Many complementary medicine practitioners dismiss yogurt as just another outpost of dairy's evil empire. Yet Ayurvedic practitioners hold it in high esteem. What's a yogi to do?
Ayurveda considers milk products the building blocks of tissue. In Ayurveda, the body is made up of seven layers of tissue: water, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow, and reproductive tissue. Milk is thought to contribute to the health of each layer. On the contrary, the Western world believes that milk causes mucus and allergies. But the problem isn't dairy, say Ayurvedic practitioners, it's the manufacturing process.
Ayurveda recommends plain yogurt only because fruit interferes with the live bacteria, ferments the yogurt, and makes it more acidic. In Ayurveda, you never mix fruit and dairy—the combination is considered harmful. Further, make sure to buy whole-milk yogurt with live cultures from a reputable producer. Whole milk is essential because the fat is where the tissue-building properties are found. However, it is also high in saturated fat, so moderation is key.