Yogurt is a healthy snack for people of all ages, but did you know that this tasty treat can help fight the negative side effects of antibiotics?
In its most natural form, yogurt is made when bacterial cultures are added to pasteurized milk and allowed to ferment until the desired level of acidity is achieved. The bacterial cultures consume and break down the milk sugar — lactose — and produce lactic acid, which curdles the milk.
If dairy causes you tummy troubles, it’s worth noting that following fermentation, yogurt has only one-third to two-thirds the amount of lactose found in milk, making it more easily digested by people with lactose intolerance.
In addition to being a healthful food, rich in calcium and vitamin A, B vitamins and zinc, yogurts that contain live or “active” bacteria cultures may help suppress the growth of harmful microorganisms throughout the body.
Eating yogurt is a simple and effective way to restore normal, beneficial intestinal flora; supplementing with probiotic yogurt or supplements is especially important when you’re taking oral antibiotics: systemic antibiotics can destroy the delicate balance of microorganisms in the digestive system and around the body, leading to yeast overgrowth (yeast infections, rashes, and candida) and gastrointestinal trouble.
To deliver the most probiotic benefits, yogurt must contain at least 100 million live Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria bacteria per serving. The fresher you can get your yogurt, the better, as products that are heavily pasteurized or have spent a long time in the refrigerator will have very few active bacteria.
You can make your own home made yogurt by mixing a few spoonfuls of commercial yogurt that is made with live cultures into low fat milk and leaving the covered mixture overnight at lukewarm or room temperature. Cool in the fridge to stop the fermentation process. Add fruit, granola, and honey, and enjoy!