I visited a friend once, and was told to indulge in a viscous white liquid that had been bought from the Northern part of Nigeria. I asked if it was ‘Fura-de-nunu’ (locally made yogurt from cow’s milk) and
was told that it was similar since it was also made from cow’s milk but different because Fura is added to ‘Nunu’ (cow’s milk) while ‘tuwo’ (rice) to Nunu which gives ‘Kendirumo’.
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul at the mention of the source and the realization of finding something as pure as this on this side of Nigeria. It was divine. Disregard the fact that the taste was very sour and raw I knew i had hit a gold mine. I’ll do a mini tutorial of what I understood in school.
Yogurt contains Probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. Probiotics are naturally found in your body. And because of their newfound fame,you can find them in everything from yogurt to chocolate.
Types of Probiotics
Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. They all have different benefits, but most come from two groups.
What They Do?
Probiotics majorly help move food through the gut. Some common conditions they treat are:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Reduce flatulence and bloating
- Protect DNA
- Improve the skin’s function
- Strengthen the immune system
- Protection of proteins and lipids from oxidative damage
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
- Antibiotic-related diarrhea.
There is also some research to show they help with problems in other parts of your body. For example, some people say they have helped with:*.Skin conditions, like eczema*.Urinary and vaginal health*.Preventing allergies and colds*.Oral health.
Research shows women who eat 4 cups of yogurt/week have less vaginal and bladder infections.
The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as”yogurt cultures”. Fermentation of lactose by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and characteristic tang. Cow’s milk is commonly available worldwide, and used to make yogurt. Milk used may be homogenized (treatment to prevent layering or separation) or not (milk distributed in many parts of the world is homogenised); both types may be used, with rather different results.
Yogurt is produced using a culture of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria. In addition, other lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are also sometimes added during or after culturing yogurt.
The secret to good yogurt is that it contains live cultures, there are four major strains of bacteria to look for: L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, and bifidobactethe. There are good brands of yogurt available check the label to make sure it specifies active cultures. It is always better to buy the yogurt plain and add in the fruit or jam just before eating it.
We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad.
Benefits of Yogurt
Yogurt provides the enzyme needed to digest milk products. Calcium, which is found in dairy products, needs to enter the body in an acid matrix or your body will not absorb it. So the lactic acid of yogurt is a perfect medium to maximize calcium absorption. Eight ounces of yogurt will equal 400 mg of calcium, 25% more calcium than you would get out of a glass of milk.When someone is HIV positive and has a CD4 count under 200 their production of hydrochloric acid (HCL) slows down. HCL is normally produced by your stomach to help with the digestion of food. When you have less HCL and digestive enzymes digestion becomes incomplete, food moves too quickly along the digestive tract. Your body doesn’t get enough calcium and other minerals. Difficulty sleeping and malabsorption are common end results. Yogurt is one of those foods that you can eat to enhance your HCL production thus improving your digestion, vitamin and mineral absorption, and your bodies general well being. Yogurt, that is the one containing live cultures are perfect for those trying to slim down. The problem here in Nigeria is getting access to the good Yogurt and example is Habib Yogurt
By the time I was done analyzing most of what has been shared here, my friend shook her head in wonder and hid the ‘Kendirumo’ from me. So much for sharing the benefits of Bacteria.
I hope you have also grasped a thing or two from this Food Scientist, 😉