5 Delicious Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt
(1.) It’s Full of Healthy Probiotics that Help Digestion
Your body, especially your digestive system, is naturally full of many different types of bacteria: some bad, others good. Many Greek yogurts contain these good bacteria, called probiotics, which help your health in a variety of ways. Probiotics aid digestive health by helping keep your digestion regular and preventing diarrhea. In addition, they can also alleviate the severity of some digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. Probiotics can also strengthen your immunity system. However, not all yogurts labeled as Greek actually contain probiotics. Look for yogurts that say contains live active cultures, not made with live active cultures, to ensure you’re getting the benefits of probiotics.
(2.) It’s High in Protein and Nutrients
Because of the way Greek yogurt is made, which involves straining the whey liquid from the yogurt, it contains much more protein than other types of yogurt. Greek yogurt typically contains between 13 and 20 grams of protein per cup, while conventional yogurt often only has 5 to 10 grams. Protein fights hunger and helps you feel satisfied for longer, and it’s an essential nutrient for building muscle. Greek Yogurt is also high in a variety of other essential nutrients, including potassium, zinc, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, as well as calcium, which improves bone strength.
(3.) It’s Low in Sugar and Sodium
Most brands of plain Greek yogurt have around half the amount of sugar found in regular yogurt, which also means lower overall carbohydrates. Greek yogurts usually have around fifty milligrams of sodium, which is approximately half of what’s found in regular yogurt. Because of its low sugar and carbs, Greek yogurt is a healthy choice for diabetics as a breakfast or snack food. But, beware that flavored or sweetened varieties contain way more sugar and carbohydrates.
(4.) It Can Help You Lose Weight
Greek yogurt is especially appealing to people looking to shed weight. Protein, which Greek yogurt is high in, takes longer to digest, helping you feel satisfied for longer. Since Greek yogurt is also low in carbs, it’s a healthy, low-impact addition to a meal that helps you feel more satisfied, and a great snack to help take the edge off of your cravings. If you’re conscious about weight-management, be sure to get plain, nonfat or low-fat varieties with no added sweetener or flavors.
(5.) It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Greek yogurt is high in calcium, magnesium and potassium, all important nutrients that have been linked to lower blood pressure and decreased risk of cardiac issues such as heart attack. The high amount of protein found in Greek yogurt also contributes to a healthy heart. Look for plain low-fat or nonfat variety for maximum health benefit.
With so many health benefits on tap, Greek yogurt’s recent explosion in popularity has definitely happened for good reason. However, not all Greek yogurts are created equal when it comes to healthiness. Flavored varieties and those with added sugar have higher sodium, sugar, and carbohydrates, which diminish health benefits. As mentioned before, look for ” contains live active cultures” on the label to ensure you’re getting the benefit of probiotics. Be a smart consumer and shop carefully, and then enjoy the tasty health benefits of Greek yogurt.