Yogurt is one of the staple dishes in almost every Indian meal. In summer, you will find your mom giving you Yogurt in different ways such as lassi (sweet curd), chaas (spicy buttermilk), curd rice and many other ways. The humble Yogurt is very healthy as compared to its other dairy counterparts like cheese, flavored fruit yogurt, ice creams etc.
Let us look at some of the amazing health benefits of Yogurt –
Yogurt helps in improving digestion.
The nutrients in yogurt help to absorb food in the digestive system. In case of spicy food, a bowl of Yogurt will cool down the heat that this spicy food generates. Remember, biryani goes well with curd raita and this is one of the reasons why raita is served with biryani, as it helps in cooling down the heat that this spicy food generates. Yogurt helps in giving relief to stomach upsets, bloating and also in indigestion. Further it helps in absorbing vitamins and minerals in the body.
Yogurt aids in weight loss.
It helps in weight loss. The calcium present in Yogurt prevents the fat cells in your body from pumping more cortisol, which is responsible for obesity and cholesterol. Research has indicated that people who eat Yogurt are more likely to lose weight.
Yogurt increases the immunity in the body.
The good bacteria found in Yogurt is responsible for boosting the immune system. Eating Yogurt daily increases the infection fighting capacity of the body. The immune boosting ability of Yogurt does not diminish even when it is used in gravies, curries, marination and cooking on high heat.
Yogurt is good for the heart.
Yogurt helps in regulating the blood pressure by improving the levels of good cholesterol. It is a good source of calcium, protein and is low in sodium. It can also be consumed by people suffering from diabetes as well.
Yogurt is high in calcium and is thus good for the bones.
It has a high amount of calcium and phosphorous, which is very good for the bones and teeth. The Vitamin D present in curd helps to strengthen the bones and in building muscles. Eating Yogurt regularly helps to avoid diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
Yogurt is used for various skin, hair and beauty treatments.
Nutrients like vitamin E and phosphorous makes yogurt a very powerful skin treatment ingredient. A simple face pack consisting of gram flour (besan), Yogurt, lime juice and rosewater can give you a glowing face. Applying plain yogurt on the face for cleansing purposes is also very effective.
Yogurt can be consumed by lactose intolerant people.
People who are lactose intolerant can also consume Yoghurt. It converts the lactose present in milk to lactic acids, making it easier to digest.
Yogurt helps to ease stress and anxiety.
Stress is one of the most important factors affecting the health of many people. Research has indicated that eating probiotic Yogurt lowers the activity of the brain that is responsible for stress, pain and emotions. This helps in relieving anxiety and stress.
Yogurt improves hair care and reduces dandruff.
Yogurt has lactic acid, which has anti fungal properties, which helps in getting rid of dandruff. Just apply Yogurt on your scalp, leave it for around 1/2 hour and then rinse your hair properly to wash it off. Many homemade hair remedies will have Yogurt as a standard ingredient.
In addition to the health benefits that Yogurt provides as detailed above, some of the easy recipes of Yogurt are given below –
Sweet Yogurt (Shrikhand)
Take curd prepared from 1 litre milk. Hang the curd in a muslin cloth and tie it for around 4-5 hours. You will get hung curd without any water. In order to make Shrikhand(Sweet curd) just add sugar, cardamom, saffron and nuts and mix it well. Your homemade shrikhand is ready to eat.
Spicy Yogurt Dip.
Take the hung curd or yogurt and add chopped coriander, chillies, spring onions crushed pepper and salt. You can also add some grated cheese. Mix it well and your spicy dip is ready to be eaten with fresh cut salad, vegetables and fruits.
Yogurt / Curd Rice.
Yogurt rice is one of the most favourite and staple meal of south India. It is healthy and tasty as well. Here’s an easy recipe for Yogurt rice.
- 250 gms of cooked rice
- A bowl of Yogurt or 250 gms of Yoghurt
- 2tsp of chopped green chillies
- Chopped coriander leaves – half bowl.
- 1tsp of chopped ginger
- 1tsp of chopped garlic
- 10-15 curry leaves.
- 2tbsp of oil for tempering
- 1tsp of mustard seeds, black gram, chana dal
- 2 dried red chillies chopped
- A pinch of asafoetida
- Salt to taste
- Mix Yogurt, coriander leaves, rice and salt together.
- Add oil to the pan.
- Now add mustard seeds, dal, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, green chillies and let it crackle.
- Pour this tempering in the bowl of mixed rice
- Serve it cold.
- Your curd or Yogurt rice is ready to be relished.`
Sweet Lassi and Butter Milk
You can add sugar to the Yogurt and mix it well. Add nuts like almonds, cashews, saffron etc., to give the sweet lassi an exotic flavour.
In case of buttermilk, just add a little water to the Yogurt and blend it well. Add chopped coriander, chillies, curry leaves, ginger, pepper and salt to flavour your spicy buttermilk.
These are some of the amazing health benefits of Yogurt. All the above recipes are quick, easy to make and tasty. There are many other types of yogurt like greek yogurt, natural yogurt, probiotic yogurt , low fat yogurt etc which are also good for consumption . Ensure that Yogurt become a part of the daily diet of your family.
Please read our earlier article Different types of healthy berries to be included in your diet.
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