If you’ve been looking at various recipes and guides on how to make smoothies, then you probably notice that many recipes call for yogurt as their dairy base. Why use yogurt? It’s because the numerous health benefits of yogurt smoothies are so obvious.
Yogurt is rich in a lot of nutrients, including calcium, potassium, protein, and B vitamins. Bulgarians who eat a lot of yogurt in their diet are said to live longer. There are a lot to gain from this wonder food. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Yogurt is much easier to digest compared to milk. Although both are dairy products, people who are lactose intolerant will still be able to enjoy yogurt. The live active cultures create lactase (an enzyme that lactose-intolerant people don’t have) and beta-galactosidase (another enzyme that improves lactose absorption). Yogurt also helps digest casein, a milk protein. All these make yogurt easier to absorb by the body and less allergenic.
Yogurt boosts immunity. Bacterial cultures in yogurt stimulate the white cells that fight infections.
Yogurt heals and relieves the effects of cured intestinal infections. Some tummy problems (also known as gastrointestinal disorders) injure the lining of the intestines, and may specifically target the cells that produce lactase. It causes temporary lactose malabsorption that may last for weeks or even months. Yogurt is known as a popular food after diarrhea and is usually tolerated by people who are recovering from it. Also, pediatricians have always recommended yogurt for children who are having indigestion.
Yogurt is a rich source of calcium. The live active cultures in yogurt provide your body with more calcium than an equivalent serving of milk. Calcium decreases the risk of colon cancer and stops the excess growth of cells that line the colon. (Note: Substances such as nitrates and nitrites become carcinogenic, so the friendly bacteria found in yogurt deactivate them.)
Yogurt is a good source of protein. The proteins in the yogurt are predigested due to the culturing of the proteins, making it easier for your body to absorb and use.
Yogurt lowers cholesterol levels. Some studies have shown that yogurt has the ability to lower your cholesterol count. This may be due to the live cultures found in yogurt which has the ability to take in cholesterol or may just bind the bile acids and lower cholesterol levels, or both. The exact mechanism has not yet been identified.
The Best Yogurt Smoothies
The best yogurt is usually the plain or natural one, which would only have the 2 basic yogurt ingredients – live cultures and milk. It should provide at least 35% of the recommended daily allowance for calcium based on an 8-ounce container.
Avoid pasteurized yogurt, which means that live cultures and the lactase have been deactivated, which should be the basic components of healthy yogurt. This may prolong the shelf life of the yogurt, but it decreases the benefits that you should be getting from yogurt.
Yogurt is a healthy ingredient that can be added to most foods. If you haven’t tried this yet, then do so now by making a yogurt smoothie.