Saturday, 11 October 2014

17 Health and Beauty Benefits of Yogurt

For many centuries yogurt has been used as a multi purpose healer. Yogurt seems to get a lot of bad press, but it is a top food in my book. I cannot imagine a summer meal without yogurt! I cannot imagine what I would do without its staggering skin care benefits. Yogurt is a liquid food prepared by fermenting milk with different cultures of bacteria. The added bacteria consumes the sugar present in milk and it expels lactic acid. During strenuous exercise this same lactic acid is produced in muscles. Some types of bacteria present in yogurt reduces acids, which are capable of killing other harmful bacterias and germs. Bacteria causing germs are also killed by them. Yogurt is so versatile, so healing—be it in your bowl or on your skin. Here is a very short list of ways to reap its immense benefits.

17 Health and Beauty Benefits of Yogurt

1 . Glowing Skin

Mix a pinch of turmeric in two teaspoons of yogurt, and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Apply all over face and neck. Rinse off with warm water after a while. The pack leaves your face glowing.

2 . Greener Cleaner

Make your brass sparkle—without nasty chemicals—by using yogurt. "Its lactic acid works to eat away the tarnish," explains eco-expert Annie Bond, author of Better Basics for the Home.

To make your brass possessions look new again, use Bond's cleaning technique: Go over each piece with a damp cloth, then scoop a few tablespoons of plain yogurt onto a clean rag and rub on until it's shiny. Wipe off excess yogurt, wash with soap and hot water, and buff with a clean rag to see some serious shine.

3 . Fight Acne

Beware pimples. Yogurt contains natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. To get rid of those nasty blotches, rub a dab of the creamy stuff into acne-prone areas. Let the yogurt work its zit-zapping magic and then rinse it off after 30 minutes.

A regular beauty regime with a yogurt facial mask will help keep skin cleansed, which will also reduce irritating breakouts.

4 . Banish Dark Spots

Yogurt can help banish dark spots if you use this exfoliating scrub regularly: mix a teaspoon of ground walnuts into yogurt to make a thick paste. Dampen face and neck, and gently rub the yogurt scrub all over your skin for a good two minutes. Wash off with warm water and pat dry. Yogurt helps even out complexion.

5 . Protein

A lemon and yogurt snack nourishes your skin by providing a source of protein. Your skin constantly produces new skin cells, with each cell full of keratin, a type of protein. To make healthy cells, you must constantly produce new keratin molecules. Protein in your diet helps ensure that your skin has a steady supply of amino acids, the compounds it needs to make new, keratin-rich cells. As a source of complete protein, yogurt contains every amino acid your body needs to make protein. Regular, unsweetened yogurt contains up to 13 grams of protein per 1-cup serving. Greek yogurt offers more protein per serving -- 17 grams per cup.

6 . Yogurt is loaded With Vitamins

One serving is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Yogurt also contains B12, which maintains red blood cells and helps keep your nervous system functioning properly. "Vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products, such as chicken and fish, so strict vegetarians can easily fall short," says Jackie Newgent, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and author of Big Green Cookbook. Eating more yogurt can help close the nutrient gap: An eight-ounce serving contains 1.4 micrograms of the vitamin, about 60 percent of what adult women need daily.

7 . Clears Acne

There are many home remedies to get rid of acne – and fast. Yogurt is a key ingredient used in these many remedies, mostly to create nourishing face masks. What make’s yogurt so special is that you can reap the skin benefits by either eating it or using direct facial application. Taking yogurt orally works just as efficiently as putting it on your skin. Yogurt is acidic in nature and this facilitates it to destroy the various acne-causing bacteria and germs from within your body.

8 . Boosts Immune Function

Studies have shown that eating yogurt with probiotics can increase the amount of T lymphocytes, the white blood cells responsible for fighting off infections, by about 30 percent—effectively giving your immune system a hand.

9 . Prevents Thrush

Thrush is a mouth and throat infection causes by a yeast fungus called Candida albicans, which inhibits the vagina. People who regularly consume 250g of live yogurt a day are less affected by this infection. Acidophilus supplements are used along with Yogurt for treating thrush. Yogurt has a soothing effect but it cant cure thrush completely.

10 . Vitamin A

A snack of yogurt and lemon provides a source of vitamin A, a family of compounds called retinoids. A 1-cup serving of yogurt mixed with a small lemon provides 1,098 international units, or IU of vitamin A. The snack offers 37 and 47 percent of the daily vitamin A requirements for men and women, respectively. Vitamin A helps keep skin strong, aiding in the development of new healthy and functional skin cells. It also protects against disease; the vitamin might protect against skin cancer, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

11 . Ticker Helper

Another good reason to heart yogurt: "Consuming fat-free and low-fat yogurt may help lower your risk of developing high blood pressure," says Alvaro Alonso, MD, PhD, associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Special proteins in dairy regulate BP, and high levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium contribute to the blood pressure-lowering effect.

12 . Yogurt Can give You Flat Abs

Eat 18 ounces a day and you can drop a jeans size. People who ate that much -- in conjunction with cutting their total calories -- lost 22 percent more weight and 81 percent more belly fat than dieters who skipped the snack, according to research from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. They also retained one-third more calorie-torching lean muscle mass, which can help you maintain weight loss. "Fat around your waist produces the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to accumulate even more belly flab," says nutrition professor and lead study author Michael Zemel, PhD. When you eat yogurt, the calcium signals your fat cells to pump out less cortisol, making it easier for you to drop pounds, while the amino acids help burn fat.

13 . Fights inflammation

Yogurt contains zinc, which fights inflammation. If you suffer from acne and rashes, let yogurt come to your rescue. Simply mix it with grated cucumber or carrot and apply all over skin. The lactic acid in yogurt,  mild and rejuvenating, also helps.

14 . Builds Strong Bones

Apart from its rich stores of calcium, yogurt contains lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein that stimulates growth of cells that build bones and reduces or prevents the onset of osteoporosis.

15 . Yogurt For Skin lightening

Applying Yogurt on your face regularly can lighten blemishes and moles, make freckles disappear and reduce suntanned skin. You can prepare a nourishing face mask using a little yogurt– 1 or 2 teaspoons should do. To add a twist to this mask, add a few drops of lemon or orange juice. These juices are an added bonus because they contain citric acid which is known for its great skin lightening properties. Make sure you put in just 3 to 5 drops of lemon juice – you don’t want to burn your skin!

16 . Fighting Against Cancer

Patients with bladder cancer can consume yogurt to prevent the repeated occurrence of tumors. The acidophilus present in yogurt performs this action by fighting against bacteria that creates cancer causing agents.

17 . Cooling Relief

Mix together yogurt and peach or strawberry pulp. Drizzle a little honey if you like. Enjoy as a low-calorie, nourishing snack. Set aside two teaspoons of this dessert snack and apply it all over
sun-burnt or dry skin for cooling relief!