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Yogurt Royalty: A Guide to Greek and Probiotic Yogurts

 

Yogurt is one of the healthiest foods for your body. It has been around for thousands of years. In fact, Cleopatra took pure yogurt baths as part of her health and beauty regimen. Today, it is one of the most popular foods thanks to its nutritional benefits, delicious taste and wide availability.

Yogurt naturally contains healthy bacteria which our bodies need to properly break down foods and keep our digestive system healthy. In addition, yogurt helps to protect the body against harmful bacteria, build stronger bones, boost immunity and reduce blood pressure.

Greek yogurt is yogurt that has been strained. This process results in a thicker, richer consistency containing nearly twice as much protein with less sugar and sodium than regular yogurt. It also contains bone-strengthening calcium and healthy bacteria. Most Greek yogurts are available in full-fat, low-fat and fat-free varieties.

The rich texture and taste of Greek yogurt make it a great addition in baking and cooking. It can be used in place of sour cream or mayonnaise, and it can be easily transformed into a decadent dessert by swirling in honey and a handful of walnuts and cranberries. Plus, since it has less lactose than regular yogurt, it is easier to digest making it a possible option for those who are sensitive to lactose.

Probiotic yogurt has additional beneficial bacteria such as the live Bifidobacterium bacteria, also known as Bifidus, which promotes proper digestion. “Friendly” strains of bacteria have been formulated that help aid in digestion, vitamin absorption, boost the immune system and protect against disease-causing microorganisms. When you buy yogurt, look for the words” live cultures,” or the “Live & Active Cultures” seal on the label. Don’t be alarmed by these terms. The cultures ferment pasteurized milk into yogurt, providing its tangy flavor and creamy texture.

If you are monitoring your sugar intake, opt for a plain version and sweeten it naturally with fresh fruit or spices like vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg. However you choose to spoon it, yogurt is a smart addition to a healthy diet.