Surprising benefits of yogurt

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Face saver – No need for pricey dermatological treatments to perfect your complexion. “Yogurt contains lactic acid, which is a component in some in-office chemical peels,” says dermatologist Hema Sundaram, MD. “It gently exfoliates the top layers of the epidermis, which can clear up blemishes and discolorations, and may even reduce fine wrinkles.”

Digestive aid! – One of the words we’re hearing more and more of regarding yogurt is “probiotics.” Probiotics are “friendly bacteria” that are naturally present in the digestive system. Live strains of these “good bacteria” are also found in many yogurt products. Some strains of probiotics can help boost the immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract.

Heart helper – Another good reason to heart yogurt: “Consuming fat-free and low-fat yogurt may help lower your risk of developing high blood pressure”. Special proteins in dairy regulate BP, and high levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium contribute to the blood pressure-lowering effect.

Stronger bones – Yogurt comes from milk. So yogurt eaters will get a dose of animal protein (about 9 grams per 6-ounce serving), plus several other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium. An 8-ounce serving of plain, low-fat yogurt contains 415 milligrams of calcium, which is 42 percent of the daily requirement for adults. Men and women ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day and women over 70 need 1,200 milligrams. Eating three servings of yogurt a day would more than satisfy that requirement. Some yogurts are fortified with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.

Weight Loss – Yogurt may speed weight loss due to its low calorie content and fat-burning properties. Obese people in the study who ate yogurt as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost more body fat and retained more lean tissue than those who didn’t eat yogurt. The yogurt eaters also lost 81 percent more weight in their midsections. The weight loss could be due to calcium, which increases fat breakdown when yogurt is included in a reduced-calorie diet.

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