I began using Greek yogurt to make daily, healthy smoothies. Smoothies are delicious for breakfast, on-the-go, and for a healthy snack. They are easy to make and only take about 10 minutes to prepare. But as you will see in this article, the health benefits of Greek yogurt far outweigh the delicious taste of smoothies, dips and spreads you can make with them!
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Health benefits of Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt didn’t mean much to me in the past, because honestly – plain yogurt isn’t my favorite taste bud flavor. However, after learning of the health benefits of Greek yogurt, I decided to go ahead and try it out in my daily smoothies. It turned out to be, well .. yummy! And now I can’t get enough of it!
There is a new love in my life – Greek yogurt.
So what convinced me in the first place? Here are just a few of the nutritional health benefits:
High in Protein, Low in Carbs
Protein is a key component of body tissue and an essential nutrient for the body. Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has about twice as much protein per serving. And because it has more protein – it stops you from feeling hungry. Most high-protein alternative foods are high in sugar, but natural Greek yogurt has no additive sugar and is a low-carbohydrate dream. Did you know that it contains 50 to 70% less carbs than regular yogurt?
Probiotics are the unsung heroes of your digestive system. They protect you from getting sick, help you with digestion and weight-control. Probiotic is a Greek word by the way, and it means ‘Promoting Life’. Probiotic yogurt may even reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a Harvard study.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Greek Yogurt is a source of potassium. This is important because our western diet contains too much sodium, and it helps to balance out sodium. And did you know that Greek yogurt contains only about half the sodium or salt as regular yogurt? As a consequence, consuming Greek yogurt may be helpful to prevent hypertension, high blood pressure and heart-disease.
Furthermore it contains a good portion of the vitamin B12, something that is hard to find in a strict plant-based diet. B12 helps your nervous system optimal for a healthy brain and a happy mood to enjoy life.
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, a key ingredient for healthy bones – but what few people know is that when you are stressed, your body stores more fat, and calcium can slow down that process. More health benefits of Greek yogurt for us busy bees!
Iodine is an important promoter of a healthy production of hormones in the thyroid glands. And did you know that those particular hormones are directly controlling how much fat you burn? You will have more energy, better protection against pathogens and even cancer. One important bit of information for those who live in the USA, is that fountain water may contain health-hazardous fluoride. (Houston) Iodine helps to neutralize the body’s build-up of fluoride.
It’s a Great Work-out Recovery Food
It’s all about ratios – the last thing you want to do after a good work-out is to load up on sugars and fat. The healthy combination of ingredients will help to repair fiber damage, repair muscle tissue and nourish the body. It’s affordable too, since you won’t be spending hundreds of dollars a year on post-workout protein shakes.
Personally, I enjoy adding some slices of banana to my Greek yogurt, although you can also use berries if that’s your fave. It will quickly refill your energy storage.
Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt for Skin
Did you know that Greek yogurt contains a friendly gram positive bacteria known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus that fights acne? Because this probiotic bacteria is identified by the human body as friendly, it prevents inflammation of the skin. This allows the Greek yogurt, when applied as a facial mask, to easily kill bad microbes because of its acidic nature. The mild lactic acid also exfoliates dead skin cells.
Here is a step-by-step guide how to treat your face to a Greek Yogurt Spa:
- Wash your face with water and a gentle facial cleanser.
- Pat your face dry.
- Apply Greek yogurt as a facial mask using cotton pads.
- Relax for about 40 minutes. Toss in come cucumbers to cover your eyes if you want to go all-in.
- Rinse your face thoroughly with water
- Pat your face dry.
Benefits of Greek Yogurt for Hair
This seemed silly when I first found out, but as it turned out, Greek yogurt is a great conditioner for hair! I felt my hair was nourished and shiny! This is how easy it is to enjoy the benefits of Greek yogurt for hair:
- Thoroughly rinse your hair with water but don’t use shampoo.
- Pat your hair dry.
- Apply Greek yogurt as a deep-conditioner for your hair.
- Cover your head with a shower cap.
- Relax for about 40 minutes. Now is the best time for a phone call to your best friend. When she asks what you are up to, you are 100% sure to have a great answer!
- Wash & rinse your hair thoroughly as you normally would.
How does it work? The vitamin D in Greek yogurt helps with hair follicle cycling, and the vitamin B5 strengthens the hair. Applying it will moisturize your hair, send blood and nutrients to your scalp and follicles. The protein ingredient strengthens the hair strands. In the end, you will feel great and your hair will have a healthy shine!
Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt for Weight Loss
A 2015 review of scientific studies related to yogurt and weight loss demonstrated a link between yogurt and lower body mass index, lower body weight, lower body weight gain, a smaller waist and less body fat. How does it work?
Thanks to the high percentage of protein content in Greek yogurt, you will have more control over your cravings and prevent the loss of muscle mass, ensuring that you keep burning the most possible calories. Together with iodine, you will burn fat at an efficient rate. Finally, it goes hand-in-hand with a good post-workout routine. And as everybody knows, the best way to lose weight is a healthy combination of nutrition and exercise.
Yet here is a word of warning for the uninitiated: make sure that you use natural Greek yogurt, and that you are not lactose intolerant. Stores have a reputation for stocking products loaded with added sugars and fats. For that reason alone, some fitness blogs will advise against eating yogurt for weight loss. But that should not sway your opinion! Just make sure you buy the kind that is 100% natural. No added fat and sugars. And if you are unsure about which one to buy, why not make your own? It’s actually super easy!
How to Make your own Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is also called strained yogurt. Do you know how it’s made? You use a filter to separate the whey from the yogurt! You can actually do this yourself at home very easily. My favorite tool can be found on Amazon for only $18. You can save a ton of money making your own and it’s super easy. Check at the bottom of the article for a link!
I have used it to make kefir and German quark as well, but it’s not the right product for making ricotta in case you are wondering (too hard to remove from the mesh). You can also use it to strain soy yogurt in case you are wondering.
You can do this in very little time. I pour in 2% unsweetened yogurt and let the strainer do all the work. My suggestion is to leave it overnight because I get the best results after straining between 8 and 10 hours. If refrigerated and sealed properly, the Greek yogurt stays good for a week, so you can easily make this a weekly routine.
Fruit Cups and More!
It’s easy to mix some fresh cut fruits with Greek yogurt. You can also enjoy it as a salad topping. And for Netflix evenings? Impress your guests with healthy spreads and dips. But my favorite use must be smoothies!
If you learned some interesting things about the medical benefits of Greek yogurt, why don’t you come visit my blog again soon? And I would really appreciate it if you follow me on Instagram! Thank you so much!