Who doesn’t love creamy yogurt! And if there are health benefits of yogurt so much the better. Many benefits of yogurt are due to microorganisms that support the gut and much more.
Benefits of yogurt due to microorganisms
Each of the different kinds of bacteria or yeast adds a specific taste, texture, and nutrient content to yogurt. Here’s a list of the most common microorganisms found in fermented milk products like yogurt.
Breaks down lactose (a sugar) found in milk products. this might be a reason why some lactose intolerant can consume yogurt. This bacterium produces amino acids, vitamins B-complex, and vitamin K2.
Included in starter cultures for yogurt. It turns lactose into lactic acid that lowers the pH (more sour) and adds a fresh, slightly acidic taste. Lactic acid turns milk into the gel-like structure characteristic of yogurt. This bacterium is responsible for much of the flavor and texture. The longer yogurt is fermented the tarter the taste.
This species is capable of producing bacteriocins, a bioactive substance that can kill off bad bacteria. It functions as a natural food preservative and has similar properties to antibiotics.
This bacteria is capable of surviving the harsh gut environment and travel to the colon where it offers protection from toxins and inflammation. It’s most known for is its ability to stimulate the body’s immune response.
When L. acidophilus breaks down food in the intestine, several substances are formed, such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. These substances create an unfriendly environment for bad bacteria. Lactobacillus are often recommended when on antibiotics and L. acidophilus is often used to restore gut balance.
Good yogurt in grocery stores
Be suspicious about food labels as they notoriously unreliable. Many commercial yogurt brands are loaded with sugar and other additives. Don’t waste money on unhealthy cocktails of low quality ingredients.
What can you do?
Greek yogurt and regular unsweetened organic yogurt with probiotics are good alternatives.
Greek yogurt have much of the lactose, whey, and sugar removed which makes it tangier and increase the protein content.
There are also many other probiotic milk products available to try.
Maximize benefits of yogurt by preparing it at home. It’s simple and superior to most commercial brands. You get all the beneficial microorganisms together with enzymes, vitamins, and many other nutrients.
Add a starter culture to full-fat milk, keep it at room temperature for 18-24 hours and you’re done.