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Proven Health Benefits

Proven Health Benefits of Yogurt

Many of us eat yogurt on a near daily basis, as it has become a staple of both the breakfast table and a lot of different desserts. Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with bacteria, and then usually chilled and served cold. The history of yogurt goes back thousands of years, and there have been new ways of preparing yogurt such as frozen yogurt, Greek yogurt and more.

When it comes to the health benefits of yogurt, you may have seen a lot of advertising in recent years about what yogurt does for your digestive system. We will certainly be taking a look at that aspect, as well as the other great health benefits that you can get from yogurt. Here is what you can find in yogurt, and how that will affect your body.

Yogurt Nutrition

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The nutrition value that you’ll get from yogurt varies depending on the type of yogurt that you’re eating. For this instance, we’ll take a look at what one serving (3.5 ounces) of Greek yogurt made from whole milk contains. Each serving contains a healthy amount of protein (nine grams), as well as vitamins that include riboflavin (23 percent of recommended value) and vitamin B12 (31 percent). Other vitamins that aren’t quite as abundant include vitamin B5, vitamin B6, choline, thiamine, folate and niacin.

There are also helpful minerals in yogurt, with the most common being phosphorus with 19 percent of your recommended value. Yogurt is a good source of zinc with five percent and has significant levels of magnesium, potassium and sodium. There are also five grams of fat in a serving of yogurt, which will actually be helpful.

For Your Gut

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As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of advertisements that are quick to point out the benefits of eating yogurt for your digestive health. That’s because most yogurts contain plenty of probiotics that increase the amount of bacteria that your gut needs to maintain regularity. However, this is not found in all types of yogurts, as pasteurized yogurt won’t contain the bacteria. For that reason, you need to search for labels that tell you about the live cultures inside.

Greek yogurt will have more probiotics than other forms, which have been found to help problems such as indigestion and constipation. The good news is that even most people with a lactose intolerance will be able to stomach Greek yogurt without the discomfort. While more studies are needed to show the full range of benefits for the digestive system via yogurt, the findings so far have been good.

Weight Loss

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Not only has yogurt been advertised to help your digestive system, but many claims have said that yogurt will help you lose weight. A big part of that comes from Greek yogurt, which is very low in calories with less than 100 per each 3.5 ounce serving. That makes for a great snack, which is very filling with its protein count. Beyond counting calories, there are other weight loss benefits you get from yogurt.

Protein helps you build muscle, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day. Studies have also shown that people who eat more yogurt on a daily basis lose more weight and significantly more fat from their midsection than those that eat a lower calorie diet alone. With many of us trying to get rid of the small amount of belly flab that never seems to go away, yogurt might be the final piece of the puzzle to get a flat stomach.

Bone Health

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We pointed out the great nutrients that you can find in each serving of yogurt, and most of those vitamins and minerals are going to be beneficial for your bones. Especially with the calcium, potassium and protein. Combined, you will see an increase in your bone strength that has been backed up by numerous studies. The stronger your bones are, the less likely you are to have problems such as osteoporosis.

The older you get, the more vitamin D and calcium you are suggested to consume. Adding more yogurt to your diet will allow you to meet the necessary levels. Not only will it help you out, but it’s also a delicious way of getting vitamins compared to some of those vegetables that you might not like.

Disease Prevention

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With a lot of annoying small diseases that happen throughout the year like the cold and flu, you need to boost your immune system. Eating more yogurt is a good way of doing that, as probiotics have been shown to prevent illnesses and reduce their effects, with yogurt eaters becoming 20 percent less likely to get winter illnesses. That means you can save those sick days for when it’s nice outside.

Vitamin D, selenium, zinc and other minerals have all been linked with immune boosting and illness prevention. The anti-inflammatory aspects of yogurt also prevent more serious diseases. With many illnesses linked to inflammation, especially chronic ones, it will help your heart, bones and much more.

Lowers Blood Pressure

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You can find a lot of different yogurts that are reduced fat or even fat-free, though you shouldn’t be concerned if you’re eating the ones that do have saturated fat. It has been shown that yogurt, even with fat content, can be beneficial for your heart. You will see a rise in HDL (good) cholesterol through eating yogurt, which is going to be beneficial for your blood pressure and heart health.

Studies have shown that your chances of developing high blood pressure drop by nearly half when eating more low-fat dairy such as yogurt. The main cause is that yogurt has plenty of potassium, which allows you to expel the excess sodium in your body. Excess sodium is one of the main causes of high blood pressure, so give yogurt a try during your next “detox” cycle.

Summing it Up

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Not everyone will be able to eat yogurt to their heart’s content as a higher lactose intolerance level will make it hard to digest. However, even those with a minor lactose intolerance should be able to eat yogurt, which is a great alternative if you have a taste for milk or ice cream. While you should be adding yogurt to your diet if you aren’t lactose intolerant, you have to know what type to look for.

Some yogurts have sugar that are added, so try to keep the sugar count down. This means that you should probably be limiting the frozen yogurts for dessert. You also want to limit yourself from eating too much ‘good’ yogurt, as well, as you don’t want too much fat. You would have to eat more than most people could even fathom before that becomes a problem, so don’t worry too much.

There aren’t really many negatives for yogurt, as long as you’re reading the label and making the right choices. You should feel an improvement in your overall health in just a couple of days, especially when you get more probiotics in your system. You’ll know when the change happens.

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