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Health benefits of yogurt: protein and probiotics

Yogurt is a popular dairy product produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk. Regular intake of yogurt helps to minimize heart-related risks, weight management, and osteoporosis. Yogurt culture is the bacteria used in making yogurt ferment lactose - the natural sugar in the milk.

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The process produces lactic acid - a substance that causes the protein to curdle and gives yogurt its texture and unique flavor. All types of milk can produce yogurt. Whole milk options are considered to be full-fat, and those made from skim milk are considered fat-free. Yogurt generally has proteins and probiotics that facilitate good health in your body.


Yogurt has an impressive amount of protein with about 12g per 8 ounces in 227 grams. Protein has a vital role in supporting body metabolisms by increasing energy expenditure, appetite regulation, and reducing the number of calories that you take every day. Soluble milk proteins are known as whey while insoluble milk proteins are caseins. Both whey and caseins have health benefits and rich in vital amino acids and are easy to digest.


Whey accounts for about 20% of the protein in yogurt. It is very high in branched-chain amino acids such as leucine and isoleucine. It is popular among athletes and bodybuilders with numerous health benefits such as:

  • Reduce inflammation

Intake of yogurt containing whey protein has shown to reduce blood levels of C-reactive proteins which a key facilitator of body inflammation. It goes on to indicate that yogurt may help in reducing inflammation.

  • Treatment of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease associated with impaired insulin and high levels of blood sugar. Insulin is a hormone known to stimulate the uptake of blood sugar into cells, thus maintaining it within a healthy limit. Whey protein is effective at moderating blood sugar and increases the level of insulin and sensitivity to its effects. Whey proteins can be effectively used in type 2 diabetes treatment supplements.

  • Lowers blood pressure

Hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart diseases. Whey proteins have been attributed to a family of bioactive peptides known as angiotensin-converting- enzyme inhibitor (ACE inhibitors) which is essential in blood pressure control. Whey protein lowers blood pressure in people with hypertension due to its bioactive peptide called lactokinins.

  • It enhances your body’s antioxidant defenses

Antioxidants act against oxidation in your body. This means they lower the risk of various chronic diseases and reduce oxidation stress. The most vital antioxidant in your body is glutathione. Whey protein found in yogurt promotes the formation of glutathione and strengthens your body’s antioxidant defenses.


Casein accounts for 80% of the protein content in yogurt with alpha-casein being the most abundant. It is a vital nutrient in your body with numerous health benefits such as the reduction of free radicals. Casein contains peptides that have antioxidant effects and fight against harmful radical build-up. It also boosts immunity and provides antibacterial functions that is associated with reduced high blood pressure. Casein plays an important role in lowering triglycerides a type of fat found in your blood and helps with weight loss.

Greek yogurt is high in protein than regular yogurt. It provides about 20 grams per 7 ounces (200g).

Goat’s milk yogurt- contains about 9 grams per cup, carbohydrates of 11g, approximately 327mg of calcium, and 10 grams of fats.

Icelandic yogurt- has a relatively high nutritional profile containing about 16 grams of protein per cup with no fat content. 150mg of calcium, 60 milligrams of sodium, and approximately 7 grams of sugar and carbohydrates.

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French-style yogurt- contains about 5 grams of protein per 100g and other additional nutrition profiles such as 17 grams of calcium, 49g of sodium, and 4g of sodium.

Australian yogurt- has about 5 grams of protein in 100 g along with other nutritional profiles of 17mg of calcium, 49mg of sodium, and about 16 grams of carbohydrates.

Soy yogurt- one cup contains 9 grams of protein, 39g of carbohydrate, and about 289 grams of calcium.


Probiotics are live bacteria in your body that have numerous health effects depending on the amount taken and the species. Yogurt contains live cultures that are beneficial to your body and support the cells that line with the gut to prevent the bad bacteria from entering your blood. It also enhances the breakdown and absorption of medications. Other related health benefits of yogurt intake are:

  • Lower cholesterol

Intake of yogurt containing probiotics may lower blood cholesterol. It is linked to a better metabolic profile and helps to lower body mass index as well as limit the levels of triglycerides. Individuals who consume yogurt have high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or good cholesterol.

  • Digestive health

Yogurt containing bifidobacterium promotes your digestive well-being and helps in symptoms related to bowel syndrome a common disorder that affects your colon. It also protects your digestive system against antibiotics associated with constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.

  • Strengthens your immune system

Intake of yogurt containing probiotics may strengthen your immune system and limit your likelihood of getting disease-causing agents. Probiotics in yogurt reduce inflammation which is associated with viral infections gut disorder, duration, and severity of a common cold. The immune-enhancing property of yogurt is due to its selenium, zinc, and magnesium the vital minerals for your health and preventing certain illnesses.

  • Improved lactose digestibility

Probiotics contained in yogurt lessen the symptoms of lactose intolerance and improve digestion of lactose. Yogurt may help to mitigate health hazards for anyone with lactose intolerance.

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Please note that commercial varieties of probiotics contain added sugar which may be harmful to your health when consumed in excess. Natural probiotic yogurt with active and live cultures is the healthiest and most nutritious dairy product especially when there is no added sugar. it is rich in nutrients and facilitates general body wellness. You should consider choosing your yogurt brand wisely for maximum health benefits. Preferably, choose unsweetened varieties that have probiotics and proteins.

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