#SuperfoodSunday : Yolo with Yogurt

Yogurt has always been a staple ingredient in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and East Asian diets. Greek yogurt, most notably, has been strained longer and contains more protein and vitamins as a result.

If you are not already incorporating yogurt into your regular menu, it is a great ingredient to start experimenting with. It has a mild tang that compliments sweet or savoury cooking, and is an excellent addition to spicy dishes since it cools down your mouth. In addition to all of that goodness, yogurt is full of healthy fats, proteins, bacteria and vitamins that will keep you strong and healthy.

We recommend using plain Greek yogurt with no added sugar for maximum nutritional benefit. Try using it in your smoothies; as a meat marinade with your favourite superfood spices*; as a substitute for sour cream (it is delicious on tacos!); over pies and desserts; or simply enjoy a bowl on its own with your choice of seeds, fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.

Health Benefits

  • It Contains Probiotics that are Easy on the Stomach
    • Most yogurt brands are full of probiotics (unless they have been extra pasteurized and the healthy bacterium have been killed, as a result). These bacterium live in your digestive tract to help improve digestion and strengthen your immune system. Almost all yogurt contains “live active cultures” that have this effect, but some brands add additional probiotics to their yogurt.
    • Probiotics can help with digestive problems like bloating, upset stomachs and diarrhea. If you suffer from digestive problems, a good home remedy is to try having some yogurt and see if it subsides. Probiotics also promote regular bowel movements, which keeps your gut and systems healthy.
  • Heart Healthy
    • Yogurt contains essential vitamins and nutrients like calcium, potassium and magnesium that can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Reduce Belly Fat
    • Yogurt is a calcium rich food.
    • The calcium signals cortisol (a hormone largely responsible for stubborn and dangerous belly fat) to make less cortisol. That means yogurt will help you stay lean, and amino acids in the yogurt proteins will help you burn more calories.
  • Workout Recovery and Weight Management
    • Yogurt is packed with protein (amino acids) and vitamins that can help restore your muscles post-workout.
      • The protein will also keep you feeling fuller longer.
      • TIP: If you are craving sugar, you are probably in need of more protein. When your body needs protein – something that fuels your muscles – it will crave fast sources of sugar for energy. Think sweets, cakes, desserts, sodas, and unhealthy carbs like potato chips. Unnatural cravings for these foods can all mean that you need extra protein in your diet.
    • The protein and amino acids will help repair and strengthen torn muscles, while vitamins replenish what was lost from sweating. Some of the vitamins in yogurt include potassium*, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and B12 (aids the production of red blood cells, which will deliver oxygen to tissues).
    • TIP: Drink a bottle of water alongside your yogurt – it will increase its absorption by your digestive tract to help you stay hydrated.
  • What to Look for in a Yogurt
    • Not all yogurt is created equally. Although it is generally considered a healthy food, Greek yogurt has been strained and can contain up to 20 grams of protein per serving. Further more, flavoured yogurts can contain sugars and fillers to make them more widely appealing. The problem is that filling them with sugars and flavourings can dilute the nutritional content.
    • When shopping for yogurt, look for the following*:
      • Per 6-ounce serving:Calories: 100 to 150 (if you’re snacking, stick to the lower end)
        Fat: 3.5 grams or less (low-fat or nonfat)
        Saturated fat: 2 grams or less
        Protein: at least 8 to 10 grams
        Sugar: 20 grams or less
        Calcium: at least 20 percent of the daily value
        Vitamin D: at least 20 percent of the daily value

Beauty Benefits

  • Protect your Smile
    • Yogurt has not been shown to cause cavities and the lactic acid helps keep gums healthy.
  • Perfect your Skin
    • Lactic acid in yogurt is not just good for your tummy and gums, it is also a gentle, yet effective, exfoliator for your skin.
    • Exfoliation is essential for a healthy, youthful appearance. It can help minimize the appearance of skin discolouration caused by sun damage and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and  encourage blood flow and skin regeneration.
    • Plain Greek yogurt makes for an economical and effective at home spa treatment. Your skin is your largest organ – we should put just as much time worrying about what we put onto it as what we put into our bodies.

Clean Recipes

Yogurt is a great accompaniment for any meal. It will help you digest, cool spices, and add a subtle tang to your meals. Try this simple Greek yogurt dip, Tzatziki. Pair it with meats and fish or vegetable sticks as a snack.

What are your favourite ways to enjoy yogurt?

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