Benefits of Yogurt
1. Yogurt can give you flat abs.
Eat 18 ounces a day and you can drop a jeans size. People who ate that much — in conjunction with cutting their total calories — lost 22 percent more weight and 81 percent more belly fat than dieters who skipped the snack, according to research from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. When you eat yogurt, the calcium signals your fat cells to pump out less cortisol, making it easier for you to drop pounds, while the amino acids help burn fat.
2. Most brands of yogurt contain good-for-you bacteria.
The words “live and active cultures” on the container mean that your yogurt has probiotics, beneficial bugs that live in your digestive tract and help crowd out harmful microorganisms that can cause intestinal infections. But many varieties now also contain special strains of probiotics meant to help regulate your digestion or strengthen your immune system.
3. Yogurt is loaded with vitamins.
One serving is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Yogurt also contains B12, which maintains red blood cells and helps keep your nervous system functioning properly. “Vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products, such as chicken and fish, so strict vegetarians can easily fall short.
4. Recover faster after a workout. With the right ratio of protein to carbohydrates, yogurt, particularly high-protein Greek yogurt, makes an excellent post-sweat-session snack.The protein provides the amino acids your muscles need to repair themselves, Gans explains, and the carbohydrates replace your muscles’ energy stores, which are depleted after a hard workout.
5. Not all yogurt is equal when it comes to calcium and vitamin D. Since it naturally contains calcium, you’d think the amount would be the same no matter which yogurt you pick. Wrong. For instance, fruit yogurt tends to have less calcium than plain because the sugar and fruit take up precious space in the container.
6. Yogurt may prevent high blood pressure.
Every day 70 percent of us consume more than twice the recommended amount of salt; over time that can lead to hypertension and kidney and heart disease. The potassium in yogurt, almost 600 milligrams per eight ounces, may help flush some of the excess sodium out of your body.
7. A daily serving of yogurt keeps colds away.
Dig into four ounces each day and you may find yourself sniffle-free in the months ahead, according to a study at the University of Vienna. Women eating this amount had much stronger and more active T cells, which battle illness and infection, than they did before they started consuming it. “The healthy bacteria in yogurt help send signals to the immune-boosting cells in your body to power up and fight off harmful bugs,” says lead study author Alexa Meyer, PhD, a nutrition researcher at the university. Allergy sufferers, who typically have low levels of certain T cells, may also find relief by adding yogurt to their diets. In a study in the Journal of Nutrition, people who ate seven ounces a day had fewer symptoms than those who opted for none at all.
8. Yogurt can help your smile.
Despite its sugar content, yogurt doesn’t cause cavities.The lactic acid in yogurt appears to give your gums protection as well. People who eat at least two ounces a day have a 60 percent lower risk of acquiring severe periodontal disease than those who skip it.
9. Raw doesn’t mean better.
Virtually all the yogurt in your grocery store has been pasteurized — that is, exposed to high temperatures to kill any harmful pathogens. Raw-dairy fans claim that unpasteurized milk, yogurt, and cheese are better for you because they contain more health-boosting bacteria, but pasteurization doesn’t destroy beneficial probiotics, Newgent explains.
10. Yogurt is a high-protein food.
Yogurt can be an excellent source of protein, but “one variety may contain more than double the protein of another,” Blatner says. yogurt, which is strained to make it thicker, has up to 20 grams of protein per container; traditional yogurt may have as few as five grams. If you’re eating it for the protein, look for brands that provide at least eight to 10 grams per serving.