Top 12 Benefits Of Yogurt!
12 Benefits Of Yogurt That Can Start Helping You Today!
By Scott St. James, AGNP-BC
The Top 12 Benefits Of Yogurt
Do you experience any of these symptoms? Diarrhea, gas, constipation, bloating, or abdominal pain? Are you unable to plan appointments or social engagements due to the fact that you don’t know when your stomach will “act up”?
When I was little I frequently experienced these sometimes painful symptoms. I was really young so I did not know what they were. I just knew that sometimes when I drank milk or ate cereal I would experience some of these symptoms. I didn’t realize that I was lactose intolerant until I was a teenager.
So maybe you can relate to me. I hope you have found a way to get your symptoms under control. I have found something that has helped me immensely. My little secret is yogurt. Now I don’t mean yogurt that is filled with sugar. Or yogurt snacks that contain only yogurt powder. Or heat-treated yogurt that kills all of the active cultures.
You need to find yogurt that contains active cultures, known as probiotics so that you can receive the benefits of yogurt. If they contain active cultures it will say so right on the label. Plus, it should say how many active cultures are in the yogurt. The two most common active cultures (bacteria) are Lactobacillus bulgaricus (L. bulgaricus) and Streptococcus thermophiles (S. thermophiles).
My wife, Dolores, and I like Chobani low-fat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt. One cup of the low-fat plain contains 24 grams of protein, 170 calories, 25% daily value of calcium, and only 5 grams of sugar. Click here(1) to see the full nutrition facts.
We like the plain flavor to cook with and the vanilla flavor to eat with fruit and whatever we want to add to it. We use plain yogurt in a lot of our chicken recipes. It gives the sauces a smooth and creamy texture. Read on to find out about where yogurt came from and what amazing benefits you can obtain by eating it every day.
So…What Is Yogurt And Where Did It Come From?
According to www.culturesforhealth.com(2), “In 1981, the FDA defined fresh, prepared yogurt in the United States and stated that it must include Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.” The word yogurt originated in the country of Turkey. It makes reference to a tart, thick milk. Yogurt is found in just about every culture that keeps livestock for milk and it was probably discovered in similar fashion in each area of the world.
Rich in Important Nutrients
According to www.healthline.com(3), “Yogurt naturally contains the following: calcium, B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and it is usually fortified with vitamin D.” My wife and I are always looking for ways to add more nutrients while consuming fewer calories. Yogurt is great for exactly this.
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High In Protein
According to www.nutrition.data.self(4), “Yogurt contains about 12 grams of protein per 8 ounces.” This amount of protein helps you feel fuller longer. By helping you to feel fuller longer it can aid in decreasing the number of calories you ingest during the day helping you to lose weight. I have noticed that I do feel fuller longer after eating yogurt.
Some Varieties May Benefit Digestive Health
According to Mary Ellen Sanders, Ph.D.(5), “The definition of a probiotic is “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host(6).” Probiotics have been shown to boost digestive health by decreasing the symptoms of the following gastrointestinal disorders: gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. Especially in people who have not been diagnosed with any type of digestive disorder. Ever since I started taking antibiotics and it gave me diarrhea I have been using probiotics to fight this and it has helped me tremendously. No more problems taking antibiotics.
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It May Strengthen Your Immune System
“The probiotics in yogurt have also been shown to reduce inflammation(6).” They may also help reduce the incidence, duration, and severity of the common cold. The immune-enhancing properties of yogurt are partly due to its magnesium, selenium and zinc content, which are trace minerals known for increasing immune system health. I believe it’s better for your health to eat more yogurt than to take anti-inflammatories.
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It May Protect Against Osteoporosis
“Yogurt contains essential nutrients for maintaining bone health. These include calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus and, sometimes, vitamin D(7).” One cup of yogurt contains 450 mg of calcium. According to Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD on behalf of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Adults, age 19 to 50 years old need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Women older than 50 and men aged 70 and beyond, should increase their daily intake to 1,200 milligrams.” My wife sometimes prefers to get her calcium and vitamin D from natural sources instead of pills or supplements.
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It May Benefit Heart Health(Reduce Blood Pressure)
“Dairy products like yogurt have been shown to help reduce high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. The effects seem to be most noticed in people who have previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure(8).”
Also, scientific research shows that consuming saturated fat from whole-milk products increases “good” HDL cholesterol, which may protect heart health. Other studies have found yogurt intake to reduce the overall incidence of heart disease.
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Yogurt With Active Cultures May Discourage Vaginal Infections
Medline Plus does recommend eating yogurt or taking probiotic(9) supplements if you are on antibiotics since taking antibiotics increases the risk of yeast infections. Some of my patients have told me that as soon as they think they may be getting a “yeast infection” they start eating more yogurt. They believe this lessens the symptoms and duration of the infection.
I have noticed that my skin does look a little bit smoother and less dry since I have started eating more yogurt. According to www.skincarewellness.com, “Yogurt can help rejuvenate your skin and make it healthy and flawless(10).” Yogurt contains zinc, calcium, B vitamins, and lactic acid which help to do this. Yogurt also nourishes hair because it contains protein and lactic acid.
Lowers the Risk of Colorectal Cancer
According to www.diabetesselfmanagement.com(11), “Studies have found that consuming at least 1200 milligrams of calcium per day – either in the form of supplements or supplements and food – for several years reduces the risk of developing colorectal adenomas. Calcium binds bile and fatty acids in the colon, which decreases exposure to carcinogenic chemicals.
When consuming dairy products, choose low-fat cheese, skim or 1% milk, and low-fat or nonfat yogurt.” This is just more proof that adding yogurt to your daily diet will only benefit you in both the short and long term. I know that I definitely feel better since I have started making yogurt a daily part of my diet.
Quicker Workout Recovery
After working out, muscles become stressed and develop microtears due to the excessive weight, but by consuming plain, Greek yogurt, you’re able to quickly get your body back to normal due to the protein found in it. This works great for me because after I work out I don’t feel like eating a high protein meal. It’s too heavy for me. Instead, I prefer to make a protein smoothie. This is much easier to digest and doesn’t make me feel so full.
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Promotes Better Moods
In an article published by Psychiatry Advisor(12), “Researchers at the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition in the Netherlands say that probiotics may be an effective way to fight depression and anxiety. They enrolled 40 healthy adults with no mood disorders in their study. Half were given a power probiotic supplements containing weight types of bacteria every night for four weeks. The other half took a placebo that they thought contained probiotics.”
Although the study results weren’t able to pinpoint the reason as to why probiotics improve mood, the researchers believe that the bacteria may decrease inflammation in the gut or the bacteria increases levels of tryptophan, an amino acid involved in the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Honestly, we eat yogurt every day and I have not noticed an improvement in my mood. I’m already a happy person though so I may not notice it.
When Is Yogurt Not Good For You?
According to Medical New Today(13), “Many manufacturers add sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients that are not healthful. All yogurts contain some natural sugars, but consumers are advised to look for a product with less than 15 grams of sugar per serving.” The lower the sugar, the better, as long as it does not contain any artificial sweeteners. Yogurt powder is heat-treated, and heat kills the beneficial bacteria.
Yogurt coatings are made of sugar, oil, whey, and yogurt powder. When you’ve been eating an excellent yogurt that is low in sugar and you try one that has sugar you can definitely tell right away. It always makes me a little nauseous afterward. There are definitely different levels of quality when it comes to yogurt so make sure you do your research and read labels before trying a new brand or even a different variety within the same brand of yogurt.
We’ve covered the following benefits and risks of yogurt in this post:
Rich in important nutrients.
High in protein.
Some varieties may benefit digestive health.
It may strengthen your immune system.
It may protect against osteoporosis because of it containing calcium and vitamin D.
It may benefit heart health (reduce blood pressure).
Yogurt with active cultures may discourage vaginal infections. Read the label to ensure it has not been heat-treated. This will kill the live cultures.
Lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.
Quicker workout recovery due to high protein content.
Promotes better moods.
When is yogurt not good for you. Some companies add sugar.
Let us know if you have any benefits to add to our list. Please leave a question or comment. We’re here for you.
How are you going to start using yogurt? Let us know.
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