Overview

Yogurt is nutrient-dense food with the ability to improve the bioavailability of essential nutrients and the overall health and wellbeing. Due to the fact that the elderly are usually subjected to malnutrition, yogurt consumption is a good way of supplying the body with health-improving nutrients. Malnutrition in elderly can occur due to various reasons such as chronic illnesses, decreased metabolic rate and physical activity, difficulty digesting foods, decreased mobility, low income, etc. [1]

The Power of Yogurt: A Nutrient-Rich Elixir for Healthy Aging

Elderly people are prone to lactose intolerance which is why they aren’t able to get all the important nutrients from dairy products. However, individuals who are lactose intolerant can still safely consume yogurt without experiencing different “side effects”.

Regular consumption of yogurt is considered as a healthy, economic, and beneficial way of supplying the body with macronutrients it needs in order to function properly. Below, you can see nutrients your body can get from yogurt

Probiotics

Codex Standard for Fermented Milk 2003 states that all yogurt products should contain live, viable, and abundant cultures of LAB (lactic acid bacteria) which have been used to ferment or culture foods for about 4000 years. [2]

Minerals

Yogurt is abundant in minerals. For example, a 100-gram serving of yogurt contains 183 mg of calcium, 17 mg magnesium, 234 mg potassium, 144 mg phosphorus, and 0.9 mg zinc. Concentrations of these minerals are higher in yogurt than in milk by 50%.

Vitamins

Yogurt is rich in vitamins, particularly B complex. For instance, a 100-gram serving of plain low-fat yogurt contains 0.05 mg Vitamins B6, 0.56 mg B12, 0.11mg niacin, 0.21 mg riboflavin. It is important to bear in mind that Greek yogurt and other types of processed yogurts contain lower levels of these vitamins.

Protein

Yogurt contains high levels of essential amino acids of high biological quality.

Nutritional Deficiencies and Health Problems You Can Relieve With Yogurt

Yogurt stands out as a versatile dietary aid capable of combating various health concerns beyond the ones already discussed. Its potent combination of vital nutrients aids in mitigating anemia by improving iron absorption, courtesy of its vitamin B12 content. Furthermore, the zinc found in yogurt plays a crucial role in enhancing immune response and skin health, potentially alleviating conditions such as acne and eczema. Regular inclusion of yogurt in one's diet may also relieve symptoms of common nutritional deficiencies that contribute to fatigue and poor mental health, making it a simple yet effective tool for nurturing overall physical and mental well-being. [3]

1. Gut Health

Rich in probiotics, yogurt helps balance the gut microbiome, reducing symptoms of gastrointestinal issues like bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

2. Bone Density

High in calcium and vitamin D, yogurt supports bone health, potentially preventing osteoporosis and promoting stronger bones.

3. Immune System Boost

The probiotics in yogurt strengthen the immune system, making the body more resilient against infections.

4. Nutritional Deficiency:

With its high levels of B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium, yogurt can help address dietary gaps and prevent deficiencies.

5. Weight Management:

The protein content in yogurt can increase satiety, reducing overall calorie intake for better weight management.

6. Heart Health

Regular consumption of low-fat yogurt can contribute to lower blood pressure and a healthier heart rate, aiding in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Digestive Health and Probiotics of eating yogurt

Yogurt stands out as a digestive wellness, primarily due to its rich probiotic content. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in yogurt, play a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy balance of gut flora, crucial for optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients. This symbiotic relationship between probiotics and human health extends beyond mere digestion. [3]

It forms the foundation of our immune system, and its efficacy against gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is well-documented. By incorporating yogurt into one’s diet, individuals not only nourish their body with essential nutrients but also harness the therapeutic potential of live probiotics to fortify their digestive health and mitigate discomfort.

Hence, yogurt is not just food, it's a vehicle for delivering probiotic benefits directly to the gut, where they exert their health-promoting effects, making it a vital ally in the quest for digestive wellness.

Building Strong Bones with Yogurt

Yogurt is not just a delicious and versatile dairy product; it's also a crucial ally in maintaining bone health. Rich in essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus, yogurt plays a significant role in supporting the bone density and structural integrity necessary for a healthy, active life. These nutrients work in synergy to promote optimal bone growth and maintenance, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures especially in aging populations. Incorporating yogurt into the daily diet can be an easy and effective strategy to ensure a steady intake of these key bone-building nutrients, positioning it as an important dietary consideration for individuals of all ages. [5]

How to Boost Immunity Naturally with the Power of Yogurt?

Protein for Protection

With its rich protein content, yogurt aids in the formation of antibodies, crucial for immune system responses.

Vitamin Rich

Yogurt is a good source of vitamins A and D, both of which are essential for immune function. Vitamin D, in particular, has been noted for its role in modulating the immune response.

Minerals Matter

It also provides key minerals like zinc and selenium, which are vital for immune cell proliferation and function.

Lowering Inflammation

Regular consumption of yogurt may help in reducing inflammation, a root cause of many chronic diseases, thus indirectly supporting the immune system by reducing chronic disease risk.

Probiotics Power

Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria known as probiotics, which play a critical role in strengthening the gut barrier, enhancing the body's defense against pathogens.

Benefits of Eating Yogurt Every Day

Digestive Health

Daily consumption of yogurt with live cultures supports gut health by enhancing the balance of friendly bacteria in the digestive system, aiding in digestion and reducing gastrointestinal issues like bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

Weight Management

Yogurt’s high protein content can increase satiety, helping control appetite and potentially aiding in weight management efforts. Its calcium content also may play a role in regulating body fat. [6]

Bone Health

The calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus found in yogurt are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, especially in older adults.

Heart Health

Regular intake of low-fat or non-fat yogurt may contribute to heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing certain factors associated with heart disease. [7]

Mood Regulation

Emerging research suggests that the probiotics in yogurt can have a positive effect on brain function and may help in mood regulation, reducing stress, and anxiety.

Skin Health

Some studies indicate that the vitamins and minerals in yogurt can contribute to skin health, helping maintain elasticity and hydration, and possibly reducing signs of aging.

Muscle Recovery

The protein in yogurt is essential for muscle repair and recovery, making it a great post-workout snack to aid in muscle health.

Conclusion

Yogurt is not just a delicious and versatile food item; it is a powerhouse of essential nutrients that contribute significantly to various aspects of health, from digestive and bone health to heart health and mood regulation. Its wide range of benefits makes it a valuable addition to almost any diet. Whether consumed as part of breakfast, as a satisfying snack, or incorporated into meals and desserts, yogurt can help individuals meet their nutritional needs while supporting overall health and wellness.

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7 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] El-Abbadi NH, Dao MC, Meydani SN. Yogurt: role in healthy and active aging. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;99(5 Suppl):1263S-70S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.073957. Epub 2014 Apr 2. PMID: 24695886; PMCID: PMC6410895.
[2] https://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/sh-proxy/en/?lnk=1&url=https%253A%252F%252Fworkspace.fao.org%252Fsites%252Fcodex%252FStandards%252FCXS%2B243-2003%252FCXS_243e.pdf
[3] Fernandez MA, Marette A. Potential Health Benefits of Combining Yogurt and Fruits Based on Their Probiotic and Prebiotic Properties. Adv Nutr. 2017 Jan 17;8(1):155S-164S. doi: 10.3945/an.115.011114. PMID: 28096139; PMCID: PMC5227968.
[4] Lisko DJ, Johnston GP, Johnston CG. Effects of Dietary Yogurt on the Healthy Human Gastrointestinal (GI) Microbiome. Microorganisms. 2017 Feb 15;5(1):6. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms5010006. PMID: 28212267; PMCID: PMC5374383.
[5] Hadjimbei E, Botsaris G, Chrysostomou S. Beneficial Effects of Yoghurts and Probiotic Fermented Milks and Their Functional Food Potential. Foods. 2022 Sep 3;11(17):2691. doi: 10.3390/foods11172691. PMID: 36076876; PMCID: PMC9455928.
[6] El-Abbadi NH, Dao MC, Meydani SN. Yogurt: role in healthy and active aging. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;99(5 Suppl):1263S-70S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.073957. Epub 2014 Apr 2. PMID: 24695886; PMCID: PMC6410895.
[7] Gouda AS, Adbelruhman FG, Sabbah Alenezi H, Mégarbane B. Theoretical benefits of yogurt-derived bioactive peptides and probiotics in COVID-19 patients - A narrative review and hypotheses. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2021 Oct;28(10):5897-5905. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.06.046. Epub 2021 Jun 18. PMID: 34177317; PMCID: PMC8213517.
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Dr. Atanas G Atanasov

Prof. Atanasov studied at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and received a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Bern, S