If you look in any health or fitness magazine for some good diet tips, you are most likely to find suggestions for you to eat yogurt. Every day, people seem to have come up with new reasons why eating yogurt is good for you. There is a whole list of health benefits that yogurt can bring, like lower your blood pressure, help you lose weight and improve your immunity. But, if you take a more in-depth look, most of these benefits are just results from what yogurt truly does for your digestive tract.
When you buy your yogurt, make sure to look at the label where you should find the print that says “live and active cultures”. This is the validation that the yogurt you are buying contains at least 100 million probiotic bacteria per gram at the time of manufacture.
Some examples of probiotic bacteria that are commonly found in yogurts are:
- Bifidus regularis
Balance Your Intestinal Flora
“Probiotic” directly translates into “for life”, and it simply means that it is good for you. Everyone’s intestines have a residential flora which includes certain strains that have the potential to cause disease. When probiotic bacteria enter your intestines, they become part of your intestinal flora, helping to maintain its balance and inhibit pathogenic bacteria from producing disease causing toxins.
Prevent Intestinal Infections and Diarrhea
If you eat yogurt regularly, the probiotic bacteria in the yogurt will gradually replace a part of your residential flora and reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in your intestines. This will not only diminish the level of toxins in your gut, it can also shield your intestines from any incoming pathogen, including food-borne bacteria, virus or parasites. Any upset of your intestinal balance may cause you to have diarrhea, but more often times, onset of diarrhea is induced by pathogenic invasion and secretion of toxins. Having better intestinal balance and immunity can significantly reduce your chances of having diarrhea.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Colitis
Studies have shown that Lactobacillus can effectively alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by reducing the immune response from your intestines. Certain strains have also been found effective in treating ulcerative colitis.
Increase Lactose Tolerance
Dairy products are highly nutritious and are especially valued for their high calcium content. However, the lactose in dairy makes them intolerable for people who cannot produce the lactase enzyme. The probiotic bacteria in yogurt, however, can help you alleviate this issue because these bacteria are capable of producing the lactase enzyme, helping you with digestion and absorption.
Improve Constipation, Prevent Colon Cancer
Constipation is usually caused by a slow moving bowel which can prolong the stay of waste in your colon. This is potentially hazardous to your health because digestive waste is highly toxic and also carcinogenic. A slow moving bowel increases your colon’s exposure to these toxins, and heightens your risks for colon cancer. The probiotic culture in yogurt can effectively decrease the intestinal transit time, accelerating waste excretion, so that you are less likely to be constipated (and protect your colon from cancer).
Having a good digestive system is the most basic requirement for a healthy life. In this light, have a yogurt a day and keep your doctors away!