Out with baking bread, and in with whipping up a batch of delicious yogurt. DIY yogurt may be the next big thing among home cooks. With a little encouragement from Martha Stewart, experimenters can make their own yogurt. Imagine whipping up a tangy accompaniment for chicken curry or sweet potatoes topped with cilantro-chile sauce. How about serving some on the side with slow-roasted salmon with real lemon dressing? If you are not a fan of dairy, make yogurt with nut milk. Who couldn’t resist?
The reward for stirring up a pot of yogurt at home goes beyond delicious dinners. Almost anyone who eats plain, unsweetened yogurt, whether homemade or store-bought, enjoys a helping of health benefits. A word of caution: people who have lactose intolerance or a milk allergy may see adverse effects from eating yogurt; if that’s you, monitor your intake and consume with caution.
Yogurt Supplies Sky-High Nutrition
Yogurt delivers an abundance of important nutrients to your body. The dairy product is especially high in calcium; just one cup a day provides approximately half of the calcium your body needs for strong bones and healthy teeth. It’s also loaded with B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B12, and riboflavin, which may protect against heart disease. Additionally, yogurt is fortified with vitamin D and other minerals that can help regulate blood pressure and metabolism.
Probiotics Boost Digestive Health
Some yogurt contains probiotics that can ease common gastrointestinal disorders, such as constipation, bloating, and diarrhea. Look for labels that list live, active cultures of bacteria. Studies have shown that probiotics may reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Other studies found yogurt with probiotics improved digestion for women who had not been diagnosed with a digestive problem.
Combo Supports Immune Systems
Immune health gets a boost from the probiotics, vitamins, and minerals found in yogurt. A regular yogurt diet delivers a winning combo that can prevent certain illnesses, especially if the yogurt contains probiotics. Trace minerals that play a role in immune system health—magnesium, zinc, and selenium—are found in yogurt. At the same time, probiotics are known to reduce inflammation linked to gut disorders and viral infections.
Key Nutrients Reduce Osteoporosis Risk
Yogurt offers key vitamins and minerals that may reduce the risk of weakening bones due to osteoporosis. Look for calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, and, sometimes, vitamin D. Osteoporosis can put you at a higher risk of bone fractures. Still, studies have found that at least three dairy foods’ daily servings may help preserve bone density and strength.
Protein Keeps You Full
Yogurt is loaded with protein that helps manage appetite. Thick Greek yogurt is higher in protein than unstrained, regular yogurt, which is especially good at helping control weight. Protein boosts the production of hormones that make you feel full, and if you feel full, you won’t be as tempted to eat that extra slice of chocolate cake. Also, protein boosts the metabolism, so you burn more calories during the day.