Yogurt with probiotics is not only delicious but also has some surprising benefits. Microorganisms in yogurt create the creamy texture and refreshing taste. But they also make yogurt richer in vitamins, enzymes, and other nutrients. Many studies confirm that probiotic yogurt is an excellent gut food.
Yogurt with probiotics
Here are excerpts from studies about the benefits of consuming yogurt containing probiotic bacteria.
- In one study, elderly people consumed a probiotic yogurt supplement during four weeks. At the end of the study it was concluded that yogurt with probiotics may help reduce low-grade chronic inflammation in elderly people.
- Another study evaluated the impact of a regular consumption of yogurt with probiotics on the intestinal microbiota. In yogurt consumers, the level of bad bacteria was significantly lower and the level of healthy enzymes was significantly increased. In addition, it was noted that the beneficial health effects of yogurt increased with the amount of probiotic bacteria consumed. It seems that yogurt containing the most probiotic bacteria will have more benefits.
- A third study examined how the consumption of snacks affects appetite and overweight. Researchers came to the conclusion that all dairy snacks reduce appetite. However, yogurt with probiotics had the greatest effect. So if you’re aiming to lose weight, consuming yogurt as snack will be a great help.
Summary of benefits of consuming probiotic yogurt
- Lessen the severity of inflammatory bowel conditions
- Contains proteins, minerals, calcium, and B-vitamins
- Reduce sick days associated with flu and colds
- Yogurt made from raw milk is superior
- Cut the risk for stomach ulcers
- Promotes weight loss
Choose yogurt carefully
During the last few years, almost 1000 new yogurt products have hit store shelves. But far from all are healthy choices.
Should contain probiotic bacteria
To prolong shelf-life, yogurt is often heat-treated which kills beneficial bacteria. Look for labels that states “active bacteria” or “live bacteria”.
Another good sign is the presence of the Live & Active Cultures seal. The seal helps recognize those products containing significant amounts of live and active cultures.
Many yogurt brands are loaded with sugar and additives. Check if “berries” or “fruit” are not just a mix of coloring and juice.
Yogurt containing a few extra flavors from fruit or berries are usually fine. Unsweetened natural, plain yogurt or Greek yogurt are great options.
Add fresh berries or fruit yourself to plain yogurt. This way you stay in control of what goes into what you consume.
Avoid yogurt that has sugar as the first or second ingredient.
The fat in dairy is not a problem but sugar and additives are. Full-fat yogurt is better (and tastier) than nonfat and low-fat products. Sugar, not fat is a cause of obesity. The saturated fat in yogurt has benefits and makes yogurt naturally creamier without additives.
Yogurts with a long list of ingredients including artificial coloring, preservatives and other ingredients is best avoided.
Homemade yogurt with probiotics
Homemade yogurt is great. It contains beneficial bacteria and many nutrients. Homemade kefir or yogurt with probiotics is simple and better than most yogurts in supermarkets.
- Eduardo J. Schiffrin, Alexandr Parlesak, Christiane Bode, J. Christian Bode, Martin A. van’t Hof, Dominik Grathwohl and Yves Guigoz (2009). Probiotic yogurt in the elderly with intestinal bacterial overgrowth: endotoxaemia and innate immune functions. British Journal of Nutrition, 101, pp 961-966. doi:10.1017/S0007114508055591.
- Elise Alvaro, Claude Andrieux, Violaine Rochet, Lionel Rigottier-Gois, Pascale Lepercq, Malène Sutren, Pilar Galan, Yvonne Duval, Catherine Juste and Joël Doré (2007). Composition and metabolism of the intestinal microbiota in consumers and non-consumers of yogurt. British Journal of Nutrition, 97, pp 126-133. doi:10.1017/S0007114507243065.
- Anestis Dougkas, Anne M. Minihane, D. Ian Givens, Christopher K. Reynolds and Parveen Yaqoob (2012). Differential effects of dairy snacks on appetite, but not overall energy intake. British Journal of Nutrition, 108, pp 2274-2285. doi:10.1017/S0007114512000323.