Yogurt is one of those versatile foods that we can eat most any time of the day. You can start your day with yogurt, or enjoy it as a snack containing just the right ratio of proteins and carbohydrates.
You may be like me. For most of my adult life, I have been slowly gaining weight. After reading a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011, I was fascinated by the study’s correlation between yogurt consumption and weight loss. Right then, I decided that I needed to start eating yogurt.
But it wasn’t easy.
I had never eaten yogurt before, and didn’t like the texture or taste, but I decided to add it to my diet anyway. It has been a very slow process, but I now eat plain Greek yogurt every day.
However, not all yogurt is the same. Read the labels of commercial yogurt carefully, because some types include a lot of added sugar that isn’t healthy at all. Even though regular yogurt often contains more sugar, you may want to start with it if you have never eaten yogurt before. You can gradually incorporate Greek yogurt into your diet as you develop a taste for it. Adding granola, honey, fruit or nuts makes plain Greek yogurt tastier and easier to eat.
Try to find yogurt that has at least 12 grams of protein and 5 or less grams of sugar per serving. Greek yogurt has a higher protein content than regular yogurt. Read the label and look for the words “live and active cultures.” This means that the yogurt contains probiotics, the bacteria that is good for your digestive system.
To motivate you to eat more yogurt let’s take a closer look at 3 amazing health benefits of eating yogurt.
1. Yogurt Contains Probiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria that are essential to our development. Having more good bacteria in our digestive system keeps us healthy.
The positive effect of probiotics was first discovered by Élie Metchnikoff, who found that the benefits of probiotics can lead to healthy gut microflora and longer life. He was awarded the 1908 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work.
Yogurt is packed with probiotics and, when eaten daily, can help keep our digestive systems in good working order. If we do not consistently put good bacteria in our systems, bad bacteria will build up over time and cause problems that can develop into serious health issues.
2. Yogurt Helps Ward Off Colds and Allergies
One important benefit of eating yogurt is its ability to boost immune systems. Eating as little as 4 ounces per day can keep a cold away, according to a study conducted at the University of Vienna.
The healthy bacteria in yogurt helps our bodies fight infection and battle illnesses. People who suffer from allergies may also benefit from eating yogurt every day. Eating 7 ounces everyday gives even better protection for allergy suffers according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition.
3. Yogurt Helps Control Weight
Recent research has shown that the probiotics found in yogurt can influence your metabolism and surprisingly, affect your weight.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that among all food studied, yogurt was most strongly linked to weight loss. The average person gains about 1 lbs. (0.45 kg) a year.
If you make eating yogurt a habit, it may ease weight loss over time.
Probiotics have a tremendous influence on our well-being. All fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir and miso contain probiotics and increase the good-for-you bacteria in our systems. Yogurt, though, is by far the probiotic rock star!
If you already eat yogurt daily, good for you. If not, be intentional about making a habit of eating yogurt. Would you like to add it for breakfast? Or as a snack? As part of your lunch? Figure out how to make eating yogurt a habit. Your gut will thank you—and possibly your waistline.
Health Tip: Eat plain Greek yogurt with honey on top. Honey contains prebiotics which help increase the good bacteria in yogurt.
Question: What kind of yogurt do you eat? Do you eat it for breakfast or as a snack? Do you eat regular or Greek yogurt? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.