By Dr. Prakash Chandra Bhatt
Founder of Billion Cheers and Fermentis Life Sciences
Ever since the beginning of the agricultural development, yoghurt or soured milk has been with humans. Since the establishment of the early civilization, humans have domesticated cattle and sheep for hides, meat and milk. Souring milk started as a way to conserve the milk for a longer period of time, which was further turned into softer cheese for regular consumption and harder cheese for later use.
The use of soured milk has find its way in almost all cuisines around the world. They are also considered very good for digestion and assimilation of food and prevention against illnesses. Yoghurt happens to be a complete source of protein made out of fresh and pure milk and curdled with bacteria, and is equally as good as meat, poultry or egg. Being regarded as a staple in our regular food chain, yoghurt has high contents of vitamin A, B and D. Like any other optimal protein source, yoghurts contains all the vital twenty two amino acids that the body can easily digest and utilize.
The many health benefits of Yoghurt:
One of the best quality of yoghurt is that it being a pre-digested food and can be consumed by anyone, even the ailing and the sick. It is highly effective when the good bacteria in our body is destroyed by antibiotics – it helps restoring the balance back. It can even be consumed by people who have lactose intolerance.
Apart from all the above multiple benefits that yoghurt imparts to us, the two major health benefits are:
- Great Colon Health: Having yoghurt helps the good bacteria revive the colon flora. And it is a proven fact that a great colon functionality is the foundation of great health of our mind and body. It helps in better digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food that we eat by maintaining a good pH balance in the stomach. It also helps in removing harmful toxins from the body via the colon and protects the inner linings of the intestine and stomach and thereby protecting against stomach ulcers.
- Better Functioning of the Immune System: When our digestion is good and balanced, the immune system responds effectively and fights harmful pathogens more effectively and strongly.
The Difference between regular and probiotic yoghurt
Not all yoghurts are made equal. Perhaps the truth is that there is a difference between normal and probiotic yoghurt. And the difference is in fact in the type of bacteria. Let’s understand the difference in details:
The process that coverts milk into yoghurt needs the help of bacteria. Tough all the techniques used to convert milk into a specific type of yoghurt is same, normal yogurt is made by using certain specific types of bacteria namely – streptococcus thermophiles and lactobacillus bulgaris.
The process that involves converting milk into normal yoghurt using the above mentioned bacteria is termed as ‘starter or yoghurt culture’. The lactose present in the milk is fermented by the two bacteria causing the production of lactic acid that gives the yoghurt its acidic nature and tangy taste.
The word probiotic refers to live bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms that are good for our health, especially for our digestion and immunity. It is these probiotic bacteria that are responsible to keep our gut healthy – a healthy gut is the route to healthy living and for our overall wellness.
The most common probiotic bacteria is the Lactobacillus. Scientifically, for any group of bacteria to be called as a good bacteria or a probiotic, the count per gram should not be anything less than 10, 00, 000.
Although both the yoghurts – normal and probiotic contains the same starter culture, probiotic yoghurts have the addition of these good bacteria that have good effects on our health. However, one thing that needs to be noted with probiotic yoghurts is that there are many options available in the market that claim to be probiotic with equally all good qualities but actually they are not. It is always thereby advised to get hands on with all that you see and buy.
The many health benefits of having probiotic yoghurt over normal yoghurt
Probiotic foods are said to be a proven source of complete and balanced food with proteins, healthy fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. It is why many a times it is referred to as a SUPERFOOD.
So, what makes Probiotic yoghurt that healthy for us?
Yoghurt as a whole has been associated with a good diet, healthier metabolism, healthier immunity, healthy blood pressure levels and lot more. Yoghurt by natural is enriched with calcium, high quality proteins, magnesium, potassium, zinc, B Vitamins and other essential health elements required for overall good health.
Let’ look at some of the most critical health benefits of consuming probiotic yoghurt on a regular basis:
- Boosts better immunity: Regular consumption of probiotic yoghurt helps in building stronger immunity to fight diseases and defend the body from external harmful elements. The good bacteria of the probiotic helps in maintain a good bacterial balance in the gut, thereby, decreasing the chances of inflammation and other infections.
- Aids in better brain functioning: Believe it or not, our gut is directly linked with our brain. Perhaps the longest nerve – the Vagus Nerve, runs from the brain to the gut. Probiotics helps in the better functionality of our gut and thereby, can develop better mood and other cognitive functions. It has also proven to be very effective for patients with Parkinson’s and other brain related disorders.
- Reduces the risks of developing diabetes: Though it is advice to reduce the intake of milk and milk products for people with diabetes, probiotic yoghurt is highly effective in controlling the blood sugar levels and prevent us from developing diabetes.
Some of the most common benefits of regularly having probiotic yoghurt have been summed as below:
- Improves digestion power
- Promotes the production of vitamin B12 and K
- Helps in improving heart health
- Is a great aid in weight loss
- Reduces blood cholesterol levels and also controls it
- Prevent yeast infection – vaginal and other
- Protect against the risks of developing osteoporosis in old age
- Relieves from all sorts of chronic pain
- Lowes the risks of any sort of neurodegenerative disease