Yogurt is a creamy fermented dairy product. Many yogurt products have probiotics added to them. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria. 1 These beneficial or “good” bacteria in yogurt are usually the types lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus. Yogurt products at your local grocery store that have healthy bacteria added to them will be labeled as such, including a “Live Active Culture” label.2
Yogurt is considered a superfood because it contains a healthy balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.1 Most yogurts are made from cow’s milk, but goat's and sheep’s milk yogurts are also available.1
Yogurt Health Uses and Health Benefits
Grass-fed yogurt in particular has an exceptional nutrient content including containing omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D, and enzymes.1
Yogurt has plenty of incredibly important health benefits.Here are some of the top yogurt health benefits:1,3,4
- Promotes healthy digestion including treating diarrhea and constipation
- Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes
- Reduces risk of colorectal cancer
- Increases bone density and can prevent conditions such as osteoporosis
- Boosts immune system function
- Helps with weight loss
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Regulates mood
- Treats chronic pain
- Replaces the good intestinal bacteria that have been destroyed by antibiotics
- Contains healthy bacteria which discourage the growth of bad bacteria making yogurt a yeast infection treatment
- Contains probiotics which may help to prevent the progression of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
The following are the top medicinal uses for yogurt with healthy bacteria:
- Bacterial Vaginosis - Yogurt has healthy bacteria, which act as natural treatment for preventing and healing bacterial vaginosis (BV) infections. The healthy bacteria help to balance out the vaginal pH levels that become unbalanced with a BV infection.
- Acid Reflux - Because yogurt has a cool and creamy texture, it can help to sooth the esophagus that has a burning sensation from acid reflux. Yogurt can also help to balance out the bacteria in the digestive tract which may help to prevent an acid reflux reaction.
- Athlete’s Foot - The friendly bacteria in yogurt can help to kill of the fungal infection that occurs with Athlete’s foot.
- Yeast Infection - Healthy bacteria content provides a great yogurt yeast infection treatment by restoring natural levels of good bacteria while killing off the yeast surplus causing the infection.
- Dehydration - Yogurt contains high levels of potassium and sodium which can both become depleted when you’re dehydrated. By taking yogurt you can help to raise potassium and sodium levels to rehydrate.
Yogurt Side Effects and Precautions
Yogurt is a relatively safe consumer product with limited negative interactions. However, there are some yogurt side effects and precautions to be aware of:
- Yogurt is a milk product and so anyone with a milk allergy should not take yogurt due to the risk of anaphylactic shock.
- Lactose or casein sensitivity can cause digestive discomfort when taking yogurt.