Not only is it deliciously creamy, so versatile and easily accessible, but the benefits of yoghurt also go beyond the live microbes. Enjoying yoghurt regularly has been linked with better health benefits, compared to the milk it comes from (i.e. unfermented dairy).
A new systematic review analysed the results of 108 studies on yoghurt, kefir and other fermented milk products.
The results? 70% of the studies showed a positive health impact.
76 studies consistently reported associations between consuming fermented milk and reduced risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, as well as better cardiovascular, bone AND gut health.
Of the remaining 32 studies, 28 had no significant effect (i.e. neutral – not negative!) and just 4 studies showed unfavourable outcomes. This is a good example of why it’s best to look at the whole body of evidence rather than cherry-picking single studies.
How? The fermentation process has been shown to produce chemicals that are linked with health-promoting properties including anti-inflammatory, lower blood pressure and support the immune system, among other things.
Not to mention several essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, vitamin A, B12, riboflavin, and niacin- which vary according to the type of fermented dairy, as well as what the cows are fed.
Lactose intolerant? Fermented milk products (e.g. live yoghurt and kefir) typically contain less lactose too, vs non-fermented forms, thanks to the microbes that eat some of it! This means most people can tolerate a little extra, compared to milk.
There are hundreds of different types of yoghurt, so keep in mind not all are created ‘equal’ with some containing unnecessary added sugar and additives.
Or have a go at making your own! It’s super easy, takes 2 mins to prepare and all you need to do is leave it overnight ready to enjoy in the morning. Simple recipe in my book.
Just another reason why you do NOT have to totally cut out dairy or any food groups for good gut health. INclusion, not EXclusion.