If you’re looking for a versatile fermented food to aid your digestion and promote better gut health, we’ve got you covered. We consulted with licensed nutritionists and other health experts for advice and to learn more about how adding non-fat plain Greek yogurt to your breakfast, lunch and/or dinner can benefit you. your metabolism. Read on for tips, suggestions and insights from Lisa Richards, creator of The Candida Diet, and Jay Cowin, NNCP, RNT, RNC, CHN, CSNA, Registered Nutritionist and Director of Formulations at ASYSTEM.
LEARN MORE: How to Naturally Improve Your Gut Health: 12 Tips to Consider
First of all, what makes yogurt so good for your gut?
Greek yogurt is a good choice for gut health, says Cowin, because it’s low in calories and high in protein. “It also contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help keep the gut healthy,” he adds. When the gut is healthy, Cowin points out, it can better absorb nutrients from food and regulate the body’s metabolism, leading to healthy weight loss (if that’s also a goal).
“Probiotics are live microorganisms that are thought to provide health benefits when consumed,” he continues. The most common probiotics are bacteria, and they’re found in fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi, but they’re also available in supplements and medications.
There is a growing body of evidence, he says, related to this Harvard study that suggests probiotics can improve gut health. “Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that reside in the gut and help keep the gut healthy,” he explains, adding that they can help “fight bad bacteria, promote absorption of nutrients and support the immune system”.
Eating Greek yogurt before bed, or on a regular basis, agrees Richards, “replenishes your gut microbiome with healthy bacteria.” Fermented foods like yogurt restore these bacteria, which are “beneficial for weight, among many other health benefits.” The gut is home to the immune system, she points out, and is a major part of our overall health. “By keeping this area of the body in balance and preventing gut dysbiosis, you improve your overall health.”
How to Add Yogurt to More Meals
Enjoying a cup of Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and/or granola first thing in the morning is a great way to kick-start healthy digestion and give you the energy you need for the day, says Cowin. “Greek yogurt topped with fruit is a great meal. Not only is it packed with nutrients, it’s also a good source of protein, which can help keep you feeling full for a while to prevent overeating. “, he notes.
Plus, Greek yogurt is also “lower in sugar and calories than other types of yogurt,” so he deems it perfect for those who want to satisfy their sweet tooth but are working to lose weight. Cowin also suggests adding Greek yogurt to your favorite smoothie instead of whole milk (which often leads to indigestion and bloating).
For lunch or dinner, other possibilities might include making a salad or veggie bowl with a dollop of Greek yogurt, making a creamy soup, creating a dip for your favorite veggies, making creamed corn, topping tacos, adding to mashed potatoes or pasta dishes, and more.
Eating a low-fat, high-protein meal with Greek yogurt at night or before bed, says Richards, can “reduce food cravings and prevent overeating.” Both of these factors can lead to weight gain if left unchecked. Ultimately, eating more Greek yogurt may not only help boost your metabolism, but also help “lose belly fat and keep it off,” Richards concludes.