Yogurt is a well-known health food, and that’s for good reason. There are many benefits to eating yogurt, when it comes to your diet and when it comes to your immune system. Given that it’s so versatile, you should be able to work it in without much trouble, and it can be added to all kinds of meals in order to give you a nice healthy boost. Something that yogurt is best known for is the presence of probiotics. Many people know about probiotics and know that they’re good for you, but don’t quite know exactly what they are.
If you didn’t already know, you have a lot of bacteria in your digestive tract, and that’s a good thing. Without that bacteria, you wouldn’t be able to digest your food and you would fall ill very quickly. This gut bacteria is very important to digestion and to your immune system. Probiotics are microorganisms which help your gut bacteria stay healthy, and they can help restore your bacteria if it has started to lessen in numbers. Probiotics are entirely safe to consume, and there have been very few cases of them causing any kinds of issues with people. Not all yogurt contains probiotics, so you’ll want to make sure it says that it has live cultures on the container.
There are a few other health benefits to yogurt, as well. It contains a good amount of protein, making a good snack for when you return from a workout. Protein is very important for your health because it’s what your body uses as a foundation for almost all cells, especially those found in your muscles. Without ample protein, your body won’t be producing very strong cells, which results in a weaker immune system.
Yogurt also provides you with some much needed micronutrients, namely zinc and vitamin A. These micronutrients provide your immune system with important components that it will use to make and enhance your white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off diseases. You can easily incorporate yogurt into a shake, mixed with fruit, mixed with nuts, and all other kinds of things. It’s fairly cheap to get and has a rather neutral flavor if you get it plain. This means that it can be added to just about anything within reason in order to give your immune system a small boost, especially for your gut health.
It is easy incorporate yogurt into your normal diet once you understand just how useful yogurt is in the kitchen. It offers great tenderizing properties for a variety of foods and its long shelf-life makes it a valuable ingredient to have around.
- Due to the acid content of yogurt, it makes a fabulous marinade to tenderize meats. For example, yogurt is seen quite often in heavily spiced Indian marinades, including the popular tandoori chicken.
- Baking soda needs an acidic counterpart to produce a leavening effect. Yogurt fits the bill admirably. The two are used together in baked goods, sometimes as a replacement for buttermilk.
- Yogurt can be used to thicken sauces much like heavy cream. You will need to add some starch to keep it from curdling because yogurt lacks the fat of heavy cream. Whisk in two teaspoons of cornstarch or one tablespoon of flour for one cup of yogurt before adding it to hot liquids. Whisk as it simmers and thickens, and never let it boil.
- Yogurt tenderizes baked goods and helps keep them moist. This is especially true in bread and recipes that use dried or fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Use yogurt in equal measures as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream in dip and salad dressing recipes to reduce the calories.
- If you’re watching your fat intake, yogurt can be substituted for sour cream. It will save you about 48 grams of fat per cup.
- You can also use yogurt as a substitute for cream cheese, just strain the yogurt with cheesecloth or paper towels overnight.