Yogurt, which you can find in a variety of styles and flavors at any grocery store, has quite a few health benefits:
⇒ It contains animal protein. Your body uses dietary protein to build and repair tissues; and make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is a key component of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Incorporating yogurt into your diet can help you maintain a good balance of protein.
⇒ It contains calcium, which is needed for healthy bones and teeth. It is also useful in weight management and reducing PMS symptoms. There is evidence that calcium may play a role in the prevention of cancer, too. And calcium also plays a role in heart health.
⇒ It contains vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, an important chemical for a variety of cellular functions, such as deriving energy from your food. It helps your body absorb iron, which is important for healthy red blood cells. B2 also protects you from free radicals, chemicals that can speed aging and raise your risk of cancer and other diseases.
⇒ It contains vitamin B12. Along with vitamin B2, B12 helps produce energy from nutrients and supports production of new red blood cells, replacing the old, worn out cells. It helps your nervous system function properly and supports DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 is also needed for the enzyme that coverts a bad amino acid, called homocysteine, into a harmless compound. The Office of Dietary Supplements reports that keeping blood levels of homocysteine low may have significant benefits for your cardiovascular system.
⇒ It contains potassium. Potassium’s primary functions include building muscle, synthesizing proteins, controlling the heart’s electrical activity and maintaining pH balance. It is also needed for maintaining the body’s total fluid volume, keeping your electrolytes in balance and ensuring normal cell function. Research suggests that a diet high in potassium can help reduce the risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, preserve bone mineral density and reduce the formation of kidney stones.
⇒ It contains magnesium, which is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in your body, including food metabolism and the creation of fatty acids and proteins. It is also involved in the communication between nerves and muscles, which affects performance and relaxation. Not getting enough magnesium can lead to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and osteoporosis.
⇒ It is a good source of probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, which are the “friendly bacteria” found naturally in your digestive system and help with digestion. Evidence suggests that the probiotics in yogurt contribute to a healthy immune system and digestive tract. There is also some research that suggests that probiotics can help with skin conditions, urinary and vaginal health, prevention of allergies and colds, and aiding in oral health.
As you can see, yogurt is packed with a plethora of health benefits. And with the wide variety of styles and flavors available, as well as the convenient packaging, you are sure to find a yogurt that works with your lifestyle and pleases your tastebuds.
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== Sources ==
- The Benefits of Yogurt: www.WebMD.com/food-recipes/benefits-yogurt
- The Benefits of Protein: www.WebMD.com/men/features/benefits-protein
- 5 Benefits of calcium: www.SheKnows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/822335/5-benefits-of-calcium
- Vitamin B2 & B12: HealthyEating.SFGate.com/vitamin-b2-b12-6592.html
- What are the health benefits of potassium?: www.MedicalNewsToday.com/articles/287212.php
- What are the health benefits of magnesium?: www.MedicalNewsToday.com/articles/286839.php
- What Are Probiotics?: www.WebMD.com/digestive-disorders/features/what-are-probiotics
Take Charge of Your Health!
Changing your eating habits can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be if you take a little time to think it out and create a plan.
This Healthy Eating Worksheet will walk you through the process of creating a healthy eating plan. All you need to do is print it out, set aside some time to complete it, and then fill it out. Then you can create your plan, knowing that you have addressed potential obstacles and came up with some creative ways to handle them.