Benefits of Yogurt

The yogurt section at the grocery store is stretching wider by the day!
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Have you noticed?  With all the selections — greek yogurt, low fat, fat free, plain,  flavored, fruit on the bottom, fruit on the top, with granola, for kids, for babies, organic, and  yogurt pops (not to mention frozen yogurt) , you can grab a variety to try each time you shop. Plus keeping a well stocked refrigerator means you always have a healthy snack for yourself and your family.

Yogurt has many uses besides eating right from the container. In baking, yogurt can be a substitute for oils and butter. I use greek yogurt when baking brownies and muffins instead of oil. And they come out  moist and DELICIOUS! Yogurt can replace sour cream in most dips and makes a delicious dip for fresh fruits like apples and berries.

Yogurt can even be used as a do-it-yourself facial as a naturally to moisturize, help tighten pores and keep skin healthy. Apply to a clean face and throat, leave 20 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water.

Use yogurt in smoothies instead of milk for a creamier texture and all the benefits of probiotics.

Besides just being a yummy  snack and an easy on-the-go treat, do you know the health benefits of yogurt?

Here are my 3  top reasons you should add yogurt to your menu on a weekly basis.

1.Probiotics.  Simply, the “good” bacteria we need in our bodies, mainly intestines, to keep the micro flora at ideal levels and digestion working smoothly. Yogurts must be labeled “contains live and active cultures” to have probiotics in it. When you take antibiotics, it’s especially important to add yogurt into your diet, as they wreak havoc with the intestinal flora. Yogurt has been said to possibly help with diarrhea, lactose intolerance, and constipation too. It also can help discourage the dreaded yeast infection some women are prone too. Yogurt has been said to give the entire immune system a boost because of the active cultures in it. I make sure my kids have yogurt a few times a week and I try to buy ones with less grams of sugar than some. Read the label!

2.Protein. Simply put, we all need protein yet many people grab carb rich snacks. Since yogurt is a high protein snack, it’s a good choice for anyone , especially people who don’t eat meat often. Greek yogurt in particular, has become extremely popular as a source of protein.  Many brands contain as much as 15 grams of protein in a 6 ounce serving.

3.Calcium.  Encouraged for all women, the recommended dose is hard for some women to get if they don’t drink milk straight up  or eat enough cheese . So yogurts make a handy and tasty way to get some extra calcium. Calcium also contributes to colon health.

Yogurt can be high in sugar so do shop around and compare to find one with a lower sugar count if that is important to you. Also, some yogurts are made with artificial sugars which some people avoid yet others prefer. It’s all a matter of personal preference and trying different brands. You certainly have a lot to choose from nowadays.  With all the health benefits and uses of this simple, portable and delicious food, it makes sense to eat it often and keep it as a staple in your kitchen.