1) FIGHT OFF SUGAR SHOCK
Yogurt could help protect you from type-2 diabetes. According to new UK research, people who ate around 1/3 cup of the white stuff daily had a 28 per cent lower risk of developing the disease than those who consumed none. The scientists say the combo of vitamins, minerals and probiotics helps stabilise blood glucose. Also, menaquinones – a class of vitamin K found in fermented foods – may play a role in improving insulin sensitivity.
2) GO GREEK
Greek-style yogurt has almost twice the protein compared to a regular non-fat type, says Claudia Correia, dietician at Raffles Hospital. “Because of its thick consistency and acidity, it can also be used as a healthier alternative to sour cream in cooking or dips.” If you’re a fan of frozen yogurt, take note – not all types of yogurt are alike. Certain brands may not contain any live and active bacteria, and are in many cases loaded with sugar, she warns.
3) BLOCK GUT PUNCHES
Rumbling stomach? A review in the journal Plos One suggests that probiotics may ease eight types of gastrointestinal distress, including diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, these beneficial bacteria could reduce the collective risk of those ailments by 42 per cent, the researchers note, owing to their capacity to overwhelm gut pathogens. A blend with multiple strains was especially potent, cutting the risk of GI trouble by 83 per cent. Pick yogurt with several strains of live, active cultures.
4) CHUG IT, TOO
Probiotic beverages such as Yakult contain the bacteria strain L. casei Shirota, which helps enhance the activity of virus-destroying cells in the body. The hard evidence: Researchers in Japan found that downing the cultured drink daily sped recovery from upper respiratory infections by 31 per cent. They also advise chugging after meals when the level of digestive acid is lower, which translates to a greater amount of cultures reaching your intestines alive and kicking.