Good For Your Gut: 5 Seamless Ways To Add Yogurt To Your Diet

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Jun. 6 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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With summer making its annual return, achieving your health and wellness goals is a must. Whether you want to lose weight or have to make serious lifestyle changes, healthy living begins one decision at a time. Swapping savory favorites for healthy alternatives and monitoring portions are two ways to better living. One ingredient packed with protein, calcium, and other goodies your body needs is yogurt. Though it may take some getting used to — unless you’ve already joined the fan club — adding yogurt to your diet has many benefits while serving as a go-to health food anytime. 

With several yogurt options on the market, getting started can feel intimidating. Traditional yogurt is a product of fermenting cow’s milk with a bacterial yogurt culture. Greek yogurt is produced in a similar process, except it goes through an additional strain that gives it a thicker consistency. According to Healthline, Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in sugar, carbs, and sodium. However, Icelandic yogurt, known for its thicker and creamier texture than Greek yogurt, has grown in popularity in recent years. It also packs more protein than regular and Greek yogurt and can be used in similar ways.  

///Woman Eating Yogurt During Virtual Meeting x
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There’s no denying that upping your yogurt intake can provide essential nutrients for a healthy, balanced diet. Daily yogurt consumption has numerous benefits, with weight management and curbing hunger as two primary perks. Yogurt is reported to lower blood pressure while improving bone and gut health. PerMedical News Today, it can also boost your mental health, metabolism, and muscle mass.

At first, the taste of yogurt might be acquired, but keeping things flavorful is a simple way to ease into the world of yogurt. Here are five ways to easily incorporate yogurt into your diet.

1. Indulge in a DIY yogurt bowl.

Revamp your morning meals to meet new lifestyle goals. Whether you’re in for the long haul or a quick diet, a yogurt bowl can make for a great (and filling) breakfast or snack. A delicious combination might include diced strawberries and blueberries, small chunks of dark chocolate, crunchy granola, and honey. There’s no shortage of toppings you can add to make it your own–whether it’s pineapples, oreos, or kiwis. This simple and quick dish works well any time of day, especially when sweet cravings come inevitably calling.

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2. Explore the many flavors of yogurt cups.

From cookie dough to cheesecake, there’s ready-made yogurt for busy lifestyles and healthy grabs for the family. The sea of yogurt brands in the dairy section can be overwhelming, but many cups are sold individually. Try a few types—nonfat, low-fat, unflavored, or fruit-infused—to find what your taste buds love the most.

3. Up your snack game with at-home yogurt bars.

Yogurt bars are quick snacks that take less than five minutes to prepare. Add parchment paper to a baking pan. Spread a thin layer of yogurt onto the paper before topping it with fruit. Get creative by adding other ingredients such as granola, chia seeds, drizzled chocolate, or coconut flakes. After firming in the freezer, your break-apart yogurt bars are ready to go. Consider this a no-brainer healthy meal prep hack for moms or a refreshing snack on hot summer days.

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4. Make your own peanut butter and chocolate frozen yogurt.

TikTok user @momnutritionist gets all the credit for this super simple recipe for a frozen yogurt treat. Combine yogurt with maple syrup and flavored protein powder or your spices of choice (cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg). Prep your flavored yogurt in a small glass bowl while melting chocolate chips to create a top coating. Nut butter is optional, but a sprinkle of cashews or peanuts adds crunch to this ice cream dupe. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens, and you’ll have a creamy, crunchy snack that works morning, noon, and night.

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5. Create a rich, flavorful tomato sauce for spaghetti.

Similar to grandma’s macaroni and cheese, spaghetti is a tried and true dish for many families. Altering the family recipe might lead to a side-eye (or two) from well-meaning family members, but they’ll never know your secret. For a new twist on the beloved meal that packs some probiotic love, try a tomato sauce recipe that includes yogurt. The spaghetti sauce’s rich and creamy texture enhances the overall flavor. Yogurt also adds a unique touch to pasta recipes from various countries, including Lebanon, India, and Turkey, to name a few.

Yogurt, in its many forms, often gets a bad rap, but it’s not only good, it’s good for you. Finding the right version of yogurt – smoothie, bowl, or plain – is a matter of trial and error. However, with the benefits of good gut health, such as lower blood pressure, and a boosted immune system, adding yogurt to your diet is more than worth it

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By: Simone Cherí

Simone Cherí is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer and contributing editor based in the Washington D.C. area. With more than 25 countries under her belt (and counting) and over a decade of storytelling for brands, she aims to highlight culturally relevant and engaging narratives across luxury travel, adventure, and BIPOC experiences around the world. Her byline has been published on Travel Noire and Home & Texture, with previous features in Condé Nast Traveler, HuffPost, and Essence. When she's not collaborating with brands or exploring new countries, Simone is feverishly seeking the next destination for a nomad adventure.

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