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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yogurt & its benefits

According to Wikipedia, Yogurt is defined as a dairy product which is produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used in this process are known as 'yogurt cultures'. And, the fermentation of lactose by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which will act on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and its characteristics.

Cow's milk is the most commonly used but milk from water buffalo, goats, sheep, horses, camels and yaks has also been used in some parts of the world.

The initial step to produce yogurt, is to heat up the milk to about 80 °C (176 °F). This is to kill any undesirable bacteria and to denature the milk proteins so that they set together rather than form curds. Then, cools it to about 45 °C (112 °F). The bacteria culture is added and the temperature is maintained for 4 to 7 hours to allow fermentation.

Presently, more and more end-users are consuming yogurt for good health. It has known to be nutritionally rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Definitely, much more nutrients as compared to those that are obtained from milk alone. Men and women who are lactose-intolerant can consume yogurt without ill effects because the lactose in the milk has already been converted to glucose and galactose, and partially fermented to lactic acid by the bacterial culture.

However, yogurt contains varying amounts of fat. There is non-fat (0% fat), low-fat (usually 2% fat) and plain, or whole milk yogurt (4% fat). Many believed that frequent consumption of low-fat yogurt can promote weight loss, especially due to the calcium in the yogurt.

In fact, it is rather easy and inexpensive to make yogurt at home. Start by boiling milk. Then, lower its temperature to 112°F (45°C) and then, add a spoonful of store-bought yogurt to a small amount of the milk. Stir it well, and then, add the rest of the warm milk. Keep the whole batch in a warm place for several hours so the yogurt can set. When the yogurt is ready, refrigerate immediately. According to individual's liking, you may add fresh fruit, jam, granola, honey etc.

It is recommended that women who are suffering from yeast infection (especially those with prolonged whitish vaginal discharge) should try to consume yogurt to resolve their problem. Although, it might take time to make yogurt and also quite costly for some families, the end results has always been beneficial. Because of improved lifestyle, yogurt is now been made commercially and they are readily available at all supermarkets.

As such, there is no more excuse for anyone to say that they have no time to prepare it. If you don't have the time, then just drop by any sale outlet to grab one. Good luck and stay healthy !!!!!!!!!

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