Many women turn to yogurt to help them get enough calcium to meet their daily needs. What most women don’t realize is that yogurt has much more to offer than just calcium. Yogurt is also packed with high quality protein, magnesium, and a variety of vitamins. For those who cannot tolerate milk because of the lactose, yogurt is usually well tolerated because it is very low in lactose. In addition, high-quality yogurt contains active live cultures (good bacteria) that are beneficial to health. We naturally have bacteria in our intestines, and the key is to help make the complement of bacteria as health promoting as possible. The bacteria found in yogurt actually help to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, Camphylobacter, and Staphylococcus. Through a host of mechanisms, these healthy bacteria help to boost our immune systems, enhance digestion, increase mineral absorption, synthesize certain B-vitamins, reduce incidence of yeast infections, and replace the beneficial intestinal flora that can be killed by antibiotics.
by Miriam Nelson, PhD