One of the healthiest foods you can eat for breakfast, or at any time you need a boost, is yogurt. Yogurt contains protein, beneficial fats, and probiotics that not only make you feel fuller longer, but support a healthy gut to keep your immune system strong.
But experts warn that the fruit-flavored, extra sugary varieties of yogurt are not the best choices, according to Eat This, Not That! It's better to add fresh fruit to yogurt than consume brands with added sugar. Yogurt is an excellent weight loss food if you eat the plain, Greek-style variety, say experts, who point out these other health benefits:
- It curbs the appetite. A study published in Nutrition Journal showed that women who ate high-protein snacks like yogurt versus high-fat snacks improved their appetite control and satiety, and reduced their cravings for processed foods.
- It maintains weight loss. Studies have shown that eating at least three servings of yogurt daily can help maintain weight loss. Researchers said that dairy foods such as yogurt burn fat faster by virtue of certain proprietary enzyme inhibitors and amino acids.
- It boosts your mood to keep you active. Dr. Uma Naidoo, a nutritional psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, often gives her patients mental advice from a food perspective, according to Today. According to Naidoo, yogurt contains active cultures called probiotics that boost brain chemicals to help relieve depression.
- It keeps your metabolism reeved up. Research shows that foods high in protein, like yogurt, can boost metabolism by as much as 5%. That is because protein is one of the more difficult nutrients for the body to digest, so it must work harder.
- It can help you build muscle. Research presented at the National Institutes of Health found that having a late-night snack that's protein-rich can help improve muscle tone and exercise response. According to Eat This, Not That! a 40-gram snack of casein protein, like you would find in two servings of Greek yogurt, increased muscle-building rates by an incredible 22%.
- It may strengthen your immune system. According to Healthline, consuming yogurt that contains probiotics on a regular basis can boost your immune system and reduce your risk of disease. Yogurt also contains magnesium, selenium, and zinc, trace minerals that play an active role in keeping your immune system healthy.
- It can protect against osteoporosis. Yogurt has key nutrients to boost bone health, including calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, and sometimes vitamin D if it is added. Research shows that three servings of yogurt daily may help preserve bone mass and strength.
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