Yogurt, the multi-purpose healer

Yogurt is made by adding culture of bacteria to milk. The bacteria consume sugar in the milk, and excrete lactic acid, which curdles the milk. Yogurt contains active cultures or live bacteria, with organisms such as Lacto-bacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacilluys bulgaricus, known as pro-biotics brimming with health benefits that protect the body from harmful bacteria.

Hence, it is a good idea to store fresh yogurt in the refrigerator. Although yogurt has been long considered to be a multi-purpose healer, it is only during the last two decades that researchers have discovered the real benefits of yogurt.

American researchers have found that patients, who ate two servings (250gm yogurt per serving) of live yogurt every day, were 50 percent less likely to suffer from antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, when compared to non-yogurt eaters.

Similarly several other studies have shown that yogurt reduces symptoms of infant diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, and eases food poisoning. There is also evidence that the healthy organisms present in yogurt, together with high-fibre diet can prevent diverticulosis.

A recent study found that the rate of vaginal infections dropped considerably in women who ate yogurt daily. Eating live yogurt can treat infections such as itching and burning of thrush that are already underway. However, it must be ensured that it is a yeast infection, as treating bacterial infection with yogurt could aggravate the problem.

Finnish researchers found that women who ate minimum three servings of yogurt and cheese every week were almost 80 percent less likely to suffer from urinary tract infections, than women who ate yogurt less than once a week.

American researchers have proven that eating atleast two pots of live yogurt a day can quadruple gama-interferon levels, a protein that helps the immune system in fighting off germs.

For people suffering from lactose in-tolerance, live yogurt can be an effective alternative that is easy to digest, as the organisms present in yogurt, already digests the lactose even before you eat it.

Yogurt is higher in calcium levels than milk, with about 400mg in a single serving.