Curd/Yogurt (also called as yoghurt or yoghourt) or dahi is counted as the world’s healthiest food because of its amazing health benefits. It is prepared at home using milk or fermented milk products through the process of bacterial fermentation of the milk (or yogurt cultures). During fermentation process, bacteria produce lactic acid from the lactose of milk and give milk a thick texture. Generally, the cow milk is used to make yogurt all across the world. Milk of buffalo, goats, camels and etc are also used at many places. Dairy yogurt is made by using the culture of bacteria called Lactobacillus delbrueckii. Eating yogurt is preferred by the people all across the world as it aids lot of benefits to the digestive system. It is used in India in many rituals during the pooja ceremony. It is used to make various recipes to enhance their flavor and look.
Benefits of Curd/Yogurt (Dahi)
Curd/Yogurt or dahi is a delicious food preferred by almost all the people with breakfast, lunch or dinner. As it provides more calcium and other nutrients than milk, it is most liked by the people to get more health benefits. Some of the health benefits of the yogurt are mentioned below:
Fulfills Calcium and Vitamin D Requirement
- Adding curd to the diet makes it a balanced diet and considered as the adequate nutrition which plays major role in preventing the osteoporosis as it contains more calcium and vitamin D.
Makes Bones and Teeth Healthy and Strong
- Calcium is very important component of making the bone and teeth healthy and strong.
Makes Skeletal System Strong
- Curd has both, the calcium and vitamin D which have great skeletal benefits in combined form.
Manages Normal Blood Pressure
- Eating yogurt on regular basis helps in managing the normal blood pressure.
Keeps Digestive System Healthy
- It makes the digestive system healthy and strong by helping in various problems like lactose intolerance, diarrhea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and gastro intestinal infections.
- It boosts the body immune system and prevents from various infections by stimulating the infection fighting white blood cells.
Prevents from Ulcer
- It prevents from the ulcer of stomach and small intestine and decreases the risk of stomach cancer.
Prevents from Vaginal Infections
- It prevents from the vaginal infections of Candida or Yeast among women with diabetes.
Makes Digestion Easy
- It is easy to digest food and best for the people who do not like milk or lactose intolerance as the fermentation process breaks down the lactose into glucose and galactose.
Keeps Colon Healthy
- It is a healthy food which makes the colon healthy and lowers the risk of colon cancer as it contains the lactobacteria (intestine friendly bacterial).
Reduces Risk of Viral and Allergic Disorders
- It prevents from the viral and allergic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Improves Helpful Intestinal Bacteria
- Helpful bacteria found in it replenish the intestines and prevent from the harmful bacteria.
Contains Healthy Protein
- It is also a good source of easy to digest protein (10-14 g protein/8 ounce) than the same amount of milk.
Lowers Blood Cholesterol Level
- It has ability to lower the blood cholesterol level thus prevents from the variety of heart diseases and strokes.
Loaded with Vitamins
- It is loaded with number of vitamins like riboflavin, vitamin B5, B12 which helps in maintaining the health of red blood cells and nervous system.
- It is a highly energetic food which helps to recover faster after the hard work out.
Activates T Cells
- It activates the T cells and helps to fight with illness and infection (tooth decay, cavities formation and etc).
Control Blood Sugar Level
- It has good quality protein and live bacterial cultures which enable it to control the blood sugar level.
Enhances Gastric Juice Production
- It enhances the HCL production in the stomach to improve the digestion and nutrients (vitamins and minerals) absorption.
Cures Brain Problem
- It helps in curing the brain problem like migraine and a vitamin (biotin) found in it improves the mental health.
Benefits of Curd/Yogurt for Weight Loss
Keeps Stomach Full
- Eating curd makes the stomach full for long time. So, eating it instead of snacks in between the routine diet tends to lower the weight.
High Protein Food
- It has more calcium and easily digestible protein which helps in managing the weight.
Makes Abdomen Flat
- It helps in making the abdomen flat by cutting their total calories intake.
Burns Extra Fat
- More fat around the waistline secretes the hormone called cortisol which stimulates the accumulation of more fat over belly area. Calcium found in the yogurt triggers the less cortisol production by the fat cells whereas amino acids burns out more fat, thus it helps to lose pounds if taken regularly.
Low Calorie Food
- It has very low calorie content (low-fat or fat free yogurt) as well as the fat-burning property which aids in the weight loss strategy.
Beauty Benefits/Benefits of Curd/Yogurt on Face
Provides Fair Complexion
- If it is applied on the face, it makes the complexion fair due to its lactic acid content. It exfoliates the upper layer (dead cells) of the skin to clear up the blemishes and reduce the fine wrinkles.
Makes Skin Radiant
- If the mixture of yogurt and almond or olive oil with honey is applied to the face for 20 to 30 mins, it makes the skin more radiant.
Removes Dead Skin Cells
- Applying the sour curd on the face and neck for 15 mins removes the acne and dead skin cells and makes it fair.
Makes Skin Soft
- Applying the mixture of gram flour and yogurt as a face mask for 15 mins makes the skin fair, soft and glowing.
Lightens Skin Tone
- Applying the mixture of orange peel powder with curd lightens the skin tone.
- Applying the mixture of rose water, turmeric and curd to the face 15 mins and wash with luke warm water makes the fair and soft.
- Applying the mixture of egg, oat and curd to the face removes the dead skin cells by clearing and exfoliating the skin.
- Applying the mixture of lemon juice and curd to the face makes the skin shiny, wrinkles free and healthy.
Fastens Healing Process
- Applying plain curd to the sun burnt skin enhances the healing process.
Benefits of Curd/Yogurt for Men
- It enhances the sexual power and prevents from the age-related weight gain among men if taken on regular basis in the diet.
Prevents from Impotency
- It helps in preventing from the sexual inadequacy or sexual impotency by increasing the count and quality of the sperm.
Benefits of Curd/Yogurt on Hair
Natural Hair Conditioner
- It acts as a good conditioner for the hair. Applying the plain curd on the hair for 30 mins and wash with cold water makes it soft and silky. It can also be applied adding henna and eggs to get more shine and healthy hair.
- Applying the mixture of curd and black pepper powder for twice a week removes the dandruff.
Prevents Hair Loss
- Applying the mixture of curd and gram flour to the hair roots also removes the dandruff and hair loss problems.
Improves Hair Shining
- Applying the mixture of curd and methi powder to the scalp makes the hair shining well.
Nourishes Hair Scalp
- Applying the mixture of curd and lemon for 20 mins removes the dandruff from the hair scalp and makes it healthy.
Promotes Hair Growth
- Applying the mixture of moong dal powder and curd to the scalp for 1 hr removes dandruff and promotes hair growth.
Benefits of Curd/Yogurt during Pregnancy
Improves Calcium Absorption
- Yogurt is good choice during pregnancy as it enhances the absorption of dietary calcium which is necessary for both, mother and baby.
Reduces Risk of Vaginal Infection
- It prevents from the vaginal and other infections during pregnancy.
Benefits of Curd/Yogurt for Kids
Enhances Better Growth
- Fat-free and low-fat yoghurt should be avoided for the kids less than two years of age. Whole milk yoghurt can be given to the children under the age of two. It enhances the healthy growth and development of the bones among kids.
Benefits of Curd/Yogurt and Sugar
Provides Cooling Effect to Stomach
- Yogurt with sugar has cooling effect on the stomach and whole body, reduces the acidity as well as burning sensation in the stomach.
- This reduces pitta and best to eat in the end of meals.
Attraction of Ceremonial Event
- It is an ancient ritual in India to serve the yogurt with sugar during any ceremonial event.
Removes Intestinal Problems in Summer
- It is best to eat during summer season to keep away the intestinal problems.
- It keeps the bladder cool by soothing the irritation in the summer season.
Types of Curd/Yogurt
Generally it is named as dairy yogurt (animal based yogurt) and non-dairy yogurt (plant based yogurt). Non dairy yogurt is produced from the Soy milk or coconut milk which has less protein level and high fiber content where live bacterial culture is present in both in equal proportion.
Nutritional Benefits of Yogurt or Dahi (full fat) per 100g
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Energy: 61 kcal
Carbohydrate: 4.7 g
Sugars: 4.7 g
Fat: 3.3 g
Saturated: 2.1 g
Monounsaturated: 0.9 g
Protein: 3.5 g
Vitamin A: 27 μg
Riboflavin: 0.14 mg
Calcium: 121 mg
How to Select and Store
Always prefer to make it at home however if you need to buy it from the market, take care of the points like, never buy a non-pasteurized or raw milk yogurt. Do not buy the Greek style yogurt (thick yogurt without water) if you want to get full health benefits.
Properly check for the expire date on the yogurt container while buying from the market. Avoid buying yogurts having artificial color/flavor/sweetener.
How to Enjoy
It can be enjoyed in any ways, however eating it as a plain curd is good for health. It can be added to the chopped mint leaves, garlic, chopped cucumber or other vegetables. It can also be added to the fruit salad to make it delicious. It is eaten by some people adding a little salt or sugar. It is used in making raita, basan curry, aloo chaat, bhatura, dahi bade and etc.
Disadvantages, Side Effects and Precautions of Yogurt
- Yogurt has a lot of health benefits if eaten in limit however, its high dose or eating in excess amount may cause weight gain, high blood cholesterol level which leads to the heart problems. Some yogurt brands sold in the market has added more sugar which may add more weight, so it should be noted while buying yogurt from the market.
- Saturated fat of the yogurt has tendency to increase low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) which leads to the risk of heart diseases and Type 2 diabetes.
- Eating too much yogurt affects the solvent excretion in the stomach and reduces appetite.
- Eating yogurt in combination with sausage, frozen products made from meat and antibiotics may lead to the constipation or other stomach diseases.
- Eating yogurt with empty stomach or feeling hungry also causes stomach diseases. So, it is good to eat during lunch or after 1 to 2 hours.
- It should be avoided eating during diarrhea or diabetes. Kids below 1 year of age should also avoid eating yogurt.
How Much Yogurt Should You Eat A Day
Eating anything within limit is good for the health however over limit may lead to the serious health ailments. Eating yogurt around 250 g to 500 g every day is ok but over eating may affect the health. Per day requirement of the calcium is approximately 1,000 mg whereas 250 g of yogurt provides around 300 mg of calcium so, it can be eaten accordingly.
Find the Benefits of other Milk Products