Nutrition is a cornerstone of the chiropractic lifestyle. That’s why Dr. Ruiz educates patients about wellness-focused eating — and helps them distinguish nutrition facts from nutrition trends.
How is Yogurt Created?
When live bacteria are added to milk, it ferments the natural milk sugar (lactose). This chemical reaction produces lactic acid, which interacts with milk protein, and thickens it into yogurt. Yogurt contains active cultures, which have complicated-sounding names like Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus. These are supplemented with lactic acid bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium, all of which improve the taste of yogurt.
Ancient Health Food
People have been making and eating yogurt for more than 4,000 years. With its high calcium and protein content, yogurt is considered a staple food in many parts of the world, from Asia to Eastern Europe, and it is often associated with longevity.
The Health Benefits of Yogurt’s Good Bacteria
Aside from its basic nutrients, what makes yogurt such a wholesome food? The lactic acid, which prevents the formation of “bad” bacteria, also preserves the “good” bacteria in yogurt. Dr. Ruiz wants patients to know that “good bacteria”, called probiotics, have myriad benefits, including boosting intestinal health, enhance the immune system, improve the bioavailability of nutrients, reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance, and decrease allergies.
The correct balance of good and bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract keeps the immune system operating at top capacity. Yogurt has long been known to be advantageous for GI health. According to scientists, yogurt lowers the risk of contracting stomach infection in the lower GI tract and help decrease inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease.
Beware of Yogurt’s Manufacturing Process
A general rule for eating yogurt is to avoid overly processed yogurt products. Yogurt is a very healthy food, but the manufacturing process, including pasteurization, can affect yogurt’s nutritional value. If the yogurt is overly processed or contains an array of additives like sugar and artificial flavors, it becomes less beneficial.
Yogurt: More Than Just Hype
Yogurt does indeed have health benefits if you read labels carefully. Try to choose yogurt that is minimally processed and contains a minimum of ingredients. Do so and you might find a nutritious new snack that satisfies your hunger and improves your health.