Curd and yogurt are both dairy products, but typically, yogurt refers to the fermentation of milk in anaerobic conditions. In the US and Europe, curd is a diary product produced by transforming milk into a solid mass by adding acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar. The whey that is produced, is drained from the curd. In India this is called paneer or cottage cheese, and what we call curd is when warm milk is allowed to ferment by adding a spoon of yogurt to the milk. The milk is then kept aside till it sets. You could call it a home made version of the yogurt, which includes a little bit of whey, which yogurt doesn’t have. The terms curd/curds/yogurt are interchangeably used, and curd is mostly made from buffalo milk.
The first curd was believed to have been made in Turkey. Legend has it that a nomad while travelling through a desert, kept some milk away in a goat skin bag and hung it across the back of his camel. Opening the bag a few hours later, he found that the liquid had turned into a thick tangy custard. The desert sun and bacteria inside the bag produced the required condition for the preparation of yogurt.
Curd is a very nourishing food and has many health benefits. It is a valuable source of protein, essential vitamins and minerals, a rich source of calcium and riboflavin. It is also a good source of iodine, zinc, potassium and B12. The protein in curd is more readily digested than the protein in milk. These beneficial bacteria aid in the absorption of minerals and synthesis of vitamins of the B group.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
Yogurt health benefits for the skin
Curd makes your skin healthy and glowing. Curd mixed with lemon juice is a good face cleanser. A mixture of oatmeal and curd makes the skin softer and helps to remove tan. A paste of bengal gram flour and curd applied on the face helps to prevent and cure pimples. The use of buttermilk is highly beneficial in the treatment of skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. the application of buttermilk compresses is useful in these conditions. The compress is also very effective in case of skin inflammation.
Yogurt health benefits for the hair
Curd is very useful in conditioning hair. It makes the hair soft, healthy and strong. It should be applied to the roots of the hair. Massaging the hair with curd that has turned sour, helps to remove dandruff.
Yogurt benefits for gastro-intestinal disorders
During the process of making curd, bacteria convert milk into curd and predigest milk protein. These bacteria inhibit the growth of hostile bacteria inside the intestinal tract and promote beneficial bacteria needed for digestion. It is therefore, an ideal diet for those with sensitive digestive systems. Curd brings relief to patients with gastro-intestinal disorders such as chronic constipation and diarrhoea. Besides aiding in the digestion of food, curd decreases dryness and gas in the stomach by helping in the secretion of hydrochloric acid, pepsin and renin. Buttermilk has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of colitis, dysentry, gastric ulcer and chronic appendicitis.
Yogurt health benefit for longevity
The live bacterial cultures in yogurt helps to fortify the immune system. It builds resistance to immune related diseases. A human study has confirmed that a daily serving of probiotic-rich yogurt bolsters your body’s ability to protect you from infection. Daily consumption of yogurt, both home made and probiotic yogurt (yogurt containing healthpromoting bacteria), stimulated cellular immunity. Cellular immunity is our immune system’s first line of defense, which serves as our body’s primary means of protection against infection by viruses, yeasts, and parasites. Cellular immunity is also critical in preventing the development of cancer. It is believed that premature aging can be prevented by taking sufficient curd in the daily diet.
Yogurt health benefit for arthritis
Lactobacillus, a probiotic (friendly) bacteria found in yogurt offers “remarkable preventive and curative” effects on arthritis, say Israeli researchers in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. In laboratory experiments, animals fed with yogurt consisting of large amounts of lactobacilli had the least amount of arthritic inflammation, while those fed plain yogurt experienced only moderate inflammation.
Yogurt health benefit for yeast infections
Eating yogurt may help to prevent yeast infections. In one study, women who had yeast infections ate 8 ounces of yogurt daily for 6 months. Researchers reported that a threefold decrease in infections was seen in these women. In addition to all these benefits, a cup of curd a day is also said to help improve your cholesterol profile.
Intake of calcium is said to help obese people lose weight. Yogurt which is very rich in calcium helps in losing weight.