Wednesday, January 11, 2012

#2 of 12 foods to eat more of in 2012

Up next on the list of foods to eat more of this year is...

2. Yogurt

Yogurt is a natural source of probiotics (the good kind of bacteria) that keep your gut and immune system healthy. You'll get the benefits from most any type, as long as the package says it contains "live, active cultures." That means, yes, you can buy all those fun flavored ones too and you're still doing something good for yourself!

Perhaps even more importantly, yogurt is one of the few food sources of calcium and vitamin D. Most Americans are lacking in these two very important nutrients that help our bones stay healthy and may even prevent a multitude of diseases and conditions, ranging from diabetes and cancer to obesity. 

Yogurt also packs a powerful punch of protein! You don't have to eat cheese, eggs or meat to get your morning dose of protein. Eat low-fat or fat-free yogurt instead to save some calories and cholesterol-raising saturated fats.

My favorite is plain, non-fat Greek yogurt because it's flexible and it doesn't contain a lot of added sugar or sweeteners. I buy the big tubs at Trader Joes (money saver--cha ching) and use it in a variety of ways:
  • Mixed with fresh or frozen fruit for a snack
  • Layered with fruit, granola and nuts for a simple breakfast
  • Topped with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of honey for an indulgent dessert
  • In place of sour cream as a topping. That's right--on top of a potato, taco, soup, etc. In fact, I don't even buy sour cream anymore.
  • In place of sour cream in a dip.

All in all, a great nutritional package! How will you enjoy it? 
Watch for food #3 tomorrow!

Photo credit: Master isolated images