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Health Benefits Of Consuming Curd (Dahi) For Your Health

Curd or Dahi can be used in several dishes and eating fresh curd can help people to stay healthy. Here are the few health benefits of consuming curd.

Vivek Singh
Benefits of eating curd (Photo Courtesy: Freepik)
Benefits of eating curd (Photo Courtesy: Freepik)

Curd, also known as yogurt in some regions, is a dairy product that is made by fermenting milk with beneficial bacteria. The bacteria, typically Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, consume the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk and produce lactic acid, which thickens the milk and gives yogurt its tangy flavour.

Curd is a versatile food that can be eaten on its own or used in various dishes. It is a good source of calcium, protein, and probiotics, which can be beneficial for gut health. People often enjoy yogurt as a snack, in smoothies, as a topping for fruit or granola, or as an ingredient in recipes like sauces, dips, and desserts. Adding curd to the diet plan may offer immense benefits due to its high nutritional content. Let’s take a look at these in detail.

Top 5 Benefits of Curd

Curd, or yogurt, offers several health benefits due to its nutritional content and the presence of probiotics (beneficial bacteria). Here are the top five benefits of consuming curd:

1. Rich in Nutrients: Curd is a good source of essential nutrients, including calcium, protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin (vitamin B2), phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients are important for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and overall bodily functions.

2. Probiotics for Gut Health: Curd contains live probiotic bacteria, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which are beneficial for gut health. These probiotics help maintain a balanced gut microbiome, aid in digestion, and may alleviate gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.

3. Improved Digestion: The probiotics in curd promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, which can enhance digestion and absorption of nutrients. This can lead to better overall digestive health and may reduce symptoms like bloating and constipation.

4. Enhanced Immune System: The probiotics in curd may contribute to a stronger immune system. A healthy gut microbiome is closely linked to immune function, and consuming probiotics can help support the body's defence against infections and illnesses.

5. Weight Management: Including curd in your diet as part of a balanced meal plan may aid in weight management. The protein and probiotics in curd can help you feel fuller for longer, potentially reducing overall calorie intake. Additionally, the calcium in curd may play a role in regulating body weight.

Curd Rice Benefits

Curd rice is a popular dish in South India and is made by mixing cooked rice with yogurt (curd) and typically seasoned with spices and herbs. This dish offers several potential benefits:

Digestive Health: Curd rice is gentle on the stomach and can be easily digested. The probiotics in yogurt can promote a healthy gut microbiome, aiding in digestion and potentially alleviating digestive issues like bloating and indigestion.

Cooling Effect: In hot climates, curd rice is often consumed because it has a cooling effect on the body. The combination of yogurt and rice can help regulate body temperature and provide relief from heat-related discomfort.

Nutrient-Rich: Curd rice provides a balance of carbohydrates from rice and protein from yogurt. It also contains essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Calcium, in particular, is vital for strong bones and teeth.

Probiotics: Yogurt, a key ingredient in curd rice, is a natural source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can promote gut health. These probiotics may help maintain a healthy digestive system and support the immune system.

Weight Management: Curd rice can be a satisfying and filling meal due to the combination of rice and yogurt. Consuming it as part of a balanced diet can help with portion control and potentially aid in weight management.

How is Curd Beneficial For Skin?

Curd offers several benefits for the skin when used topically or consumed as part of your diet. These benefits are primarily due to its rich nutrient content, including vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and lactic acid. Here is how curd can be beneficial for the skin:

1. Moisturizes the Skin: Curd contains natural fats and proteins that help to moisturize and hydrate the skin. It can be used as a natural moisturizer to combat dryness and keep the skin soft and supple.

2. Exfoliates Dead Skin Cells: The lactic acid present in curd acts as a gentle exfoliant, helping to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. This can improve skin texture and promote a more youthful appearance.

3. Brightens and Lightens Skin: Regular use of curd on the skin may help lighten dark spots and blemishes, leading to a more even skin tone. The lactic acid in curd also contributes to skin brightening.

4. Soothes Irritated Skin: Curd has anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm and soothe irritated skin. It can be particularly useful for individuals with sensitive or sunburned skin.

5. Anti-Aging Properties: The lactic acid and probiotics in curd can stimulate collagen production, which helps maintain skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

6. Acne Control: The probiotics in curd may help balance the skin's microbiome, reducing the growth of acne-causing bacteria and preventing breakouts.

7. Sunburn Relief: Applying curd to sunburned skin can provide relief from the burning sensation and help the skin heal faster.

Use Curd For Skin Care:

Face Mask: Mix curd with other natural ingredients like honey, turmeric, or oatmeal to create a nourishing face mask. Apply this mixture to your face, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.

Skin Cleanser: Use curd as a gentle cleanser to remove dirt and impurities from your skin. Massage a small amount of curd onto your face, then rinse with water.

3. Sunburn Treatment: Apply curd directly to sunburned skin for soothing relief. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse with cool water.

4. Dietary Consumption: Consuming curd as part of your diet can also benefit your skin from within. The nutrients and probiotics in curd can improve overall skin health.

Side Effects Of Eating Curd

As we said above curd is a rich source of essential nutrients like calcium, protein, probiotics, and vitamins. However, some individuals may experience side effects or intolerance to curd due to various factors. Here are some potential side effects and considerations:

Lactose Intolerance: Curd contains lactose, a natural sugar found in dairy products. People with lactose intolerance may experience digestive discomfort such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps after consuming curd or other dairy products. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body lacks the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest lactose.

Milk Allergy: Some individuals may be allergic to proteins found in milk, such as casein or whey. If you have a milk allergy, consuming curd can lead to allergic reactions, which may include hives, itching, swelling, abdominal pain, or even anaphylaxis in severe cases.

Weight Gain: Curd is a calorie-dense food, and consuming it excessively, especially if it is sweetened or flavored, can contribute to weight gain if not consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Bacterial Contamination: If curd is not prepared and stored properly, it can become contaminated with harmful bacteria, leading to foodborne illnesses. Make sure to refrigerate curd promptly and consume it within a reasonable time frame.

Acidity and Heartburn: Some people may experience increased acidity or heartburn after consuming curd, particularly if they are prone to acid reflux or have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is because curd is mildly acidic.

It's important to note that curd has several health benefits as well, including promoting gut health due to its probiotic content, providing essential nutrients, and aiding in digestion for many people. If you experience adverse reactions to curd or have concerns about its consumption, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific dietary needs and any underlying health conditions.

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