolerated than lactose.
Yogurt is very high in Iodine, calcium and phosphorous. The iodine content was a surprise to me and a welcome one. it can be very hard to get our essential intake of iodine and eating yogurt is a really easy and enjoyable way to make sure of it.
“Eat yogurt for strong bones” sounds a little odd but the high protein value 25% and high calcium content make it clear that this is an ideal food for kids and maybe for elderly people too who may be at risk for bone weakening diseases.
I just read of a mouse study in which including yogurt in their diet provoked the cancer cells in their colons to initiate apoptosis- the cancer cells effectively committed suicide.
Yogurt fighting cancer?
Looks like it does in mice anyhow and if a mouse study gave this result by taking a chemical drug this result would be trumpeted from the rooftops!
And if you have heard that ulcers are caused by a virus called Pylori then you’ll be interested that eating yogurt controls and effectively suppresses it.
People suffering dysentery get relief from their symptoms while others have used it to avoid dysentery.
A group of female volunteers who eat yogurt for 4 weeks improved their LDL to HDL ratio. They also had a decrease in blood homocysteine.
Many people- including me take blood homocysteine levels to be very important markers of heart health – much more so than cholesterol by the way.
One interesting point is that homocysteine is lowered by the correct intake of B vitamins so I wonder if the effect is due to the amount of vitamin B in yogurt?
Many small studies have been done on the immune boost delivered by yogurt. One group of women had an increase of their T lymphocyte count of over 30% after consuming yogurt for a few weeks.
This is amazing and again if a drug could do this it would be trumpeted from the rooftops!
Weight Loss Too
Another surprise for me. I read some interesting studies at the University of Tennessee. First they showed that Calcium aided fat loss – and that dairy Calcium seemed to work best. They go so far as to talk about an Anti-obesity effect of Calcium.
Then they show that this works with yogurt. In fact the fat loss found with yogurt is the stubborn fat around the middle.
Fat loss was markedly increased on the yogurt diet
This is an amazing superfood and the health benefits of yogurt are so striking that I give a permanent place in my kitchen and an almost daily healthy snack.
One last word – yogurt means live yogurt with living cultures in it. Fruit in the culture or sugar or anything else completely changes and reduces the value and the power of the yogurt.
Yogurt means simple, live, real yogurt with no sweeteners or fruit. if you like to eat yogurt with fruit that’s fine just chop and mix the fresh fruit yourself freshly into the plain yogurt and for very best results I recommend buying or making only real, live yogurt.
This has made me hungry – I’m off to the kitchen to enjoy some yummy yogurt…..and if you have not seen a yogurt maker they have a good range at Amazon and perhaps at your local store too.
Elisabeth Nara at the Wiki