The next time you're at the store and are looking for something that's loaded with lots of nutrients, reach for a container of yogurt. It's no secret that yogurt is good for you. Just look at the amount of real estate given to yogurt brands in the dairy aisle of the grocery store. There are certainly many, many reasons to make yogurt a daily food staple. Here are three:
1. Improve Your Immune System
In a study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, daily intake of yogurt (conventional and probiotic-containing) significantly improved cellular immunity in young healthy women. Yogurt contains healthy bacteria that help to improve our body's ecosystem, particularly in the gut. Yogurt has been shown to improve conditions including Crohn's and diarrhea, and has been shown to help prevent certain types of yeast infections as well.
2. Lower Your Blood Pressure
As we all know, high sodium intake has been associated with high blood pressure.Yogurt contains the mineral magnesium, which has been shown to be helpful in lowering blood pressure. Yes, milk contains magnesium, too, but yogurt has the benefits of good bacteria - which makes it a stellar functional food on this list.
3. Strengthen Your Bones
We all know calcium helps keep our bones strong - that's nothing new. But the bone-strengthening power of yogurt makes the cut on this list because it's easy to get a lot of calcium in one cup - nearly half of the recommended daily value for adults!
Not all yogurts are created equal
A lot of yogurts contain upwards of 60% sugar, while many more contain non-nutritive sweeteners, including aspartame and sucralose. Any easy solution is to buy plain low fat yogurt and add what you want when you get home! Fruit, honey, cinnamon, nuts, wheat bran or low-sugar crunchy cereal are great for any yogurt parfait breakfast. Yogurt is also a great substitute for sour cream, and if added with a little olive oil and herbs, make a tangy salad dressing, too.
Meyer AL, Micksche M, Herbacek I, Elmadfa I. Daily intake of probiotic as well as conventional yogurt has a stimulating effect on cellular immunity in young healthy women. Annals of Nutrition Metabolism. 2006;50(3):282-9. Epub 2006 Feb 23. 2006.