Yogurt is a food produced when bacteria called “yogurt cultures” ferment lactose in milk and produce lactic acid, which in turn act on the milk protein that gives yogurt its texture and flavor. Yogurt is usually made out of milk obtained from cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, camels, and yaks.
Probiotic refers to a substance that stimulates the growth of beneficial microorganisms such as live yeast and bacteria which help keep our digestive tract healthy. Best probiotic yogurts are packed with a balanced source of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins.
Health benefits of probiotic yogurts
Probiotics can be found in certain supplements and foods. If you are having problems with your digestive system, your doctor is likely to suggest you probiotic supplements since it aids in healthy digestion. Probiotics help in maintaining a healthy balance between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in our body. It is also necessary for good blood sugar regulation. Best probiotic yogurts, being high in calcium content, play a vital role in preventing osteoporosis. It keeps bad cholesterol away. Best probiotic yogurts can help you maintain that perfect weight or even shed a few extra pounds. It also boosts the immune system by increasing the cytokine-producing cells in the intestine and it helps to protect the digestive system from harmful bacteria. Potassium, found in probiotic yogurt, helps in decreasing the reabsorption of sodium, thereby preventing high blood pressure.
How does one choose the best probiotic yogurts?
Read the label on the pack carefully
It is really simple to know if your yogurt contains probiotics. For a product to be called ‘yogurt’ the two bacteria — lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus — should be present in it. Many more yogurt cultures may be listed in the ingredients. However, more cultures do not always mean better yogurt.
Check for healthy bacteria
Best probiotics yogurts contain healthy bacteria like the ones found in our digestive tract. These helpful bacteria help with digestion and overall digestive health. However, not all yogurt that is sold in the market contains “live and active cultures”. To increase the shelf life of a probiotic yogurt, the yogurt company may heat-treat yogurt after culturing it. This kills off the good bacteria along with the bad ones. In such cases, the yogurt company needs to mention the same on the pack label.
Our body requires a good amount of calcium to maintain healthy bones. Best probiotic yogurts are a very good source of bone-building calcium. The amount of calcium in each brand may vary. Pick up a pack containing a minimum of 15 percent of the daily value of calcium needed by the human body.
Check the sugar content
Probiotic yogurt may contain a good amount of naturally occurring milk sugar or lactose. The amount of sugar mentioned on the label includes the natural as well as added sugars in the pack. While choosing the best probiotic yogurts, avoid any pack that has listed sugar as the main or secondary ingredient.
Check for artificially flavored yogurts
While checking the label for ingredients, the best probiotic yogurt will contain real fruit and not just artificial flavors and coloring agents mentioned as one of the ingredients. Alternatively, you can add your own favorite fruit to plain yogurt for a healthier option.
Count the calories
Many opt for low-fat yogurt, fearing the calories they will intake. However, remember that low-fat yogurt may not always be low in calories. Many low-fat yogurts may contain a lot of added sugars. The best probiotic yogurt gets its sweetness from real fruits. For a healthier version of probiotic yogurt, try adding a little of honey to the plain yogurt.
Can you really miss out on your favorite pack of best probiotic yogurt after knowing how good it is for you and for your health? Go right ahead and grab your favorite probiotic yogurt today!