Yogurt – The Ultimate Superfood
-Danielle Conlon – BYU Dietetic Intern
Every year, there is a new superfood that people start raving about. A superfood is a food that has been scientifically shown to prevent chronic disease and to promote health. Foods that have boasted this label include salmon, blueberries, kale, and flax seeds. My nomination for 2017’s superfood is yogurt. Seem strange? Hear me out.
Why is Yogurt a Superfood?
1. Yogurt has probiotics. Probiotics are food for the good bacteria in your gut. When you eat probiotics, it helps the gut bacteria to grow and to stay healthy. Having healthy gut bacteria has been linked to many things, such as a decreased risk of getting sick, but also to a decreased risk of chronic disease such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
2. Eating yogurt decreases your risk of type II diabetes. Studies have shown that a higher yogurt intake can prevent type II diabetes. One study found that if people ate 3 cups of yogurt per day, their risk of developing type II diabetes dropped by 18%.
3. It can help with weight management. Yogurt has also been shown to help with weight management. A recent study showed that people who ate yogurt each day had significantly lower body fat percentages, smaller waist circumference and a smaller waist-to-hip ratio. Scientists believe that this is partially because of the probiotics in the yogurt, but it also may be because when we eat yogurt, we eat it in place of unhealthy options such as candy.
4. Yogurt is nutritious. Yogurt is high in calcium, which make bones strong and prevents against osteoporosis. It also contains riboflavin, which helps to give us energy; and vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin and good eyesight. Yogurt also is a good source of protein! Regular yogurt has around 6 g of protein per half cup. Greek yogurt and Icelandic yogurt have even more protein, coming in at 15 g of protein per half cup.
5. It tastes delicious. That creamy, rich texture with the tang of flavor makes yogurt a winner. Yogurt can be used in both sweet and savory dishes and can be incorporated into breakfast, lunch, and dinner (plus snacks in between meals).
Eat More Yogurt:
To utilize the superfood properties of yogurt, try implementing more yogurt into your diet! Consider making half of your dairy servings (1.5 cups) yogurt-based. If you aren’t a milk drinker, yogurt is a great way to meet your dairy needs. Here are some ideas
Make a parfait with fruit and yogurt to eat for breakfast
Spread Greek yogurt on your pancakes or waffles instead of using maple syrup
Make homemade popsicles using blended fruit, yogurt, and milk
Mix avocado, plain Greek yogurt, and garlic together for a dipping sauce that goes great with chicken or as a good dip for pretzels and chips. Check out this Creamy Avocado Dip.
Make a savory yogurt parfait
Looking for less sugar in your diet? Try plain yogurt – its creamy, tangy taste is a great accompaniment to many dishes and welcomes many flavors. Sweeten it yourself with a dollop of jam, syrup, or fruit.
Share your ideas on how to incorporate yogurt into your daily routine – Twitter, FB, Pinterest, Instagram: @DairyUTNV.