The 11 Benefits of Yogurt for Your Health

Do you consume yogurt daily? We're going to tell you the benefits of this food and the reasons why you should introduce it into the diet on a regular basis.
The 11 Benefits of Yogurt for Your Health
Saúl Sánchez

Written and verified by el nutricionista Saúl Sánchez.

Last update: 04 June, 2023

Yogurt is one of the essential foods in the diet. It has a large amount of nutrients. In addition, its consumption generates several health benefits that we’re going to tell you about today. Let’s find out about all the benefits of yogurt for your health.

However, one thing we need to bear in mind is that not all yogurts always have the same quality. It’s important to know how to differentiate those that are regularly consumed from those that shouldn’t be ingested on a regular basis, especially due to their high concentration of added sugars.

The benefits of yogurt

Next up, we’re going to show you the main health benefits of yogurt, as well as what science says in this regard. Experts recommend the consumption of 2 to 3 servings of dairy products a day, so these foods could be included in the dessert of the main meals to meet the requirements.

1. It improves protein intake

Yogurt is a food that has proteins of high biological value. These have all the essential amino acids. They help meet daily protein needs, which are estimated at more than 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight per day in sedentary adults. This is evidenced by a study published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism.

It’s important to always bear in mind that reducing the protein intake can cause alterations in the correct functioning of the muscle mass. Over the years, catabolism of the tissue will be experienced which will end in sarcopenia.

Fortunately, the proteins in yogurt are ideal to complete the daily requirements. Each unit can be between 5 and 8 grams, depending on the variety. In addition, the proteins in yogurt are characterized by their very easy digestion.

Today it’s possible to find varieties of yogurt with a higher protein concentration. This is due to the action of the food industry, which incorporates an extra whey protein inside the food.

2. It helps prevent bone problems

Yogurt is a good source of essential micronutrients. Among them, special mention must be made of calcium, an important component of bone tissue. Regular consumption of it helps prevent the loss of mineral density over the years, as stated by research published in the journal Nutrients.

This is especially important in the case of women. Once they pass the menopausal stage, they begin to experience a progressive reduction in the amount of calcium in their bones, which can lead to osteoporosis.

To achieve good absorption of calcium at the intestinal level and subsequent fixation in the bones, it’s advisable to keep vitamin D levels in optimal ranges. This is a nutrient that is difficult to obtain through diet. The best way to avoid a deficit is by stimulating its endogenous production.

This requires frequent exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet rays allow the body to produce the vitamin in adequate amounts.

3. It helps prevent inflammatory bowel problems

Yogurt has a number of beneficial live bacteria. They’re known as probiotics and their consumption is recommended by most nutrition experts. These microorganisms colonize the digestive tract selectively, increasing the density and diversity of the intestinal microbiota.

It must be taken into account that there’s evidence that the regular administration of probiotic bacteria is able to help prevent and treat inflammatory bowel diseases. In fact, the introduction of probiotic supplements and the change of habits can help to achieve a remission of the problem.

Even so, not all types of inflammatory bowel diseases react equally well to the administration of live bacteria. Crohn’s disease is one such example.

Be that as it may, the regular consumption of fermented foods, such as yogurt, helps to reduce the incidence of this class of pathologies, as well as from many other health problems related to the digestive system.

The benefits of yogurt for intestinal diseases.
You need to know how to distinguish intestinal pathologies that respond well to yogurt from those that don’t benefit from probiotics.

4. It helps to manage constipation

Constipation is a common problem in both children and adults. However, it’s a condition that’s usually easy to manage from a dietary point of view. Including yogurt in the diet, for example, could alleviate the condition.

This is also due to probiotics in food, which have been shown to increase the motility of the digestive tract. In this way, the food bolus descends in a much more efficient way, which allows regular bowel movements with less effort.

If, even by varying the diet and introducing fermented foods and fiber, an improvement in the constipation processes isn’t achieved, it’s advisable to visit a specialist. Sometimes, there may be conditions that limit the passing of the food.

5. Combat diarrhea caused by antibiotics

It’s essential to increase the consumption of yogurt while taking antibiotics. The administration of probiotics is able to cushion the negative effects of these drugs, especially at an intestinal level. According to a study published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, probiotics reduce the incidence of drug-associated diarrhea.

Ensuring the presence of yogurts in the diet during antibiotic treatment will help to avoid dehydration. In addition, it’ll contribute to efficiently repopulate the microbiota.

6. It helps to reduce inflammation in the body

The administration of probiotics is capable of influencing the inflammatory mechanisms of the human body. This is because the microbiota, in the presence of dietary fiber, can generate a series of short-chain fatty acids that are very beneficial for health. Butyrate stands out among them.

According to research published in the journal Nutrients, this element has the ability to reduce inflammation, both in the digestive tract and in general. However, to ensure its production it’s necessary to guarantee the good health of the bacteria that inhabit the intestine. With this objective, the introduction of yogurts and fermented foods in the diet is key.

Keep in mind that keeping inflammation under control is decisive. For example, some cardiovascular diseases are produced by the formation of atheroma plaques, in a process mediated by the inflammatory lack of control.

7. It can help prevent cancer

Cancer has very complex mechanisms. Many of them haven’t yet been accurately identified. However, with regard to tumors associated with the digestive tract, diet is postulated as the main risk factor.

As evidenced by a study published in the journal Nutrients, the consumption of probiotic bacteria on a regular basis helps to neutralize inflammation in the digestive tract, as well as the accumulation of oxidizing compounds. Thanks to this effect, the risk of developing a complex pathology decreases.

To ensure the intake of probiotics, in addition to opting for supplementation with strains of bacteria, you can include yogurt in your diet on a regular basis. Even other fermented foods, such as kefir and kombucha, can have positive effects in this regard.

8. It can help to improve mental health

The existence of a very close connection between the brain and the gut at the physiological level has been postulated. There’s research that shows that the regular consumption of probiotics produces protection against alterations at the brain level. This is because an increase in the density of the bacteria in the tube protects against the passage of toxins into the blood, such as beta-amyloid compounds.

When these elements pass into the bloodstream they may reach the brain area. Its accumulation stimulates the genesis of neurodegenerative processes, and could trigger the development of Alzheimer’s.

Stomach and brain.
The relationship between the digestive system and the brain is becoming clearer in research.

9. Provides vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a critical nutrient, as it can only be found in foods of animal origin or its derivatives. Fortunately, yogurt has significant amounts of this vitamin.

It must be taken into account that a deficit in the supply of vitamin B12 creates a problem in the formation of red blood cells, known as megaloblastic anemia. This creates an inefficiency when it comes to ensuring the arrival of oxygen to the cells of the tissues.

10. Strengthens the immune system

The intestinal microbiota is one of the first entry barriers for pathogenic microorganisms. When the bacterial density isn’t adequate, a permeability situation is experienced whereby microbes are able to easily reach the bloodstream.

To avoid this scenario, it’s advisable to maximize the supply of fiber and probiotic compounds. Yogurts can help a lot. Regular consumption of them helps to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.

11. Improves skin health

And, finally, the benefits of yogurt, given its nutrient content, help to stimulate the synthesis of elastin and collagen, two constituent elements of skin tissues. They’re responsible for providing elasticity and firmness.

Yogurt: a food with many benefits

The health benefits of yogurt are many. It should be introduced in the context of a varied and balanced diet in order to prevent the development of chronic and complex pathologies.

However, not all yogurts are of good quality. It’s important to check the labels and choose those that don’t have added sugars.

  • Richter, M., Baerlocher, K., Bauer, J. M., Elmadfa, I., Heseker, H., Leschik-Bonnet, E., Stangl, G., Volkert, D., Stehle, P., & on behalf of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) (2019). Revised Reference Values for the Intake of Protein. Annals of nutrition & metabolism74(3), 242–250.
  • Vannucci, L., Fossi, C., Quattrini, S., Guasti, L., Pampaloni, B., Gronchi, G., Giusti, F., Romagnoli, C., Cianferotti, L., Marcucci, G., & Brandi, M. L. (2018). Calcium Intake in Bone Health: A Focus on Calcium-Rich Mineral Waters. Nutrients10(12), 1930.
  • Hiippala, K., Jouhten, H., Ronkainen, A., Hartikainen, A., Kainulainen, V., Jalanka, J., & Satokari, R. (2018). The Potential of Gut Commensals in Reinforcing Intestinal Barrier Function and Alleviating Inflammation. Nutrients10(8), 988.
  • Dimidi, E., Christodoulides, S., Scott, S. M., & Whelan, K. (2017). Mechanisms of Action of Probiotics and the Gastrointestinal Microbiota on Gut Motility and Constipation. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.)8(3), 484–494.
  • Guo, Q., Goldenberg, J. Z., Humphrey, C., El Dib, R., & Johnston, B. C. (2019). Probiotics for the prevention of pediatric antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews4(4), CD004827.
  • Bach Knudsen, K. E., Lærke, H. N., Hedemann, M. S., Nielsen, T. S., Ingerslev, A. K., Gundelund Nielsen, D. S., Theil, P. K., Purup, S., Hald, S., Schioldan, A. G., Marco, M. L., Gregersen, S., & Hermansen, K. (2018). Impact of Diet-Modulated Butyrate Production on Intestinal Barrier Function and Inflammation. Nutrients10(10), 1499.
  • Molska, M., & Reguła, J. (2019). Potential Mechanisms of Probiotics Action in the Prevention and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer. Nutrients11(10), 2453.
  • Ansari, F., Pourjafar, H., Tabrizi, A., & Homayouni, A. (2020). The Effects of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Mental Disorders: A Review on Depression, Anxiety, Alzheimer, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology21(7), 555–565.

Este texto se ofrece únicamente con propósitos informativos y no reemplaza la consulta con un profesional. Ante dudas, consulta a tu especialista.