Adding probiotic yogurt to your diet is not only a very tasty idea, but a very healthy idea as well. Yogurt even provides symptom relief for many who are lactose intolerant.
Made from fermented dairy, yogurt is packed with probiotics and is a balanced source of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals which help keep the human body in optimal condition.
The probiotics in yogurt help improve the microflora in the gut, which ensures digestion is smooth and the digestive tract stays healthy. A recent study published in BMC Medicine found that high consumption of yogurt is directly associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, owing to the benefits of probiotics. The healthy digestive tract also reduces risk of colorectal cancer, as proven by a large study published in the International Journal of Cancer consisting of more than 45,000 participants.
In addition, probiotics help the mucosal immune system by increasing cells that produce cytokine in the intestine. Adding probiotics to formula for infants has been shown to dramatically improve their health, which decreases sick days. Probiotics also help keep the digestive tract free from bacteria that could cause disease.
If you want to decrease cholesterol levels, probiotics can help there as well. The probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus can keep those levels down by having just 7 ounces of probiotic-infused yogurt per day. A clinical, controlled study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition revealed a 2.4 percent serum cholesterol reduction, and regular consumption may reduce coronary heart disease risk by 6 to 10 percent.
Bones will also benefit from probiotic yogurt because of its high calcium content and added vitamin D, both of which are vital in fighting osteoporosis. Only yogurt made from raw cow’s milk is not fortified with these nutrients.
When it comes to weight loss, a study at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville revealed participants who ate 3- to 6-ounce servings of yogurt per day for 12 weeks nearly doubled the amount of fat they lost compared with the study’s control group. Those who added more calcium to get to a 1,100-milligram daily intake lost 22 percent more weight and 61 percent more body fat, especially in the belly and waist areas.
Yogurt also contains more than 600 milligrams of potassium per 8 ounces. Potassium may lower sodium reabsorption while also influencing cell functions in the nervous system essential in lowering blood pressure and keeping the heart healthy. A study at the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that those who eat at least two or three servings of low-fat dairy per day reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure by 50 percent.
Further, if you want to control your moods, yogurt can help. It’s all in the gut. A recent study at the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress at UCLA found that women who consumed yogurt two times per day for four weeks had more control over their moods and less anxiety during emotional events. The study also revealed that probiotics help those with chronic pain, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and autism.
If you want even more benefits, eat yogurt that comes from grass-fed cows or goats. In addition to probiotics, it supplies omega-3 fatty acids, whey protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins D and K2, and enzymes.