Who can deny the goodness and taste of yogurt? Yogurt or curd is a popular and staple diet all over the world. Though it is readily available in the market, it can be easily prepared at home also.
To make curd at home, heat the milk till it is warm and add a little curd to it. Leave it for at least 7 to 8 hours to set. Once the curd is set keep it in the fridge to avoid the curd becoming sour. Yogurt can be made from any kind of milk like cow’s milk, soy milk, goat’s milk, depending on your preference and availability.
Yogurt is enjoyed by adults as much as children. In fact infants should be fed on yogurt more than milk because curd or yogurt is light on stomach and easily digestible. Similarly aged people should also include yogurt in their daily diet.
Yogurt as food
Yogurt is available in different flavours, though many people prefer to eat it plain. It can be consumed in a various forms. You can make yogurt dip to be used as salad dressing or sandwich spread. In Indian cuisine curd raita is an essential part of meals. Raita is prepared with beaten curd and different vegetables or herbs and spices.
Yogurt smoothies are made by blending fruits like mango, strawberry, orange or apricots with thick curd and sweetened to taste. Smoothies can be served as desserts as well as shakes.
Lassi made with curd and water is a healthy and low fat drink. Overweight persons should drink lassi instead of milkshakes or other high calorie drinks. Lassi also protects you from heat stroke. Yogurt can also be used to make cakes, pancakes and waffles etc. instead of milk, to reduce calories in these foods.
Nutritional and Medicinal benefits of Yogurt
Yogurt is a store house of nutrients. It is low in calorie count and high in nutrition. Yogurt or curd is a perfect food for those who are sensitive or allergic to milk and are unable to digest it.
It is a probiotic diet, which is a friendly bacterium that strengthens digestive disorders and has the power to cure diarrhoea and dysentery. Curd or yogurt is also beneficial in dealing with kidney problems.
Probiotic also boosts the immune system and increases the resistance power of your body to fight against common infections.
Rich source of Calcium
Yogurt is a rich source of calcium and helps to prevent osteoporosis and also builds strong teeth. It is especially beneficial for menopausal women. They must eat at least one cup of yogurt every day for prevention against arthritis.
Source of Protein
Curd or yogurt is a good source of protein. Protein is helpful in boosting the energy level of the body. It also helps to sustain you for longer period without food, thus yogurt consumption is beneficial for people who want to reduce weight. Being a low cal diet, yogurt can control your cholesterol level and prevents heart disease. It also helps to protect you from hypertension.
High Content of Vitamin
Curd has a high content of vitamin B 12 and riboflavin. Vitamin B 12 is essential for the growth of blood cells and riboflavin prevents anaemia. Yogurt suffices both the requirements of the body without any side effects.
Ulcers can be treated by regular consumption of yogurt. You can avoid heavy antibiotic treatment for ulcers by eating curd. Piles can be treated by regular consumption of curd. If you are suffering from bleeding piles eat curd in large quantity for at least one month.
Yogurt to Treat Hair and Skin Problems
Yogurt is an excellent ingredient to improve the beauty and health of your hair and skin.
Dandruff and Hair loss
Yogurt or curd helps to cure dandruff and prevents hair loss. To prevent hair loss, apply a paste of curd and lemon juice in the roots of your hair. Keep it on for 15 minutes and wash thoroughly. Use a mild shampoo to remove the odour.
For dandruff make a hair pack with curd and amla powder. Apply on the scalp and keep it on for 20 minutes. Wash with normal water and use a mild shampoo afterwards, if necessary.
Take one cup curd and add 1 teaspoon black pepper powder. Apply on hair and wash after 15 minutes with normal water. Your hair will become soft, long and squeaky clean. This treatment also prevents premature greying of hair.
Use as Anti Aging
Curd has anti aging properties that helps to maintain the youthfulness of the skin. It is a great skin tonic and keeps your skin soft and blemish free. It helps to retain the moisture of the skin and prevents wrinkles. Curd is a natural cleanser. Because of its low fat content it is suitable for all types of skin. Its cooling properties help to give relief from sun burn and skin irritation.
Remove Sun Tan
To remove sun tan apply a paste of curd mixed with rose water and wash after 5 minutes. For blemishes make a paste with curd, rose water and sandal wood powder. Apply on your face and neck. Wash with normal water after 15 minutes. Use this pack once a week for desired result.
For Dry Skin
For moisturising dry skin use a paste curd with honey on your face and neck and wash with normal water after sometime. This pack will make your skin supple and add glow to your face.
Curd should be used all over the body, especially during summers to get rid of skin problems. Make a body pack with gram flour, curd and lemon juice. Apply on your body and take a bath. You can use this pack as a substitute for soap. Gram flour and curd removes all the bad odour and dead skin cell from the body and makes you feel fresh and clean.