Yogurt has been an age old super food for generations, but with the modern world mass producing our food products, understanding that not all yogurt is created equal will be the difference between finding the right ingredients that makes this tasty treat a wonderful healer to your body, and one that just offers a sweet respite.
Yogurt is created through the process of fermentation. Bacteria cultures are used to kick start the fermentation process and turn milk into the creamy, tangy substance we love to enjoy. The cultures that break down the proteins in milk and create the fermentation process are also the main ingredient health nuts seek when looking to boost their immune system, digestive discomfort, and metabolic health.
Live Active Cultures
When picking out your favorite brand of yogurt, like all foods, paying attention to the label will ensure that you are picking up the “super” food version of your favorite yogurt flavors. Looking for an icon with the words, “live active cultures” is a sure fire indication that you are picking out the right yogurt for your health. If you are unable to find a label or indicator that clearly states “live cultures” then chances are that product has been stripped of its natural healing ability and bacteria, making it less effective on your body’s ability to build a better immune system, among other things.
Benefits of Live Cultured Yogurt
“Live active cultures” refer to bacteria of the Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus strands found within the yogurt. These two bacteria strands are responsible for the fermentation of the initial milk into yogurt, but also provide the human body a wide range of long term health benefits when ingested.
Often referred to as “probiotics”, these live cultures offer the body a natural way to introduce bacteria into the system, allowing the body’s natural process to take over and produce antibodies and boost the immune system.
In addition to the health benefits of building a stronger immune system, those who suffer from lactose intolerance often find that they are able to process yogurt without any discomfort, allowing them to gain the nutritional value of dairy products without the troublesome side effects. In addition, they are also able to build their own immune systems and antibodies associated with the particular strand of bacteria.
Best Brands for Live Active Cultures
Now that we’ve explored the reason to find that “live culture” label, we wanted to give a little nudge in the right direction to which brands often supply the most consistent live cultures in their product. Here are our top 5 Live Culture Yogurt Brands:
- Yoplait Greek
- Fiber One
These brands have made the list onto the National Yogurts Association of Live & Active Cultures seal making them a few of the recognized brands to keep an eye out for when picking up your next batch of yogurt.
For someone looking to boost their overall health, to a person suffering from chronic digestive problems, finding the right balance of bacteria in one’s body is key to living a healthy lifestyle. So if you are suffering from any of the above mentioned ailments, then we recommend that you talk to your physician and ask him or her about probiotic treatment and if yogurt is an option for you.