08 July, 2011
Yogurt is a dairy product made from milk fermented with bacterial culture. The University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Program recommends yogurt as part of a healthy, balanced diet. One to three servings of dairy are recommended per day and yogurt can make up one or all these servings. Frozen yogurt is an excellent, low-fat replacement for ice cream and is available in a variety of flavors.
The site “World’s Healthiest Foods” recommends yogurt because it is also rich in nutrients, including essential minerals and vitamins for overall body health. Minerals in yogurt include calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc, which are important for the healthy formation of cells, bones, teeth and for the function of the nervous and immune systems. The UK Dairy Counsel advises that yogurt and frozen yogurt treats are also rich in essential water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. These include vitamins B-2, B-12 and B-1. When the frozen yogurt is made from enriched milk, it will also contain the fat-soluble vitamins A and D.
Frozen yogurt contains the digestive benefits of probiotics. The health website AskDrSears.com explains that the lactic acid bacteria used to produce yogurt includes Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaris. These bacteria enhance digestive function, reduce allergic reactions and may aid in lactose digestion in individuals with lactose intolerance. Yogurt also helps to decrease symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD.
Yogurt, including frozen varieties, also helps to maintain and improve heart and blood vessel health by helping to convert fiber to healthy fats that promote good cholesterol levels. This helps to increase levels of healthy cholesterol called high density lipids, or HDL and decrease levels of unhealthy low density lipids, or LDL. The health site “World’s Healthiest Foods” notes that this effect can help to decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
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