Yogurt is a staple in the health food culture, and in the mediterranean diet. Starting as fresh milk or cream that is often pasteurized, it is then fermented with various live bacteria cultures and incubated at specific temperature to encourage bacteria growth.
Bacteria convert the Natural sugars in the milk to lactic acid -giving the tangy flavor- and then the #yogurt is strained to remove excess liquid and create desired creamy consistency.
Greek Yogurt is thicker and creamer than other yogurts. Can often withstand heat better, and great for cooking and dips. Additional straining is done for Greek yogurt, to remove liquid whey and results in the higher protein content due to thicker concentration.
Probiotics found in #yogurt are the healthy bacteria beneficial to the gut. They are effective in regulating the digestive system and decreasing gas, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. Research has suggested Probiotics can boost the immune system, help with weight management, and reduce the risk of cancer. Yogurt may even enhance absorption of vitamins and minerals.
The most common bacteria used to ferment milk into #yogurt are lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophiles. Many yogurts contain additional ones. The National Yogurt Association implemented the LAC (live and active cultures) seal, found on container, to help consumers identify yogurts with live and active cultures. Also note, live cultures and bacteria decline with shelf life.
Dairy products, like yogurt, are one of the best dietary sources of calcium in terms of bioavailability. Plays a primary role in development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth and also important for blood clotting, wound healing, and maintaining normal blood pressure.
Pair Calcium with a vitamin D source, to aid small intestine in absorption of calcium. Most yogurts also contain Vitamin B-6, B-12, riboflavin, potassium, and magnesium.