HISTORY OF YOGURT
You might be surprised to know that yogurt was discovered by… accident! Yes, in warm countries where fresh milk was left for longer time it fermented in the heat. It is thought that the first people to make yogurt were Neolithic peoples of Central Asia and this happened around 6000 B.C. They were storing milk from animals in containers made of animal stomachs which provided the perfect environment for milk to curdle and turn into yogurt – full with natural enzymes. This gave the milk a new taste which people enjoyed. Adding this to the fact that fermented milk lasted longer, people began to actually “make yogurt” on purpose. On the other hand, yogurt was discovered in a similar way in other regions where people kept animals for milk, especially in hot countries like India and Iran.
Yogurt is such a healthy and nutritious food that it has been the main food for strong people and warriors like the army of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire! It spread around the East with time and became known and loved in many countries. The word “yogurt” is from Turkish origin and is the most common name for this product around the world. In the 20th century the production of yogurt and its varieties was industrialised and became a major part of healthy lifestyle.
They have become so trendy recently – everyone is talking about probiotics – in food or separately as a supplement. Well, there is a good reason for it. Probiotics are microorganisms which are considered to be beneficial for human body and this is why their consumption is highly recommended. Probiotics are good for us even only because they are within us – they can easily cause immune system changes. Some of the main benefits of probiotics are:
> stronger immune system
> better functioning tummy
> better skin
> protection of body cells and DNA
Microorganisms and bacteria are not only around us, they live within us. We are all interrelated in nature. And interdependent too! Microorganisms determine and change the flora in our bodies, in either good or bad way. So it is important to ensure our tummies have enough of the “good bacteria”. The so-called probiotics do the job. They fight “bad bacteria” and maintain balance.
Supplement or medication? Depends on your needs. Maintenance of balance requires supplements. However, if we don’t treat our tummies well, this could turn into a condition and then we would need a medication rich in probiotic. So, to ensure we don’t get that far, we need to consume probiotics rich food to maintain good health. Yogurt is really a great way to do this.
So, why and how is yogurt good for us?
It is so rich in probiotics, it is nutritious and delicious, turning healthy eating into pure pleasure.
Types of probiotic bacteria we use
First identified by the Bulgarian doctor Stamen Grigorov hence the “Bulgaricus” part of its name. Lactobacillus bacteria are members of the Lactic bacteria group, which means that they convert sugars into lactic acid. They are found in different naturally fermented products and are used as starter culture of various products like yogurt, cheese, pickles and sourdough. Lactobacillus feeds on lactose to produce lactic acid and this is how milk turns into yogurt! Some types of Lactobacillus have therapeutic properties for our bodies. In particular, Bulgaricus is very good at drawing away toxins and defeating harmful bacteria.
This is another type of lactic acid bacteria. Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Thermophilus work well together, i.e. they are synergistic. S. Thermophilus provides L. Bulgaricus with folic acid and formic acid – a partnership needed for better and richer yogurt. S. Thermophilus is a very strong probiotic and helps prevent infections like pneumonia and ulcers.
This is a champion amongst the probiotics. Our body needs various probiotics to function well and to be healthy, and the Bifido is one of the best. It is also a lactic acid bacteria but it produces acetic acid too. This has some great benefits like acetic acid is more effective at reducing the growth of yeasts and molds than the lactic acid. Acetic acid could also be a source of energy to human’s body. So far, there have been over 30 types of bifido bacteria identified. The ones we use are Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium infantins, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium breve and Bifidobacterium adolescentis.
FULL FAT vs FAT FREE MILK
Our bodies need fat to function. Good news, isn’t it? So watch out, “fat-free” doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. However, this is not an excuse to stuff ourselves with junk food – our bodies need “good” natural fat. This includes fats from animal and non-animal sources, like milk and coconut (which is one of the ingredients in our breakfast yogurts!).
Why our bodies need fats or what is fats’ role in human body’s functioning?
> provide energy
> absorb vitamins – “fat-free” also means “vitamins A and D free” as these vitamins are fat soluble and disappear with the removal of fat from the milk
> maintain right body temperature
> protect your body via fat layer in the skin
> gene expression and regulate hormones
> store for subsequent use (our body cannot function to “just-in-time” system after all…)
We mix semi skimmed 1.7% fat milk and full fat 4% milk to arrive at around 3% fat containing yogurt.
Fat is one of the three main macronutrients that our body needs – in the proper form it is not only harmless but a “must have” up to a certain amount per day. Therefore, we say No to Fat-Free. But we say Yes to pure natural food which makes your body work perfectly.
The average fat content in each of our yogurts is 7g which is 10% or less than the recommended daily intake in the UK so you can enjoy one or two pots a day without any worries.
RAW HONEY vs PROCESSED HONEY vs SUGAR
Everyone knows honey is a superfood. But what some of us don’t know is that it makes difference whether honey has been processed. The only thing raw, processed Honey and sugar have in common is the amount of calories – it is the same. But the difference in content is significant. The processed honey has been heated up to over 70C which converts it into pure liquid sugar and destroys all the quality ingredients. Raw unprocessed honey contains all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes that come from nature.
Honey is used in any types of recipes and is a great substitute to sugar. Actually, before sugar became widely available in 16th century, people were happily using pure honey. We believe it is time to go back in time and bring this practice into the present. And really in so many recipes honey fits much better than sugar. It is not just the taste though, it’s pure chemistry. Because bees have already added enzymes to it, honey is much easier to break down for our bodies, and sugar affects blood sugar levels to a greater extent. And very important – sugar does not contain all the vitamins, minerals, anti-bacterial properties and other health benefits that honey does.