How Yogurt Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle

Nutrient Content

Vitamins

Excellent Source of: 

  • Riboflavin – 29%
  • Vitamin B12 – 21%

Good Source of:

  • Pantothenic Acid – 13%

Also a Source of:

  • Thiamin – 7%
  • Vitamin B6 – 6%
  • Folate – 6%

Minerals

Excellent Source of: 

  • Calcium – 42%
  • Phosphorus – 33%

Good Source of: 

  • Potassium – 15%
  • Zinc – 13%
  • Selenium – 11%
  • Magnesium – 10%

Also a Source of: 

  • Sodium – 7%

Other

Excellent Source of: 

Protein – 24%

*All nutritional Info From (1)

How Yogurt Prevents Chronic Disease

The nutrient profile of yogurt and its supply of probiotics allow it to ward off chronic illnesses–everything as severe as cancer and heart disease to as commonplace as minor infections. It is important to note that some brands and varieties of yogurt are high in fat and added sugars; the health benefits listed here are associated with unsweetened low fat yogurt.

Yogurt and Cancer

Yogurt helps prevent cancer by two main mechanisms. First, yogurt exhibits anti-inflammatory activity, which lowers total cancer risk. Chronic inflammation can produce free radicals that, in turn, cause cancer of impacted tissues. By suppressing inflammation, yogurt protects the body from free radical development and damage. (2)

In one study, yogurt consumption significantly reduced risk of bladder and colorectal cancer. (3) Further studies isolated the mechanism through which yogurt targets these kinds of cancer: yogurt reduces incidence of adenoma development. Conventional adenomas, while not cancerous themselves, can be precursors to colorectal cancer. (4)

Yogurt and Cardiovascular Disease

Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics–good strains of bacteria that replenish the gut microbiome. Gut health significantly impacts other parts of the body, including the cardiovascular system. In animal studies, probiotics were shown to lower LDL and total cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels, creating the optimal conditions for prolonged heart health. LDL cholesterol is considered the bad variety because it tends to build up as plaque on the arterial wall, increasing risk of heart attack and stroke. Keeping LDL cholesterol low and HDL cholesterol high helps prevent these serious cardiac events. (5)

Yogurt and Diabetes

Glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity are two measures of diabetes risk. Prediabetics display insulin resistance. However, poor measures of insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism can be reversed, and symptoms of diabetes managed. Regular yogurt consumption may improve both glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in nondiabetic patients. (6)

Yogurt and Depression

The combined effect of yogurt and physical exercise was studied, with particular attention given to the potential capacity to prevent depression. Results of the study showed that yogurt and exercise significantly increased serotonin levels and improved other factors associated with depression. The mental health benefits of yogurt in tandem with exercise was stronger than the mental health benefits of each by itself. (7)

Other Health Benefits of Yogurt

Bone Health

As a dairy product, yogurt is, of course, an excellent source of calcium. By consuming 3 servings of dairy per day, in any low fat form, one easily hits the recommended thresholds for all nutrients essential for bone health. Dairy products can create the conditions for long lasting bone health and reduce risk of fractures. One study found yogurt consumption specifically associated with reduced risk hip fracture, although the association was weak. (8)

Immune Health

The anti-inflammatory effects of probiotics improve immune response. By down-regulating adverse immune responses, probiotics allow the immune system to function at maximum capacity and enable a quicker overall recovery from infection or disease. (9)

Cognitive Health

Yogurt is a rich source of B vitamins–B12, B6, and Riboflavin. Studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of B vitamins could also be considered neuroprotective effects, since the reduced inflammation takes strain off of the arteries and tissues connected to the brain. In short, reducing inflammation reduces risk of cognitive impairment. In addition, recent evidence draws clear connections between gut health and cognitive health. The probiotics in yogurt can impact brain function too. (10)

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