Now that summer is getting closer, I guess that most of you want to start eating a little healthier… Yogurt is a food usually consumed by people who are on a diet or trying to eat healthy in general. So, I decided to look for ideas and see what I can create for all of you who have a hard time eating your yogurt plain or do not want to eat some sort of flavored yogurt, since according to specialists, it is not the best choice due to its high sugar content. Thus, I thought of preparing for you something different which, as it seems, will start becoming a trend in Greece soon…What is it? Yogurts that are combined with fresh fruits, vegetables, but also several spices.
But first of all, shall we talk a little bit about yogurt and why it is worth having it in our diet?
1. It is high in protein, which results in making us feel full for longer. Protein is an essential macronutrient which helps our body’s cells develop, boosts muscle mass, and repairs muscle fibers. I’m sure that especially for those of you who are athletes, yogurt is a big part of your weekly eating plan and, in fact, it seems that many of you prefer to have it as a post-workout meal or smoothie. In that way, it helps in replacing muscle glycogen.
2. It is an ideal and balanced meal, as long as you combine it with the proper foods! Many people consume it for breakfast, as a midday or afternoon snack, since there are countless recipes that combine it with oats, whole-wheat cereals, granola, honey, agave syrup or maple syrup, fruits, cocoa, nuts, and seeds. In that way, you can create a complete meal.
3. Replace heavy cream or mayonnaise with yogurt and make a lighter dessert or a salad with a lighter dressing. You can add it into meals that normally have many extra calories to make lighter versions of them, e.g. Caesar salad vs chicken salad with yogurt dressing or panna cotta vs yogurt and buttermilk panna cotta.
4. It is a very good source of calcium. As you already know, calcium is a necessary mineral for the formation and density of bones, for the development of embryos and kids, as well as for the new mothers during breastfeeding. In fact, calcium in yogurt seems to be better absorbed by the body in relation to calcium in milk.
5. Moreover, it is a good source of phosphorus and riboflavin; elements that are necessary for the normal development and function of the body. More specifically, phosphorus contributes to the development of bones and riboflavin to the normal function of the nervous system.
6. Yogurt is a good source of probiotics! Probiotics, for which I have already talked to you about, are the so-called “good bacteria” or “live microorganisms”, and they are essential to the balance of gut flora but also to boosting the normal function of the gastrointestinal tract. In fact, due to them, foods that contain probiotics seem to help cases of gastrointestinal disorders and constipation. For more details, you should also consult a specialist!
What’s certain is that when we’ll start looking at the labels of the products we buy and learn to read them properly, we’ll become able to consume foods that are better nutritionally and that don’t give us extra calories, without even knowing it!
Now, shall we see the combinations that I prepared for you? Try them and I’ll be waiting for your feedback on these different yogurts!
This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab’s Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.
*The above information is based on published research findings.