When milk is heated, then fermented with bacteria, a creamy and tangy treat results: yogurt. Yogurt has been a staple, go-to nutritious snack for quite some time. But what makes everyone reach for yogurt? Yogurt contains a large amount of protein and calcium, and the very bacteria used to ferment milk aid in digestion and gut health.
- Bacteria – All of the bacterial strains found in yogurt are ‘friendly’. While some of them only aid to ferment the milk, others are present as probiotics. Probiotic simply means they are good for health, in particular digestive health. Some yogurt makers will add additional strains in order to increase the probiotic effect of their product.
- Calcium – Because yogurt derives from milk, it too contains a great amount of calcium. Just one cup will provide an adult with 45% of their daily requirement. The lactic acid from fermentation makes calcium easier to digest, and the bacteria help ease the absorption of calcium. Calcium is important for good bone health, and to some extent, heart health.
- Protein – Yogurt also contains a large amount of protein, helping your body to regenerate cells and stay full longer. This makes yogurt a great snack for those trying to maintain or lose weight. Depending on the type of yogurt (plain, greek, low-fat, etc.) the protein content may vary.
Yogurt is an easy food to incorporate into your diet. It’s great eaten plain, with fresh fruit and granola, or in a smoothie. But be careful when selecting a yogurt, as many brands add lots of sugars or artificial sweeteners. Choosing the right yogurt can go a long way, keeping you full and your gut happy.