Your morning yogurt cup (with ALL toppings) does so much more to your body than just a good balance of macros – though it does. Learn about the sometimes surprising health benefits of yogurt that you want to seduce in the morning, afternoon, and night with this creamy treat.
. 1 Yogurt can give you flat abdominal muscles.
Eat 18 ounces a day and you can drop one size. People who ate so much – in conjunction with reducing their total calories – lost 22 percent more weight and 81 percent more belly fat than dieters who skipped the snack. They also have one-third more muscle mass, which can help you maintain weight loss. "Fat around the waist produces the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to accumulate even more bacon," says Michael Zemel, Professor of Nutrition Science and Lead Study. When you eat yoghurt, calcium signals that your fat cells are pumping out less cortisol, which makes it easier for you to lose weight, while the amino acids help burn fat.
. 2 Most brands of yogurt contain bacteria well for you.
The words "live and active cultures" on the container mean that your yogurt has probiotics, useful bugs that live in your digestive tract and displace harmful microorganisms that can cause intestinal infections. (Only a very small number of companies feed yoghurt through a post-pasteurization process that kills all bacteria.) However, many strains also contain special probiotic strains that help regulate digestion or strengthen the immune system. However, research on them is not exhaustive. "If you have a specific health problem, such as flatulence or diarrhea, you should try one of these products for a few weeks to see if it helps," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, the author of The Flexitarian Diet . Otherwise save a few dollars and stay with conventional brands. (See also: 5 Legitale Benefits of Probiotics ̵
3. Yogurt is loaded with vitamins.
One serving is an important source of potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, iodine, zinc and vitamin B 5 (pantothenic acid). Yoghurt also contains B 12 which maintains the red blood cells and helps keep your nervous system functioning properly. "Vitamin B 12 is found mainly in animal products such as chickens and fish, so strict vegans can easily be left out," says Jackie Newgent, RD, author of Big Green Cookbook . , Eating more yoghurt may help to reduce the nutrient gap: an 8-ounce serving contains 1.4 micrograms of vitamin, which is about 60 percent of the adult women's daily requirement.
. 4 With a cup of yogurt per day you can recover faster after training.
With the right ratio of protein to carbohydrates, yoghurt, especially protein-rich Greek yogurt, is ideal as a snack after sweating. "The perfect time to grab a container is within 60 minutes of training," says Keri Gans, R.D., nutritionist in New York City. The protein provides the amino acids your muscles need to repair themselves, Goose explains. The carbohydrates replace the energy stores of your muscles, which are used up after a hard workout. It's a bonus if you drink a bottle of water at the same time: the protein in yogurt can also help to increase the amount of water absorbed by the intestines and improve hydration.
. 5 In the case of calcium and vitamin D, not every yogurt is the same.
Because it naturally contains calcium, you would think that the health benefits of yogurt and the amount of vitamin D are the same no matter which yogurt you choose. Not correct. "The levels can vary greatly from brand to brand, so you really need to check the label," says Newgent. How much in a container depends on the processing. For example, fruit yoghurt tends to have less calcium than regular sugar because sugar and fruit take up valuable space in the container. "Vitamin D is not natural in yoghurt, but because it increases calcium absorption, most companies add it," explains Newgent. Choose a brand like Stonyfield Farms that is fat-free, smooth and creamy and contains at least 20 percent of your daily value for both nutrients. (See also: Vitamin D can improve your athletic performance.)
6. Yogurt can prevent high blood pressure.
Every day, 70 percent of us consume more than twice the recommended amount of salt; Over time, this can lead to high blood pressure and kidney and heart disease. The potassium in yogurt, nearly 600 milligrams per 8 ounces, can help flush out some excess sodium from your body. In fact, in a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition adults who ate the low-fat dairy – two or more servings daily – were 54 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who ate at least.
. 7 A daily helping of yogurt keeps colds away.
How about a surprising health benefit for yogurt: Immerse daily in 4 ounces and you could feel free of sniffing in the coming months, according to a study by the University of Vienna. Women who ingested this amount had much stronger and more active T cells that fight disease and infection than they did before eating. "The healthy bacteria in yogurt help send signals to the immune cells that carry the body to fight and repel harmful insects," says the study's author. Alexa Meyer, a nutritionist at the university. Allergy sufferers, who usually have low levels of certain T cells, can also find relief in adding yogurt to their diet. In a study in the Journal of Nutrition people who ate 7 ounces daily had fewer symptoms than those who chose not to eat at all.
. 8 Yogurt can help your smile.
Yogurt does not cause tooth decay despite its sugar content. When researchers at Marmara University in Turkey tested low-fat, light and fruity aromas, they found that none of them eroded enamel, the main cause of decay. The lactic acid in yogurt also seems to protect your gums. People who eat at least 2 ounces a day have a 60 percent lower risk of having severe periodontal disease than those who skip it.
. 9 Raw is not better.
Virtually all yoghurt in your grocery store has been pasteurized, exposed to high temperatures to kill harmful pathogens. Fans of dairy cattle claim that unpasteurized milk, yogurt and cheese are better for you because they contain more health-promoting bacteria, but pasteurization does not destroy useful probiotics, Newgent explains. Studies also show that those who eat raw yoghurt do not have stronger immune or digestive systems than people who stick to the pasteurized stuff. And raw milk products pose the risk of food poisoning. " E. coli and salmonella are two of the agents that can lurk in these foods and end up in your body," says Newgent.
10th Yogurt is a high-protein food.
You've probably already known about this health benefit of yogurt: yogurt can be an excellent source of protein. But apparently, "one species may contain more than twice the protein of another," says Blatner. Greek yogurt made thicker contains up to 20 grams of protein per container; traditional yogurt can only have 5 grams. If you eat it because of the protein, look for brands that contain at least 8 to 10 grams per serving.
What To Look For When Buying Yoghurt
Forget the fantastic promises. To find a healthy yogurt that contains low calories, fat and sugar, follow as many guidelines as possible.
Per 6 ounce serving:
- Calories: 100 to 150
- Fat: 3.5 grams or less
- Saturated fat: 2 grams or less
- Protein: Not less than 8 to 10 grams  Sugar: 20 grams or less
- Calcium: at least 20 percent of the daily value
- Vitamin D: At least 20 percent of the daily value
Healthy yogurt brands to try
Chobani Less sugar Greek yogurt Madagascar vanilla and Cinnamon
- With 50 percent less sugar than typical Greek yoghurt, this is warm. The spiced option is extremely rich and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives.
- Nutrition facts per container: 5.3 oz.: 120 calories, 12 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 0 g fiber
Stonyfield Organic Plain Lowfat Yoghurt
- It's thick enough to add a smoothie, but it can also be delicious. He's happy about the spoon – preferably with fresh fruit. Also comes in strawberry, raspberry, peach, vanilla and banana.
- Nutrition Facts per container – 6 oz.: 110 calories, 10 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 0 g fiber
Fage Key Lime Total 2% Greek Yogurt
- With a balanced ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrates, this tangy Greek yogurt contains five live active cultures of healthy bacteria (see yogurt health benefit # 2) and real lime juice and pulp.
- Nutrition facts per container of 5.3 ounces: 120 calories, 12 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 0 g fiber