Yogurt is one of those foods that has so many benefits that it just makes sense to eat it on a daily basis.  While it’s gained a bit of a reputation as a “girly” food, yogurt is a super food that packs significant health benefits for nearly everyone, from housewives to football players.  Here are the reasons why:

1) Can I get some more bacteria please???  Yogurt is loaded with several forms of healthy bacteria, including lactobacillus.   These bacteria colonize the colon and help improve digestion, boost the immune system, reduce or prevent the symptoms of yeast infection, and can even help lessen the likelihood of colon cancer. 

2) Yogurt is one of the best sources of digestible calcium.  An 8 oz serving provides nearly 50% of your daily need for calcium.  In addition to the calcium, yogurt contains a protein called lactoferrin, which enhances the activity and diversity of the cells that are responsible for bone formation (called osteoblasts).  Besides supporting the development of strong bones and teeth, calcium is also important for a healthy nervous system and proper muscle function.

3) An 8 oz serving also provides almost 60% of your daily need for iodine!  The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce thyroid hormones, which control the body’s metabolism.  A shortage of iodine can cause a sluggish metabolism as well as a host of other problems.  Iodine is also especially important for women’s health.

4) Yogurt may promote lean muscle mass. In addition to providing a generous amount of high quality protein that supports muscle growth when combined with resistance training, consumption of yogurt has been linked to healthy weight loss.  Several studies have found links between dairy consumption and fat loss.

5) Freshens breath and promotes good oral hygiene.  The bacteria in yogurt fight off the bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath.

6) The probiotics in yogurt help reduce inflammation and may lessen the symptoms of inflammatory diseases like arthritis.  In a medical study performed in Israel, researchers fed lactobacillus to lab animals that were affected with arthritis.  As a result, the animals showed a significant reduction in inflammation and the symptoms of arthritis! 

7) Since it has less lactose than other dairy products, it can often be enjoyed by those who are mildly lactose intolerant.  When yogurt is fermented, the bacteria break the lactose (milk sugar) down into lactic acid.  The lactic acid affects the milk protein, which thickens the milk and gives yogurt its distinct texture and flavor.  

8) At MIT, a study with mice found that mice fed yogurt had increased fertility, shinier fur, and increased sex appeal.  It’s possible that people who eat yogurt might obtain these benefits as well (minus the shiny fur)!  Given all of yogurt’s other benefits, it’s worth a try!

A quick note: I recommend eating yogurt that’s made with organic milk from grass fed cows!  Also, to avoid all the refined sugar and additives, stick with plain yogurt and add your own healthy toppings, like raw honey and/or berries!


References:

MIT study
Yogurt and metabolic syndrome
Yogurt and fat loss

Originally posted 2012-11-13 23:15:00.

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