My apologies for the late post...another week, another little nutrition tweak. Let's talk yogurt. Specifically, you. Eating yogurt. Good yogurt. Not "yogurt": a vague dairy like substance with a pound of sugar and a bunch of stabilizers holding it together because the manufacturer cannot seem to make proper yogurt.
Yogurt is a simple super food. Just milk mingling with your friendly neighbourhood bacteria to enormous benefit. Probiotic bacteria in yogurt help to colonize your gut with happy bacteria and compete with and crowd out the kind of bacteria that no one wants: bugs that cause localized inflammation and reduce the integrity of that all important gut barrier between the inner you and outer you. The extent to which gut health affects overall health and the role that regular yogurt, not standardized supplements, plays is still up for debate in the research community. To read more about the immune enhancing effects of yogurt, see my earlier blog post.
Let the lab rats debate...food first, I always say...so belly up to the bar and enjoy 3/4 cup of plain organic yogurt every single day. Yes, plain. If you can't afford organic, stick to nonfat. The ingredients should read: milk and probiotic cultures. No gelatin, no sugar, no modified milk ingredients. If your sweet tooth can take the beautiful tang of yogurt au naturale, stir in a bit of honey or chopped fruit.
In addition to probiotics, yogurt offers calcium, magnesium and protein which are three nutrients we all need more of. Here are 3 super quick ways to enjoy your daily yogurt:
1. For breakfast: with your bran cereal and a cup of chopped fruit and a drizzle of honey.
2. In a snack smoothie: blend yogurt with a bit of skim milk or not-from-concentrate berry juice, 1/2 cup frozen berries and half a banana.
3. For dessert: topped with a bit of good granola, a bit of honey and maybe a few dark chocolate chips.
For bonus points, check out Liberte Kefir, a traditional Russian drinking yogurt. Makes a nice healthy "cocktail" when mixed one-to-one with a not-from-concentrate juice like blueberry or pomegranate.