Curd or Dahi is one of the most cherished dairy products in every Indian House. This white magic is a popular food because of its wonderful taste and health benefits. Curd is fermented milk with a soft cotton-ish, creamy texture that can lure your taste buds such as Lassi, Raita, Dahi with Parantha, Chaas, Dahi Papdi, Dahi Wada, and whatnot.
Not just taste, this dairy product tops in providing multiple health benefits that impact our heart, bones, teeth, digestion, immunity, and skin & hair health. Curd or Yogurt has been used for centuries and also because of its cooling property, it is also used to pacify heating impacts, especially in summers as traditional medicines.
What is Curd?
Lactobacillus delbrueckii bacteria ferment milk to make curd or yogurt. These bacteria turn the milk’s lactose sugar into lactic acid which is responsible for its sour taste and unique texture. Curd keeps the nutrients of milk for a longer period. It is of two types, full-fat and fat-free that is obtained through whole and skim milk respectively.
Nutritional Value of Curd
Curd is full of nutrients and makes it one of the most desired foods even for those who are looking for weight loss. Its 100grams of quantity consists:
This table represents several nutrients and their amounts present in 100 grams of Curd:
|Nutritional Value of Curd
|Nutrients (in 100 grams of Curd)
It also contains Vitamin D and B-12.
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Curd
The Glycemic Index of Curd is 45 which includes it into the low GI food category. Similarly, its Glycemic Load is medium at 10.3. The glycemic index refers to the number of carbohydrates in the food that cause sugar to rise. Low GI food helps to maintain blood sugar in the body.
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Health Benefits of Curd
Good for Digestive System
Curd benefits people with digestive issues. It cures indigestion and irritability of the stomach by balancing the acid levels resulting in balanced pH levels.
Curd also contains probiotics or live bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. These bacterias strengthen the digestive system and reduce conditions like bloating, Irritable bowel syndrome, dysentery, constipation, gastrointestinal disorders, and diarrhea.
It also mitigates the side effects on the digestive system of antibiotics.
Always pay attention to the labels while choosing the right curd. Heating in pasteurized yogurt kills healthy bacteria or Probiotics in curd so always use curd marked with live active cultures.
Continuous consumption of curd for 2-8 weeks can reduce the stomach ache in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Curd also helps in absorbing nutrients from different foods.
Also, lactose intolerant people can enjoy this dairy product as during fermentation this lactose sugar converts into lactic acid.
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Good for Heart Health
Although its fat content can misguide many, the truth is that curd helps in improving heart health. It is known to increase HDL or good cholesterol and reduce blood pressure and hypertension. Cholesterol and blood pressure both are major factors to increase the risk of heart disease.
Good cholesterol allows arteries to flow blood smoothly which keeps the heart healthy and strong.
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Strengthens Bone and Teeth Health
Do you know why curd is the best choice to enhance your bone and teeth health? Its calcium and phosphorus content. Calcium is gold for our bones and teeth and curd is a rich source for calcium and teeth. Consuming curd every day fulfills your daily requirement of calcium and phosphorus to a great extent. It strengthens your bones and reduces the risk of conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, tooth decay, weaker gums, etc.
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Curd has a wide spectrum of multiple nutrients including probiotics, minerals, and vitamins. These nutrients are responsible for boosting immunity. Probiotics in curd also help in reducing inflammation that causes various chronic health conditions.
The major minerals that contribute to boosting immunity are magnesium, selenium, vitamin D, and zinc.
Probiotics like microorganisms also allow the body to fight against various viral and bacterial infections and keep you healthy. Thus, increased immunity helps the body to fight against the common cold, flu, and other infections.
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Good for Weight Loss
Curd is the best food to add to your diet if you are looking for weight loss. It has a high protein content that helps to reduce the appetite hormones (GLP-1 & peptide YY) and makes you feel full. Calcium in curd helps in reducing the cortisol hormone levels that fight against obesity. Daily consumption of curd stops cortisol levels to increase thus reducing weight gain.
So people, who are on a diet, should always include curd or yogurt in their diets. It especially reduces the extra fat around your waist and belly.
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Good for Skin and Hair
Curds are one of the most popular home remedies for skin and hair for centuries. Every Indian household knows the benefits of curd or dahi on skin and hair. It is used as a natural hair conditioner that gives a smooth and shiny texture to hair.
Its antimicrobial properties and lactic acid help in dandruff removal from the scalp. Applying its paste with henna removes dandruff and makes hair shiny and soft.
Curd is a good source of zinc and vitamin E which is essential for good skin. So for glowing and healthy skin, curd can be used in many face packs or can be applied directly. It acts as a natural bleach and gives a fair complexion. You can make a face pack with gram flour and oat flour.
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Good for Healthy Vagina
Do you know that curd can keep the vagina healthy? Yes! There are very few foods that are good for vaginal health and curd is one of them. Curd has the ability to balance acid levels in the body which manages pH levels. A balanced pH level keeps the vagina healthy and reduces the conditions like irritability and vaginal burning.
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Lowers Blood Sugar Level
Curd is high in protein which is associated with reduced blood sugar levels. Many studies suggest that curd or yogurt helps in reducing insulin resistance and glucose levels in the body. Therefore helps to control the risks of heart conditions and diabetes. Furthermore, curd’s GI and GL also promote low blood sugar levels.
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Good Substitute for Lactose Intolerant
It is the best substitute for milk for lactose intolerant people. It provides milk nutrients for people who are lactose intolerant and can not consume dairy products.
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- Curd has immense health benefits including helping in reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. It relaxes the brain to decrease stress levels and promotes mental health.
- It also acts as an appetite booster. Its taste increases the feeling of appetite and gives a treat to the taste palette.
- It is also considered an energy booster because of its vitamin and mineral content.
- It also helps to induce sleep and cures sleeplessness. Lassi and Chaas are the best sleep inducers.
Way to Consume Curd
This delicacy is used in many different ways. It is the best refreshing food for summer to cool down the heated days. Also, it is a major contributor to street food. Curd is used as:
- Plain Curd: It is used with paratha or some people like it to eat plain without adding any flavor to it.
- Lassi: Lassi is one of the famous refreshing drinks that act as a feast for our taste buds. Lassi is found in different varieties like sugar, dry fruits, saffron, and added fruit flavors.
- Chhach or Chaas: It is a “go-to” beverage in every Indian household in the summer. Chaas is prepared with water, salt, and cumin seed powder. It cools off the heat wave in the summer. Curd also promotes digestive health by reducing stomach ulcers, indigestion, stomach burning sensation, irritation, etc. It also prevents you from heat stroke.
- Raita & Fruit Cream: Curd is also used to make one common delicacy of Indian food “Raita”. Raita has many varieties like boondi raita, fruit raita, vegetable raita, etc. Fruit cream is a sweet dish that is prepared from curd and fruits.
- Dahi Vada, Dahi Papdi, and Other Snacks: It is also used in many snacks and street food like Dahi vada, Dahi papdi, etc.
- It is also used in some baked items, gravies, and sweets.
Side-Effects of Curd
Although curd has many health benefits, it also can have some side effects if consumed in a larger quantity. It helps in weight reduction but an excess amount of dahi or curd increases weight so avoid daily usage of curd in larger amounts.
As we discussed before, it strengthens bones and prevents conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. But people with an existing condition of arthritis should avoid curd as it can cause swelling and joint pains.
It also worsens constipation if consumed in higher quantities.
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Can Diabetics Eat Curd?
A diabetic always looks for the best breakfast option and curd can fill this seat. Yes! Curd is low in carbohydrates with low GI and medium GL so it reduces the increased sugar levels in the body. It is also a rich source of protein that makes it the viable choice for a diabetic to add to his/her diet. In addition, It is also rich in multiple vitamins and minerals that provide required daily nutrients to the body.
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Curd is a superfood that has limited side effects and maximum health benefits. This food product not only enhances the beauty of your food plate but also increases its healthy content. Its properties like high-protein, low-carb, and rich in minerals and vitamins, and probiotics, help in improving overall well-being.
This simple home food is a treasure of innumerous health benefits and impacts heart health, immunity, digestion, bone health, skin and hair health, sugar levels, weight, etc.
It is a traditional remedy to treat many skin and hair problems, acidity, indigestion, infections, and pH levels.
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Is curd bad for eating on an empty stomach?
Consuming curd on an empty stomach causes acidity because of the formation of hydrochloric acid. It kills the good lactobacillus bacteria and causes gastric issues.
Can I eat curd at night?
This is a subject to your health. Although as per traditional eating habits and mentioned in Ayurveda, daytime is the best suited for the consumption of curd or dahi. Dahi has cooling properties, so it is advisable to eat it during the day. People who are not prone to cold, sinus, or any cold-borne conditions can have dahi at any time.
Does curd help in losing weight?
Curd is rich in calcium that reduces the levels of cortisol hormone, responsible for weight gain or obesity. It is also a high-protein diet that curbs the appetite and allows you to feel full in limited quantities. These properties of curd make it the best-suited dietary food for weight-loss aspirants. Curd also ensures a healthy BMI that eventually burns the fat. Its probiotics improve metabolism and support you to achieve the desired weight.
What is the difference between curd and yogurt?
Curd is a homemade food product that is made by using little curd or lemon. It ferments with the help of lactobacillus bacteria and contains multiple strains of it whereas yogurt is a market product that is commercially prepared by fermenting milk through a specific bacterial strain.
What are the benefits of curd?
Curd is a fermented dairy product that contains high protein, low carbs, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients are important for the proper functioning of many organs. Curd or yogurt helps to promote heart health, immunity, sugar levels, skin and hair health, weight management, and the digestive system.
https://www.lybrate.com/topic/health-benefits-of-curdLast Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
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