The big buzz in New York today is all about fashion week (nope New Yorkers are not convinced by the Obama-Beyoncé French rumor) but since neither the weather condition nor my own condition are allowing me to follow more closely what’s happening on the other side of the park, let’s shed the light on some other buzz dominating the Food & Nutrition milieu: Yogurt.
Yogurt’s health superpowers are getting a boost by a couple of recent studies underscoring a number of previously unhighlighted benefits:
- Regular consumption of low fat yogurt (in replacement of less nutritious snacks) could ward off type 2 diabetes
- Yogurt consumed as a daily food could help in shedding weight and maintaining weight loss (particularly in women)
Yogurt is therefore making its way to the top of the list of recommended foods to be incorporated in one’s daily diet. Praising yogurt however is not a new phenomenon. We’ve known for a while that probiotics (the good bacteria) in yogurt promotes digestive health.
- Improve lactose intolerance
- Prevent or cure diarrhea and help treat several gastrointestinal and inflammatory bowel diseases
- Fight H. pylori (a bad bacteria causing stomach ulcer)
- Delay the development of allergies in children, decrease allergy symptoms in adults and boost the immune system
- Play an anti-tumor role in the digestive tract which helps in preventing colon cancer
- Lower bad cholesterol and hence the risks of heart diseases
Yogurt is also rich in calcium, an essential nutrient for bone and teeth health and also proved effective at reducing body fat. Yogurt can also provide us with vitamin D (since fortifying yogurt with vitamin D is a big trend now). Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps calcium to be absorbed. It is mainly provided by sunshine (few types of food contain vitamin D / such as fish, fortified milk and fortified eggs). During the winter season when your exposure to sun is minimal, it’s imperative to opt for foods rich or enriched in vitamin D. Nope, winter break sun is not enough!
When choosing a yogurt at the grocery store, focus on the fat, probiotic, calcium and vitamin D figures. Go for:
- Low-fat (low-fat versions tend to have less added sugar than the non-fat ones)
- Brands that state “live active cultures” to ensure that you are getting high-quality probiotics
- 15% (or more) of the Daily Value (DV) for Calcium and vitamin D per serving
- Plain yogurt instead of flavored versions to avoid a high amount of added sugar and artificial coloring. Mix your yogurt with fresh fruits instead.
There are so many ways to incorporate yogurt in your eating habits. I love to start my day with a bowl of yogurt, granola, some nuts and berries. I also use yogurt as a side dish with many of my cooked meals as an alternative to sauces or dressings.
Valentine is just around the corner, so treat your heart with some amour and indulge in some smoothilicious yogurt… make a habit of it and let it be your daily love declaration to your heart!
Happy Valentine xoxo