Shopping in the yogurt aisle at the grocery store can feel overwhelming! While it’s definitely a great problem to have, how do you know which one is the healthiest type of yogurt? While most yogurt options are nutritious, some are healthier than others. With the many health benefits of Greek yogurt, it has quickly become a trending superfood to enjoy with breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Greek yogurt’s many different health benefits make it a smart and nutritious item to keep stocked in your fridge. But what makes Greek yogurt different from regular yogurt?
According to Healthline’s Ariane Lang, BSC, MBA, “Regular and Greek yogurt are both fermented dairy products, but Greek yogurt is strained to make it much thicker and tangier than regular yogurt.”
The difference in how the two yogurts are made affects not only taste and texture but also the nutritional value. While regular plain yogurt is a healthy option, Greek yogurt definitely wins when it comes to overall nutrition. Here are six health benefits of Greek Yogurt.
6 Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt
1. Helps to Boost Your Immune System!
Greek yogurt is full of healthy bacteria known as probiotics. Probiotics naturally support your digestive system by fighting harmful bacteria to help you have a healthy gut! The healthier your gut is, the better your immune system can fight off injury and sickness.
Eating Greek yogurt on a regular basis is an excellent source of natural probiotics for your body. But to get the full health benefits of Greek yogurt, it’s important to eat plain Greek yogurt without any added sugar. Add your favorite fresh fruit at home with a drizzle of honey for a healthy snack option.
2. Packed FULL of Protein
Greek yogurt has almost double the amount of protein compared to other types of yogurt, helping keep you feeling satisfied and fuller longer. A typical serving of Greek yogurt has about the same amount of protein as two to three ounces of chicken. Greek yogurt is an excellent protein alternative for vegetarians and is a much more affordable protein source than meat.
3. Full of Vitamins and Minerals
Greek yogurt is a fantastic added source of vitamins and minerals. From vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin B2, to significant amounts of magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, it’s no wonder nutritionists and health experts recommend this delicious superfood!
One specific mineral to highlight in Greek yogurt is calcium! While the straining process for Greek yogurt does eliminate some of the calcium found in regular yogurt, it is still a great addition to maintaining a diet rich in calcium.
Your body doesn’t make calcium on its own, so it’s important to prioritize calcium in your daily diet. Calcium makes your body build and maintain strong bones and plays an important role in keeping your heart, nerves, and muscles working correctly.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Some studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may have benefits beyond bone health: perhaps protecting against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. But evidence about such health benefits is not definitive.”
Probiotics help kill the harmful bacteria in your gut, which can prevent your skin from eliminating waste through breakouts. As we know, plain Greek yogurt is full of Probiotics making it an effective food choice to help promote healthier skin. While gut bacteria isn’t the sole cause of breakouts, keeping a healthy gut definitely plays an important part in having healthy, gorgeous skin!
For a more hands-on approach, (literally!) apply Greek yogurt directly to your skin as an all-natural face mask! Check out Taste of Home’s Greek yogurt mask recipe here!
6. Natural Hair Conditioner
Keeping up with current hairstyles and trends can cause a lot of damage to your beautiful hair. Our hair goes through a lot, from straighteners and curling irons to hair sprays and hair color! While it may sound unconventional, Greek yogurt is also known as a fantastic natural conditioner for your hair! In fact, many hair masks include Greek yogurt as an ingredient.
In a Women’s Health article, the founder of HAIRGURT, Anne Buhrdorf, explains, “Yogurt smoothies, de-frizzes, and adds incredible shine.” She continues to say, “Greek yogurt can definitely help with any dandruff or itchy scalp problems.”
If you’re looking for a more natural way to soften your hair, apply Greek yogurt with coconut oil to your hair and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it out in the shower.
Healthy and Delicious Recipes to Make with Greek Yogurt
There are so many ways to enjoy delicious meals and healthy snack options with Greek yogurt. Add these Greek yogurt recipe ideas to your meal and snack rotations to start receiving the health benefits of Greek yogurt as soon as possible!
- 1 Cup of Mixed Berries – Fresh or Frozen
- 1 Cup of Spinach – Fresh or Frozen
- 4 Ounces of Unsweetened Almond Milk – Add more for a thinner consistency
- 1 Serving of Protein Powder
- Blend to desired consistency and enjoy!
Greek Yogurt and Berry Parfait
- 1 Serving of Low-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt – While flavored Greek yogurt is delicious, check the ingredients if you are watching your sugar intake!
- 1 Cup of Fresh Mixed Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries
- Top with Granola
- Drizzle of Honey
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Evenly spread Low-Fat Greek yogurt (or flavored Greek yogurt of your choice) on the parchment paper
- Add your favorite toppings like berries, dark chocolate chips, nuts, or granola
- Freeze for 4 or more hours
- Cut into squares and store in the freezer for a delicious and healthy frozen treat
Use Greek Yogurt as a Dip or Spread
Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream as a healthier topping option on foods like tacos, soups, and potatoes. Try Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise in potato salad, pasta salad, or on a turkey wrap. Mix honey or peanut butter with Greek yogurt to make a delicious fruit dip as a healthy snack option.
Greek Yogurt Recipe Books
Check out one of these helpful and delicious Greek yogurt recipe books for more ways to incorporate Greek yogurt into your daily snacks and meals! From dressings and dips to pizzas and pies, these cookbooks make cooking and baking with Greek yogurt a breeze! Or, learn how to make your very own Greek Yogurt at home!
Do you have a favorite Greek yogurt recipe? What are your go-to healthy snack options? Comment below!
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