Yogurt is a fermented milk product that is prepared by putting a special culture of bacteria into milk. It is a tasty and useful product that helps maintain good health and prevents the development of several diseases.
Yogurts are made from whole pasteurized or reconstituted milk. A culture of bacterial cells (Bulgarian lactic acid bacteria or thermophilic streptococci) is added to the milk, mixed, poured into sterile containers, and left in a warm place. At a temperature of about 37 ºC the fermentation process starts, in which microorganisms break down milk sugar (lactose) and milk protein. As a result, a fermented milk mass is formed, which contains some nutrients and microorganisms.
When pasteurizing yogurt, microorganisms die, and the product itself has a longer shelf life. Yogurt is called “living” if it is not pasteurized after cooking and immediately poured into glasses or packages. In this yogurt, bacteria continue to multiply and produce nutrients, and the shelf life is shorter.
● Yogurts are easier digested than milk.
● Yogurts reduce the likelihood of developing cancer. Lactobacilli contained in yogurt protect the human body from pathogenic microorganisms, including those that have carcinogenic properties.
● Yogurts contain a large amount of calcium, which is well absorbed by the body.
● The systematic consumption of yogurt increases immunity and protects against infections.
● Bacterial yogurt cultures, when ingested, stimulate the production of interferon and white blood cells.
● Yogurt is a source of valuable protein.
Who should consume yogurts
Live yogurts can be used in the treatment and prevention of many different diseases. Yogurts are useful for patients who have been prescribed a course of antibiotic therapy. Thus, the probability of developing dysbacteriosis is reduced, and the pathogenic intestinal microflora is suppressed.
For people with lactose intolerance, yogurt is a valuable source of protein and calcium. Whole milk is contraindicated for such people.