Hey there! Are you ready to talk about gut health for a little bit? I know, it’s not the most riveting topic, but the health of your gut is directly related to your overall physical and mental health. I’ve learned over the years that most gut imbalance issues don’t resolve themselves on their own. In fact, seemingly minor things such as occasional heartburn or excessive gas often turn into bigger problems down the road if you ignore them while they’re small.
Whether you have occasional digestive issues or you’re constantly fighting abdominal pain and other unpleasant symptoms, there are things you can do to restore the balance of your gut bacteria. One of those things is incorporating quality yogurt into your regular diet. Here’s what you should know about eating yogurt for gut health.
What Yogurt Can Do for Your Body
If you look at a spoonful of yogurt, you might think to yourself “this doesn’t really look that special.” But you’d be wrong! Hidden in that unassuming bite of delicious goodness are a bunch of microscopic bacteria known as probiotics. While the thought of little squirmy things on your spoon might make your stomach feel a little queasy, just know that the little guys inside yogurt are your friends. Think of them like microscopic superheroes getting ready to plunge into your stomach acid and beat up all the “bad guys” in there.
If you still need a little convincing that yogurt should become a regular part of your plan, here are some of the best things about yogurt.
- It’s high in protein. Your body needs protein to maintain muscle mass, regulate your appetite and control your weight.
- It’s good for digestive health. The key, though, is to look for the types of yogurt that contain probiotics. Otherwise, you’re missing out on one of the most important benefits yogurt can provide.
- It has a lot of nutrients. Quality yogurt contains B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D (in fortified versions). These vitamins can help your body feel and function great.
- It may prevent osteoporosis. Thanks to its calcium, phosphorous, potassium and protein content, yogurt is great for your bones. It can strengthen them and help you stave off unpleasant diseases such as osteoporosis.
- It may enhance your immune system. Did you know many of your immune system cells are found in your gut? That came as a surprise to me. So if you want to build your immunity, you should start by giving your digestive system the probiotics it needs to thrive.
- It could help you maintain your weight. Foods that are high in protein tend to reduce levels of hormones responsible for appetite. Additionally, there are several studies that show eating yogurt is associated with lower body fat percentage and body weight.
There’s a good, long list showing why you should start eating yogurt today. For best results, though, you need to stay away from the more sugary versions. Instead, opt for yogurt that is low in sugar and provides you with plenty of probiotics. You can even go with a plain version and add berries or fruits to sweeten it without all of the added sugar.
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Considerations for Those Who Are Lactose Intolerant
Some people are lactose intolerant, which means they can’t consume dairy products without experiencing unpleasant symptoms. If you are one of those people, you may be able to get some of the benefits of yogurt by simply consuming probiotics in supplement form.
Additionally, some people with mild lactose intolerance are able to consume kefir, which is a yogurt-like drink that contains lots of probiotics. The bacteria within kefir break down much of the milk, and some brands of kefir claim to be up to 99% lactose-free.
Whether you choose to get your probiotics from yogurt, kefir or supplements, you’re making a wise decision. Your gut and your health will thank you!