Yoghurt or Yogurt, a dairy product, produced by fermenting the milk with bacteria, which is known as Yogurt culture. It contains few of almost every nutrient that our body requires. A 100 gram whole-milk yogurt contains 61 calories, 88% of water, 3.5 g of protein, 4.7 g of sugar, 4.7 g of carbs and 3.3 g of fats, 49% of daily required Calcium along with a few other Vitamins and Minerals.
Since yogurt is fermented, it contains lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria, which are major Probiotics that have numerous favouring health benefits, heavily depending on the type and consumption amount.
Health benefits of yogurt range from having a positive effect on Osteoporosis and strong bones to reducing blood pressure levels to improving digestive health.
Bifidobacteria in Yogurt is highly recommended when it comes to improving gut health. But not all yogurt contains this species of bacteria, so here are 6 types of yogurt that could help you in improving your gut health.
Following are the Dairy filled yogurt and are not recommended for people who suffers from Lactose Intolerance-
Whole Cow’s milk Yogurt: The traditional regular whole milk yogurt benefits your body, not only with various nutrients but improves your gut health. It is often balanced with adding fruits in it. It contains the most amount of probiotics that strengthens the digestive tracts.
Greek Yogurt: Greek Yogurt is made through straining the regular yogurt that removes Whey, a natural sweetener present in milk, making it thicker and creamier. Probiotics in Greek Yogurt restores healthy bacterial balance in the gut. A cup of yogurt contains 25g protein, 1g fat, 10g carbohydrates, 8g sugar, 90mg sodium, 245mg calcium, and 333mg phosphorus
Icelandic Yogurt or Skyr: Icelandic Yogurt, low in added sugar and contains live active bacteria to help promote gut health. It’s strained longer than Greek Yogurt, removing more whey liquid that makes it thicker and taste is less tang than plain Greek yogurt. Although it is not as popular as greek yogurt it is definitely more nourishing and beneficial. A single cup of Skyr contains 16g protein, 0g fat, 7g carbohydrates, 7g sugar, 150mg calcium, and 60mg sodium.
Since, dairy products are often not preferred due to health issues or other factors, here are some plants and nuts milk based yogurts-
Coconut Yogurt: Coconut yoghurt alternatives can be a healthy dairy-free yoghurt option for those who need or prefer to avoid dairy products. Coconut milk has a thicker texture that is similar to whole milk or heavy cream, but when made into yoghurt, it has a thin consistency that is similar to traditional yoghurt. A 100-gram serving of coconut yoghurt contains 1.2 grams of protein and 2.9 grams of fat, the majority of which is saturated fat. It also has 12.9 grams of carbohydrates, 5.3 grammes of which are fibre.
Almond Milk Yogurt: Almond Milk Yogurt or simply, Almond yogurt are plant-based, dairy free yogurt packed with probiotics. They help boost the immune system and improve digestion. Since these yogurts are made from 100% almonds, they are naturally soy-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free. The only issue these yogurts have, is they never thicken, therefore if you’re making homemade almond milk yogurt it is recommended to add artificial thickener. If you don’t like plain yogurt, add different variants to make your own flavored yogurt, such as blueberry, peach, nutella, chocolate and so on. A single cup of almond yogurt contains 5g protein, 11g fat, 19g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 15g sugar
Cashew Milk Yogurt: Mouth-watering Cashew milk yogurt are tangy flavoured, creamy textured yogurt. It contains very low calorie value and is very easy to make at home. Simply, soak Cashews overnight and blend them before adding probiotic supplements and letting it thicken. A single cup of cashew yogurt contains 4g of protein, 10g fat, 9g carbohydrates, 0.9g fiber, 0.9g sugar, 19mg calcium, and 30mg sodium.
Tips for good yogurt & better gut health
- You can always make your own flavored yogurt if you don’t like it plain. Simply, add fruits or natural flavouring. It is recommended to avoid artificial flavouring.
- If you like plain sweet yogurt, it is recommended to add honey, coconut nectar or stevia as they are natural sweeteners and more beneficial and salutary. Avoid artificial sweeteners and refined sugar as they have bad effects on health.
- Yogurt can stay good for up to three weeks in the fridge since it goes through the fermentation process. It is recommended to consume yogurt fresh as the longer it is kept, its nutrients factors may deteriorate, heavily depending on the type of species of bacteria.
- When purchasing yogurt check the sugar content. It is recommended to consume plain, unflavoured yogurt for better gut health.
- Although it is believed probiotics help in lactose digestion, it is recommended to consult a doctor before consuming it as it varies from person to person.