What makes yogurt a health food staple + recipes

Why yogurt is healthy for you plus recipes

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What makes yogurt a health food staple + recipes

Aside from being an easy snack for the office, yogurt is chocked full of ingredients that help your body run smoothly, no matter what age you are.

Although yogurt has been a staple in the health food world for what seems like an eternity, it has made a comeback in a big way with society's newfound love of greek yogurt. Now, people eat yogurt with a variety of tweaks and alternations to make it their own: with oats and grains sprinkled on top, honey drizzled in, and all and any fruit for added flavour and health benefits.

Whether you eat it plain, low-fat, greek, frozen, from a tube or a bottle, or in your smoothies, yogurt has health benefits beyond what you may think. Read on to find out what the good stuff is that makes up yogurt.

1. The probiotics.
You know yogurt has probiotics because every commercial for yogurt says that, but what does it actually mean? In the simplest of terms, probiotics are good-for-you bacteria. They help in regulating your digestive system and decreasing gas, diarrhea and bloating. Research has even suggested that probiotics can aid in boosting your immune system, weight management and reduce the risk of cancer.

2. The calcium.
Just like all products in the dairy family, yogurt is a great source of calcium, which plays a huge role in many health benefits. Calcium plays a primary role in the development and maintenance of healthy and strong bones and teeth. It is also important for blood clotting, healing wounds and maintaining a normal blood pressure. Some yogurts contain vitamin D, which helps the small intestine absorb calcium to its fullest potential, so finding those yogurts or pairing yogurt with foods high in vitamin D is highly beneficial.

3. The proteins.
Plain yogurt made from whole milk is a highly rich source of protein. The proteins in yogurt can increase the absorption of minerals, promote lower blood pressure and aid in weight loss.

4. The vitamins.
Yogurt made with whole milk contains every single nutrient the human body needs, although the way it is made and ingredients used can alter the levels of the vitamins and nutrients in the yogurt. Yogurt contains vitamin B12, which keeps your nerved and red blood cells healthy and can only be found in foods originating from an animal. Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is also in yogurt. This helps the body convert carbohydrates into glucose, or 'food into fuel.' 

Want to incorporate yogurt into your diet, but don't want to be stuck with buying processed, sugary yogurt cups? Check out Canadian Living's recipes:

Mediterranean Yogurt Dip
Chicken and Kale Stew with Chili Yogurt
Strawberry Yogurt Soup
Baked Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce (Boryani)

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What makes yogurt a health food staple + recipes