Sunday, October 16, 2011

Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Benefits of Greek yogurt come from the traditional value of yogurt, elevated by a unique preparation process which makes it more potent. For millennia, the human species in many parts of the world has consumed fermented milk products mainly as food. Various accounts have also been given of how yogurt has been used for its health promoting purposes. Abraham is said to have eaten a yogurt rich diet to keep young and virile. King David is reputed to have fed his soldiers on yogurt to keep them healthy and strong. Queen Cleopatra of ancient Egypt is believed to have regularly bathed in milk to maintain her good looks and healthy skin. It is likely that the milk could have been yogurt. But whether these claims are true or not is not important. What is important is that science has since given yogurt a place among important foods.

Greek yogurt was traditionally made using sheep’s or cows’ milk, but most of it is today made from cows’ milk. This is mainly because sheep’s milk has a strong taste which may not appeal to many people. The preparation process involves heating the milk followed by culturing it within cheese or muslin cloth. As the culturing process continues, the liquid part, whey, filters out leaving behind a thick creamy mass. Other filtering systems may also be used to achieve the same results.

Depending on the desired final product, whole milk, whole milk and cream or skimmed milk can be used. The resultant thick, creamy product contains about double the amount of protein in ordinary yogurt, making it a rich source of protein. It is a healthy alternative used in various kinds of sweet and sour recipes in place of sour cream, whip cream, whole milk, mayo and others. It also fits very well as a snack or dessert.

Health benefits of Greek yogurt include substitution of milk for people suffering from lactose intolerance. The process of culturing in which fermentation takes place to produce yogurt also produces the lactase enzyme which is otherwise lacking in lactose intolerant people.

Greek yogurt benefits also include the absorption of calcium and B complex vitamins and itself contains vitamins B2, B12, potassium, calcium and magnesium. B complex vitamins play an important role in energy metabolism and strengthening of the immune system while calcium is an important component in bone and teeth formation and maintenance.

Other Greek yogurt health benefits include: – prevention of diarrhea resulting from antibiotics use by providing and promoting the growth of good bacteria within the digestive system while destroying pathogenic ones.

Candida and thrush infections of the vagina and mouth can be cleared by using yogurt internally and topically. The infection causing yeast is destroyed by the good bacteria in yogurt. Sweetened varieties, sugary foods and complex carbohydrates should be avoided to starve the sugar loving yeasts.

Colon cancer risk reduction as the lacto bacteria in yogurt cleans and destroys dangerous carcinogenic wastes within the colon.

Good for diabetics because of its low sugar, carbohydrates and salt content.

These are only some of the known benefits of Greek yogurt, a gift bequeathed to the world by the hands of the Greek.


Similar Healthy Eating Articles:

Health Benefits of Cheese
Health Benefits of Dates
Health Benefits of Fasting
Health Benefits of Avocado Oil
Health Benefits of Eggplant

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