Why is curd healthy?

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Curds are a healthy, universally useful food. It is formed by lactic fermentation of milk. Curd is known for its smoothness and its pleasant and refreshing taste. It is a highly versatile, health promoting and valuable therapeutic food. Once thought of only as a worthy health food, curd or yoghurt is now the base for tempting frozen desserts and is used as a healthier alternative to cream.

The word yoghurt is of Turkish origin and it is believed that the first curd was made in Turkey. People who cannot drink milk may find that they can tolerate curd. Universally, cow’s milk is used to make curd. But in India, buffalo milk is also used extensively and in Russia, the milk of sheep, goat and mare is largely used for the same purpose.

Curd is a sour milk preparation. Curd or dahi or yoghurt is eaten as such with salt or sugar or added to other preparations. The butterfat is removed from dahi by churning and used to make ghee. Curd has almost the same calorific value of cow’s milk. 40 percent of lactose is converted to lactic acid. It has 3.1gm of protein, 4gm of fat, 149mg of calcium, and 93mg of phosphorous.

Curd is reported to have better nutritive value than milk. Though there is no increase in the fat or protein content of milk during fermentation, the digestibility of curd is more than that of milk. The calcium and phosphorous contents of curd are more easily assimilated. Curd contains more vitamins than milk. During curd formation the lactose of milk is converted into lactic acid. There is some breakdown of protein increasing the non-protein nitrogen. The fat globules coalesce and distribute them selves on the top. Physically during curd formation milk proteins are jellied and a thin exudate of clear serum on the curd is seen.

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