Bone health is extremely important, especially as we age. Strong and healthy bones are supported by micronutrients like vitamin D and calcium. Lucky for us, yogurt is a healthy and tasty food that contains vitamin D and calcium as well as protein. Yogurt has always been a popular choice when it comes to breakfast food, but it can function as a snack or ingredient substitute, too. Yogurt’s versatility, along with its health benefits, make it a tasty, nutritious treat you can enjoy at any time of day.
This Martha Stewart article highlights a recent observational study, which found that women who consumed more yogurt had a higher hip and neck bone mineral density, while men who consumed more yogurt had higher vitamin D concentrations than those who do not consume yogurt.
While this study highlights some interesting findings, it’s important to note that this was an observational study, meaning that direct causation cannot be established. This study, however, allows for interesting hypotheses to be followed up with additional studies and tests. Despite this limitation, this study’s findings further add to the USDA’s recommendations of including three cups of dairy products per day to support bone health.
The nutrients and functional components in yogurt contribute to a wide variety of health benefits. For example, calcium helps build and maintain teeth, nerves, muscles and bones, while Vitamin D aids in metabolism, bone strength and gut health. Likewise, Emma M. Laing, PhD, RDN, and Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Dietetics at the University of Georgia states that also contains “good bacteria”, which support a healthy microbiome. According to Liang, “This bacteria can help with the balance and diversity of bacteria in your intestines, or gut,” says Laing. “It has also been shown to support immunological health helping to digest food, destroy harmful microorganisms and even produce vitamins.”
There are many different types of yogurt to choose from, such as Greek yogurt, skyr, and French yogurt, and you can try them all to vary up your yogurt routine Greek yogurt’s high protein content can leave you feeling fuller longer. Skyr, a yogurt that originates from Iceland, also contains potassium. Likewise, French yogurt is a source potassium, but since it is made with whole milk, it contains more calories and fat than low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt or skyr. Dress up your yogurt with fresh, canned, or frozen fruit or add it to your morning oatmeal. Yogurt can even be used as a healthy substitute for other ingredients, such as in dips for fruit or vegetables, marinades and smoothies.
Yogurt is a versatile and healthy breakfast food, snack, addition to a bowl of oatmeal or cereal or substitute to a favorite recipe. Yogurt is not only a tasty treat, but it can also contribute to gut and bone health and support weight management.
This post includes contributions from Morgan Manghera, a communications intern at GWU.