While curd has been part of the Indian post-meal ritual, many wonder whether its prolonged consumption helps in weight loss or not. Now nutritionists say that if had the right way, then curd is good for building a robust gut health, which can perk up the system, prevent insulin resistance and by extension obesity.
“Many people feel that eating curd is the end all and be-all. That’s not true. It enables good metabolism and improves overall gut health. Its rich probiotic and calcium levels can keep your BMI in check by boosting metabolism. But the main benefit comes from probiotics or good bacteria. Now certain strands of this bacteria need to be present in sufficient amounts in your curd for it to be an effective metabolism booster. The normal dahi that we make at home does not have all of these in the required concentration. So, while home-made curd builds a habit and eases digestive health, you need to have a probiotic curd that has these strains of good bacteria — Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidus,” says Ritika Samaddar, Regional head, Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Max Healthcare.
The live and requisite bacteria present in curd helps in improving digestion and eliminating waste from the body faster. Lactobacillus bulgaricus is known to reduce the intestinal pile-up and in the process flushes out any toxins which may cause health conditions. “Curd, because it is formed by fermentation, due to which the milk solids are isolated from the liquid, has a concentrated amount of protein, higher than milk. Proteins take time to digest or break down and, therefore, lend a sense of fullness to the stomach. You won’t feel like eating in between and this again controls your hunger pangs and by extension, weight gain.”
Curd is rich in calcium, which strengthens bones and helps you maintain weight. “Calcium restricts the creation of cortisol, which stops the body from gaining weight. So, in that sense curd can help in fighting cortisol. Besides, curd is a great addition for the lactose-intolerant,” says Samaddar. Lactobacillus bulgaricus converts the lactose present in milk into lactic acid, so no stressors remain.
Curd is rich in minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which make it easier for the excess water in the cells to escape and reach the bladder with ease, maintaining blood pressure levels.
There is no regimen for eating curd. “It can be had at any time of the day and night, possibly after meals. People fear having it after sunset, thinking the curd may sour or that they may catch a cold. But none of this is true. It is a great digestive aid and can easily be had thrice a day. It keeps you fit,” adds Samaddar.