A cup of yogurt each morning is a great way to start the day and reap its health benefits. But this versatile dairy product has a number of other uses too, some of which extend beyond eating and drinking it. In fact, yogurt can be used as an excellent skin and hair care product, primarily due to its mild astringent qualities and its high quantities of zinc and lactic acid - making it a great, natural, hydration treatment. Best of all, it's cheap!
Let's take a look at 10 surprising uses for yogurt, you most likely never considered:
1. Use yogurt to lower your cholesterol
People with borderline to moderate-high cholesterol levels, may benefit from eating yogurt with probiotic Lactobacillus Acidophilus, alongside a combination of the bacterium Enterococcus Faecium and Streptococcus Thermophilus. This type of yogurt is thought to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. However, it does not raise HDL (good) cholesterol.
2. Use yogurt to enhance your immune system
Yogurt contains active cultures that enhance the body's immune system. It increases the production of gamma interferons, which play a key role in fighting allergies and viral infections. Studies conducted on yogurt also found that it can help prevent gastrointestinal infections.
3. Use yogurt to naturally whiten your teeth
Teeth whitening treatments are rather expensive, but why spend money when you can prepare a natural remedy with yogurt at home? Just rub some yogurt onto your teeth daily for a couple of weeks for sparkly white teeth. Yogurt is believed to work because of the phosphorus and calcium it contains.
4. Use yogurt to relieve sunburn
Yogurt is a fantastic source of zinc, which helps sooth the burning and itchiness of sunburn. To relieve the symptoms, apply a thick layer of plain, cool yogurt directly to your burn and rinse off with cold water after 20 minutes.
5. Use yogurt to relieve symptoms associated with diarrhea
Yogurt helps restore bacteria in the intestine, and can be used after taking antibiotics or to treat antibiotic-related diarrhea and acute diarrhea in children. In fact, a yogurt formula may be given as a replacement for milk formula in infants and young children to relieve persistent diarrhea.
6. Use yogurt as a replacement for cheese
The consistency of yogurt cheese is similar to cream cheese, but is lower in fat and contains healthy bacteria. Yogurt cheese can be used as a spread on bagels, toast and crackers and may be used as an alternative to cream cheese in cheesecake recipes.
Preparing yogurt cheese is pretty simple. Empty a pint of yogurt into a large, fine-meshed strainer to catch the liquid that drains from the yogurt. The texture will vary depending on how long it drains. Then cover and refrigerate for eight to 24 hours. This will make about one cup of yogurt cheese.
7. Use yogurt as a natural body scrub
Yogurt can be used as a scrub for your hands, feet or the whole body. Simply mix with oats or dried citrus peel. Massage the blend into your skin gently in a circular motion and rinse off with lukewarm water. Your skin should feel smooth and hydrated.
8. Use yogurt as a hair conditioner
The properties found in yogurt make it an ideal remedy for smoothing the skin, but it's also great for your scalp and hair. Yogurt helps bring out your hair's natural shine making it soft and silky. It can be used as a hair mask instead of your conditioner. Just take some plain yogurt and rub it all over your hair, then rinse with lukewarm water. Yogurt will also help soothe an inflamed scalp, reduce hair loss and will help banish split ends.
Canker sores, white and yellow sores which usually form on your gums, inside your mouth and on your lips can be very painful to bear. Using yogurt will help reduce the pain and heal the sores. You may choose to include it in your diet or apply it directly to the affected area.
10. Use yogurt to fight acne and prevent premature aging
The natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties found in yogurt can be used to get rid of pimples. Apply the yogurt to acne prone areas and let it sit for 30 minutes, then wash off with lukewarm water. The lactic acid found in yogurt helps dissolve dead skin and can be used to prevent wrinkles and fine lines as we age.