Five Ways Yogurt Improves Your Health

Feb 13, 2017
Five Ways Yogurt Improves Your Health

It’s time to fall in love with an old favorite: yogurt. Embrace it and your body – and your patients’ and clients’ bodies – will thank you. Why? Because this lactose intolerant-friendly food benefits your health in many different ways. Yogurt is a dietary powerhouse made from simple, wholesome ingredients: milk and live and active cultures. Plus, the acidity of yogurt actually makes it easier for the body to absorb necessary nutrients such as calcium, zinc and magnesium. Yogurt is also just a versatile and fun food. It can be the go-to secret ingredient in your kitchen and your favorite on-the-go food.

So, yogurt, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 

1. Yogurt Supports a Healthy Gut

Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria that can boost the immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract. Emerging research shows that the probiotics in yogurt can ease constipation, diarrhea and other intestinal problems. It may take time to find just the right probiotic prescription, as there are many different strands that could differ in their effect.

2. Yogurt Aids Weight Control

Yogurt may help with weight maintenance. In simple terms, it replaces less healthy food full of fat and sugar. Recent research also suggests that yogurt’s high-quality protein and high calcium content also affect appetite and energy intake.

3. Yogurt Helps Prevent Osteoporosis

One out of two women and one out of eight men will develop osteoporosis. Yogurt’s high calcium contribution helps slow bone loss while preserving bone mass. Yogurt’s calcium and vitamin D may also lessen the effects of osteoporosis among the elderly, as well as slow bone loss in postmenopausal women.

4. Yogurt May Reduce Hypertension

About 75 million American adults have high blood pressure – that’s one of every three adults. Yogurt is an important part of the heart-healthy Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan because it contains calcium, potassium and magnesium, a trio of ingredients that help to lower blood pressure. And it may even prevent hypertension altogether: a recent study found that women who consumed five or more servings of yogurt a week had a lower risk of developing high blood pressure than similar women who hardly ever ate yogurt.

5. Yogurt May Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Yogurt may play a role in reducing the risk for Type 2 diabetes, partly because it replaces less healthy foods in the diet and alters gut microbiota, but also because of the effect of nutrients such as calcium and protein on appetite control and blood sugar. What’s the right amount? Researchers found a 14 percent reduction in risk of Type 2 diabetes with just one serving per day.

So, the next time you find yourself roaming the dairy aisle at the grocery store, take a look at the wide selection of yogurts available. You’ll come face to face with a nutrition powerhouse. From being a good source of protein, calcium and potassium to improving osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and hypertension, you can feel confident that reaching for yogurt means making a delicious and nutritious choice. Go ahead – fall in love with yogurt

Discover more about dairy and the DASH Eating Plan, and explore our favorite yogurt recipes.