Yogurt is considered a super food among dairy products and rightly so. Not only is it a calcium powerhouse, it also offers quality protein and a diverse quantity of nutrients all in just a cup. Add to this the host of health benefits it brings and you’ve certainly got a champion in the dairy aisle.
So next time you pass up a cup of yogurt, bear in mind the numerous health benefits it can bring to you and your family as listed below.
1. Probiotic support
Probiotic refers to live bacteria or yeast that are beneficial for your health. Bacteria is naturally found in your body, both good and bad. But sometimes your body can lose a good amount of friendly bacteria, like after you’ve taken antibiotics. Taking foods with probiotics can help replace them, thus balancing your good and bad bacteria to keep your body working as it should.
Research indicates that probiotics provide the most benefit to the digestive system. It provides support for digestion and the absorption of nutrients. It also helps in the passage of food in your gut and prevents certain digestive problems, such as diarrhea, irritable bowel movement and inflammatory bowel disease.
2. Better blood sugar control
Yogurt’s blood sugar benefits stem from its strong probiotic and protein content, despite its negligible fiber content. While helps prevent the rapid digestion of foods into sugars, protein still makes an ideal nutrient for blood sugar support because it breaks down at a moderate rate.
Yogurt’s lack of fiber, on the other hand, seems to be compensated by the presence of probiotics. These live bacteria can convert any sugars found in your gut into short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which can be used as an energy source for cells that line the large intestine. As a result, these sugars become unavailable for absorption and cannot trigger any blood sugar spikes.
3. Diverse nutrient content
Except for fiber, almost all key nutrient groups are found in yogurt. These include all B-vitamins, most essential minerals, proteins, essential fatty acids such as omega-3s and linoleic acid, and various phytonutrients. The In addition, probiotics contributes to this nutritional diversity by metabolizing food and transforming nutrients even after the yogurt has been consumed.
4. Makes you feel full longer
A research conducted at the University of Washington tested the link between hunger, fullness, and calories eaten at the next meal. The participants were 16 men and 16 women who snacked on yogurt with pieces of peach, yogurt in liquid form, peach juice or a peach-flavored dairy drink. The researchers found out that even though those who had the yogurt snacks did not decrease their calorie intake at the next meal, both types of yogurt snacks caused lower hunger and higher fullness ratings than the other snacks.
5. Weight control
Iodine is vital for normal thyroid function. The thyroid, in turn, is essential for healthy metabolism. Iodine deficiency can result in rapid fluctuations in weight. Increasing your iodine intake helps increase thyroid activity, which in turn increases your metabolism and helping you to lose weight. Yogurt is an excellent source of iodine, giving you 47% of the daily recommended intake for every 1-cup serving.
6. Nutritious energy source
Yogurt contains high levels of vitamin B12, which is essential for energy and production and healthy brain function. Yogurt supplies approximately 38% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin B12 for every 1-cup serving.
7. Reduces risk for heart disease
Another macronutrient that yogurt offers in rich supply is potassium. Potassium is needed to establish equilibrium between potassium and sodium levels within cells. This balance is achieved through a process called membrane potential. Hence, if you take in more sodium, potassium is automatically released to restore balance.
Elevated sodium levels in the blood can lead to high blood pressure. Increased sodium levels makes the body hold on to water in order to dilute sodium levels. This extra fluid, in turn, creates added pressure, leading to raised blood pressure levels. Keeping your sodium intake within the recommended intake can help reduce your risk of developing hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Hence, increasing your potassium intake helps the body release the sodium it was holding. The released sodium will then be flushed from your body through sweat and urine.
8. Excellent workout recovery food
Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, supplying 17% of the recommended daily intake in just a single 1-cup serving. The protein it contains encompasses a vast majority of amino acids that are essential in the repair of muscle tissues damage by exercise.
9. Possible immune system boost
Research suggest that certain probiotic strains found in yogurt offer some benefits to the immune system. One study indicated that probiotics may improve resistance and recovery from infection in elderly people. Researchers found that elderly people who consumed a certain probiotic found in fermented milk had a 20% reduction in the length of their winter illnesses, including gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.
Another study from Taiwan reported that yogurt containing the probiotics lactobacillus and bifidobacterium had the ability to improve the effectiveness of drug therapy on 138 people with persistent H. pylori infections. The H. pylori bacterium can cause infection in the stomach and the small intestine. It can also lead to ulcers and stomach cancer.
10. Prevents yeast infections
Yeast infection or candida is a common problem in women with diabetes. In one study, seven diabetic women with candida infections were asked to consume 6 ounces of artificially sweetened yogurt, with or without cultures, per day. By the end of the study,
The vaginal pH of women who consumed yogurt with live cultures dropped from 6.0 to 4.0, while the vaginal pH of women who ate yogurt without live cultures remained at 6.0. The normal pH range is 4.0 to 4.5.
11. May help prevent osteoporosis
Calcium and vitamin D are certainly the most important micronutrients in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Yogurt, particularly dairy yogurt, provides an excellent source of calcium. A 1-cup serving of yogurt makes up about 30% of your daily recommended intake of calcium. However, increased calcium intake on its own is not always sufficient in preventing or treating osteoporosis. The body must have sufficient supply of vitamin D in order to properly absorb calcium. A daily vitamin D intake of 400 to 800 IU is sufficient for healthy adults. Choose yogurts that have added vitamin D to fully reap the benefits of its rich calcium content.
12. May help reduce high blood pressure
One study involving more than 5000 university graduates in Spain that tried to establish the link between dairy intake and the risk of developing hypertension. The researchers found out that people who consumed 2 to 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day had a 50% less risk of developing hypertension than those who had none at all. Although most of the participants consumed low-fat milk, the researchers are optimistic that yogurt would have the same effect.
Another study that tried to establish the same showed that a high consumption of dairy, mainly from milk and yogurt, was moderately linked to lower blood pressure in 2064 Dutch men and women ages 50 to 75.