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  • Bacteria in Yogurt for Healthy Eating, Healthy Living

    What bacteria in yogurt you can benefit from? Are they good for your healthy eating strategies? Learn more about them here.

    November 24, 2014 | Related:

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    Bacteria in Yogurt for Healthy Eating, Healthy Living

    Bacteria in Yogurt for Healthy Eating, Healthy Living

    There are many health benefits the bacteria in yogurt can offer. This is one of the reasons experts recommend it as part of healthy eating strategies. Yogurt has practically overtaken the dairy aisle. It just makes sense knowing how beneficial it is to us to protect our body against several diseases.

    But the organisms in yogurt aren’t harmful. In fact, they’re called good bacteria because they can stave off disease-causing organisms. These beneficial organisms are usually Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

    However, every yogurt sold on the market is different. One has a different flavor and texture. And another type has a different strain of good bacteria.

    Live food

    Because of the good bacteria, yogurt is known as a live food. It contains living micro-organisms that exist in the human gut, i.e. intestine. These microscopic bacteria are beneficial for the human health. Hence, they’re known as probiotics.

    Do all yogurts contain good bacteria?

    Unfortunately, not all yogurts that you can find have probiotics. Those with good bacteria contain either and/or both Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium.

    Other yogurts may contain bacteria that aren’t harmful or beneficial. You can also find yogurt that’s heated in a way that all microorganisms are killed.

    Lactobacillus

    It’s the most popular genus of bacteria present in yogurt. There are many species of this genus that occupy our digestive and urinary systems.

    Bifidobacterium

    It’s another type of good bacteria that normally thrive in your gastrointestinal system. Some of its species are also used in yogurt and other fermented foods. The species in this genus that you can find in yogurts are usually Bifidobacterium animalis and Bifidobacterium lactis.

    Streptococcus thermophilus

    This, too, can be found in certain yogurts and cheese.

    Do you need the bacteria in yogurt?

    The good bacteria? Yes.

    Our body needs sufficient amount of good bacteria to help our digestive tract healthy. Those probiotics present in yogurt can provide you with many healthy benefits, i.e. when they’re eaten in sufficient amounts.

    How to know if you’re getting the good bacteria?

    As previously mentioned, not all yogurts on the market contain good bacteria or live, active cultures. When you shop for one, you must make sure that the product has a Live Active Culture seal. With this seal, it guarantees you that the product contains a certain amount of lactic acid bacteria.

    What if you can’t find the seal? It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t contain live culture. That yogurt may still have probiotics. Just look into the list of ingredients of the product and you’ll find “live bacteria” in it.

    The health benefits of the bacteria in yogurt will depend on a particular strain of organisms. Some strains offer health benefits by adjusting the natural balance of organisms in your intestines. In this way, all bad bacteria can be eliminated.

    Other strains, however, can directly affect your body functions, like immune system or digestion.

    What other nutrients you can get?

    Yogurt isn’t only rich in probiotics but it’s also rich in animal protein. In fact, per 6 ounces of yogurt will give you about 9 grams of protein and other minerals, like calcium, magnesium, potassium and some vitamin Bs.

    Health benefits of bacteria in yogurt

    Bacteria in Yogurt for Healthy Eating, Healthy Living

    Bacteria in Yogurt for Healthy Eating, Healthy Living

    Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis can be prevented by following specific healthy eating strategies for a healthy eating, healthy living lifestyle. The nutrients that play a great deal in preventing this disease are calcium and vitamin D. this is according to Jeri Nieves of Helen Hayes Hospital in New York.

    We all know that calcium offers benefits to our bone mass, regardless of our age. And in our goal of helping you have a healthy body, Vim Chi will add a new product in the next few weeks. It’s a supplement that can provide your body with enough vitamin D, calcium and magnesium.

    The adequate intake of vitamin D must be 400 IU each day. This must be followed by people in their 50s (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s).

    Not all yogurts, however, contain vitamin D. So, check out the label of the product you want to put on your cart and see if it contains such vitamin. The more of this vitamin you have, the better it is for your body’s absorption of calcium.

    Hypertension

    Another benefit of taking the good bacteria in yogurt is its ability to lower your risk of having hypertension or high blood pressure. In a recent study conducted, researchers found a link between daily yogurt intake and lowered risk of high blood pressure.

    According to the study, people who are fond of eating up to 3 servings of yogurt or low-fat dairy each day have reduced their risk of having hypertension.

    Lactose intolerance

    We need to make this clear. Yogurt containing good bacteria won’t cure your being a lactose intolerant. However, it may help in alleviating the symptoms.

    Because of its effects on your gut, doctors recommend it to patients who frequently suffer from constipation and diarrhea. It’s also ideal for patients with colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and infection of H. pylori.

    The health benefits of this dairy food can be credited to the good bacteria’s ability to balance the microflora in the gut, enhance immune system and increase the time it takes for the food to be thrown to the bowel.

    In a study conducted in Taiwan, it showed that those who took yogurt with probiotics have improved their reaction to a drug therapy for their H. pylori infections. In other words, these good bacteria make the drugs more effective.

    Bear in mind that H. pylori causes stomach infection. If left untreated, it can lead to ulcers and may increase your chances of suffering from stomach cancer.

    Fullness

    Another reason many health experts recommend consumption of yogurt with good bacteria is the fact that it can help you feel full for longer period of time. This is especially beneficial if you’re following a 6-week weight loss plan.

    Your hunger or cravings can be alleviated by simply eating yogurt before meals. It doesn’t matter what brand or type of yogurt you consume. It can be semi-solid yogurt or that drinkable form. When you consume it, you’ll eat fewer calories. Those who have consumed it daily have lowered their hunger ratings making them feel full for longer hours.

    What type of yogurt should you consider?

    Low sugar

    If you’re dieting or trying to lose weight, you should consider getting a yogurt that’s low in sugar. From there, you can decide whether you want to eat yogurt that’s low in fat or with no fat at all.

    Taste

    For your healthy eating, healthy living lifestyle, you must choose a yogurt that doesn’t have artificial sweeteners. It’s true that it won’t taste that good but it’s worth it. That is, if you want to maximize the benefits of the good bacteria in it.

    With active cultures and vitamin D

    As I’ve mentioned earlier, not all yogurts have active cultures. Thus, for the sake of your healthy eating strategies, make sure that you’re eating a yogurt that has active cultures or good bacteria.

    Look for a brand that states – live and active cultures. Then, read the list of ingredients it has. Most popular brands include L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus as the good bacteria included in the product.

    If you’re prone to constipation, you might want to look for a yogurt that has Bifidus regularis.

    Don’t forget to find vitamin D on the list. If it doesn’t have, then look for another product containing such vitamin. Although it’s not a must, it boosts your vitamin D intake, which is great in the proper absorption of calcium in your body or bones.

    Side effects

    Yes, the good bacteria in yogurt may cause negative side effects. But most of them are minor. These will include the following:

    • Gas
    • Stomach upset
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting

    In some rare but serious cases, yogurt may cause serious infection.

    How come there are negative side effects? You may ask.

    To be considered probiotics, the good bacteria must have live organisms. They must survive the acidity of stomach during digestion. Then, they must remain alive when reaching your intestines to do their job.

    But these side effects related to yogurt intake are usually caused by overconsumption. Remember, anything that’s too much is still bad for your body.

    When you over-consume it, you’ll experience upset stomach and diarrhea. But these can go away without treatment.

    However, in some instances, the good bacteria in yogurt won’t be of great use as part of the healthy eating strategies of patients who are immune-compromised. They may also cause serious infection to patients with missing small intestines or have artificial heart valve. This is according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

    Yogurt or the priobiotics in it may interfere with some medicines for ulcerative colitis, particularly sulfasalazine drug.

    To avoid these negative effects, you must only consume it before the expiration date. This is to make sure that the live cultures are still, well, alive.

    Then, if you’re watching your calories, you need to look for a yogurt that’s low in calories, particularly a product that’s low in sugar or fat.

    About the author

    Janey Danes Janey Danes started her career as a part-time article writer, editor and proofreader in 2008. She specializes in topics related to health, travel, technology, family, and spiritual life. Danes is a licensed medical technologist and she holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology. She is also a contributor to Travel Philippines | Entertainment and Medical Technology Avenue. You can also find her on Google+.

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  • Vim Ch’i

    “Strive for progress, not perfection.”

    Vim Ch’i is a health and wellness centre in Davao that offers natural supplements and fitness products, which bring back your Vim (energy and enthusiasm) and Chi (vital energy to animate the body internally)

    If you wish to contribute articles, infographics, etc. to our website, please email us admin[at]vimchi.info.