Yoghurt in Curries

Yoghurt in curries is such a fantastic healthy substitute for the cream-laden kormas served in most restaurants.  From experience, I have noticed that low fat natural Greek yogurt gives a wonderful creamy texture, more so  than low-fat natural yoghurt.

10 Reasons Yoghurt is a Top Health Food

1. Yoghurt is easier to digest than milk. Many people who cannot tolerate milk, either because of a protein allergy or lactose intolerance, can enjoy yoghurt. The culturing process makes yoghurt more digestible than milk. The live active cultures create lactase, the enzyme lactose-intolerant people lack, and another enzyme contained in some yoghurts (beta-galactosidase) also helps improve lactose absorption in lactase-deficient persons. Bacterial enzymes created by the culturing process, partially digest the milk protein casein, making it easier to absorb and less allergenic. Children who cannot tolerate milk can often eat yoghurt without any intestinal upset. While the amount varies among brands of yoghurt, in general, yoghurt has less lactose than milk. The culturing process has already broken down the milk sugar lactose into glucose and galactose, two sugars that are easily absorbed by lactose-intolerant persons.

2. Yoghurt contributes to colon health. There’s a medical truism that states: “You’re only as healthy as your colon.” When eating yoghurt, you care for your colon in two ways. First, yoghurt contains lactobacteria, intestines-friendly bacterial cultures that foster a healthy colon, and even lower the risk of colon cancer. Lactobacteria, especially acidophilus, promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon and reduces the conversion of bile into carcinogenic bile acids. The more of these intestines-friendly bacteria that are present in your colon, the lower the chance of colon diseases. Basically, the friendly bacteria in yoghurt seems to deactivate harmful substances (such as nitrates and nitrites before they are converted to nitrosamines) before they can become carcinogenic.

Secondly, yoghurt is a rich source of calcium – a mineral that contributes to colon health and decreases the risk of colon cancer. Calcium discourages excess growth of the cells lining the colon, which can place a person at high risk for colon cancer. Calcium also binds cancer-producing bile acids and keeps them from irritating the colon wall. People that have diets high in calcium (e.g. Scandinavian countries) have lower rates of colorectal cancer. One study showed that an average intake of 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day is associated with a 75 percent reduction of colorectal cancer.

3. Yoghurt improves the bioavailability of other nutrients. Culturing of yoghurt increases the absorption of calcium and B-vitamins. The lactic acid in the yoghurt aids in the digestion of the milk calcium, making it easier to absorb.

4. Yoghurt can boost immunity. Researchers who studied 68 people who ate two cups of live-culture yoghurt daily for three months found that these persons produced higher levels of immunity boosting interferon. The bacterial cultures in yoghurt have also been shown to stimulate infection-fighting white cells in the bloodstream. Some studies have shown yoghurt cultures to contain a factor that has anti-tumor effects in experimental animals.

5. Yoghurt aids healing after intestinal infections. Some viral and allergic gastrointestinal disorders injure the lining of the intestines, especially the cells that produce lactase. This results in temporary lactose malabsorption problems. This is why children often cannot tolerate milk for a month or two after an intestinal infection. Yoghurt, however, because it contains less lactose and more lactase, is usually well-tolerated by healing intestines and is a popular “healing food” for diarrhoea. Many pediatricians recommend yoghurt for children suffering from various forms of indigestion. Research shows that children recover faster from diarrhoea when eating yoghurt. It’s good to eat yoghurt while taking antibiotics. The yoghurt will minimize the effects of the antibiotic on the friendly bacteria in the intestines.

6. Yoghurt can decrease yeast infections. Research has shown that eating eight ounces of yoghurt that contains live and active cultures daily reduces the amount of yeast colonies in the vagina and decreases the incidence of vaginal yeast infections.

7. Yoghurt is a rich source of calcium. An 8-ounce serving of most yoghurts provides 450 mg. of calcium, one-half of a child’s RDA and 30 to 40 percent of the adult RDA for calcium. Because the live-active cultures in yoghurt increase the absorption of calcium, an 8-ounce serving of yoghurt gets more calcium into the body than the same volume of milk can.

8. Yoghurt is an excellent source of protein. Plain yoghurt contains around ten to fourteen grams of protein per eight ounces, which amounts to twenty percent of the daily protein requirement for most persons. In fact, eight ounces of yoghurt that contains live and active cultures, contains 20 percent more protein than the same volume of milk (10 grams versus 8 grams). Besides being a rich source of proteins, the culturing of the milk proteins during fermentation makes these proteins easier to digest. For this reason, the proteins in yoghurt are often called “predigested.”

9. Yoghurt can lower cholesterol. There are a few studies that have shown that yoghurt can reduce the blood cholesterol. This may be because the live cultures in yoghurt can assimilate the cholesterol or because yoghurt binds bile acids, (which has also been shown to lower cholesterol), or both.

10. Yoghurt is a “grow food.” Two nutritional properties of yoghurt may help children with intestinal absorption problems grow: the easier digestibility of the proteins and the fact that the lactic acid in yoghurt increases the absorption of minerals. And even most picky-eaters will eat yoghurt in dips, lassis, smoothies and as a topping.

Perhaps we can take a health tip about yoghurt cultures from cultures who consume a lot of yoghurt, such as the Indians who are noted for their longer lifespan and remain in good health well into old age.

NUTRMYTH: All foods made with yoghurt are created equal

Not so. In fact, the yoghurt used to coat nibble foods such as raisins, nuts, and fruit bits is often so highly sugared that you’re really eating more sugar than yoghurt.


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Categories: Blog

One comment

  1. Daniela said on July 16, 2012 Reply

    really cool website. i loved it.

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