What Can Yogurt Do for You?
Yogurt is a very popular food in the American diet. Many people consume it for its taste, but yogurt is actually rich in nutrients as well. Yogurt is a vitamin and mineral dense source of high-quality protein, for starters. It is also high in calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. Senior scientist, Paul Jacques, at Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts is just one of the many scientists that believe the health benefits of yogurt may be much more significant than what we already know.
Yogurt eaters are less deficient in vitamin B2 and B12, calcium, magnesium and zinc. They are also more likely to have lower blood pressure and lower levels of circulating triglycerides, and blood glucose. There is also evidence that those who consume more than three servings of yogurt per week are better able to manage their weight.
When buying yogurt, it’s important to look for a “Live and Active Cultures” logo on the container. This implies the bacteria’s Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles are within it, indicating that the yogurt is indeed beneficial. The bacteria in the gut communicate with the immune cells in the intestinal lining, which then sends signals to cells in the bloodstream, so in turn, all the distant parts of the body are affected by what’s happening in the digestive tract. This is why many researchers are looking for connections between yogurt and conditions such as immune response, infectious disease, susceptibility to cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, inflammatory markers, energy metabolism and cognitive function.
Another positive about yogurt is the effect it has on bone health. Yogurt has rich amounts of calcium and vitamin D, associated with greater bone-mineral density and protection against hip fracture. The acidity of yogurt also makes it easier for the body to absorb such nutrients as calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
If yogurt is one of your favorite snacks, now you can enjoy it knowing how good it is for you!
-Information Provided by Tufts Nutrition Magazine