Yogurt: The Immunity Booster

Healthy,Ingredient,Recipes
May 31, 2012

Strawberry-Banana-Split-Yogurt-Parfait-Relish.jpg
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn
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Yogurt has gained attention for keeping the digestive system running smoothly, but recent research suggests the active cultures (or probiotics) found in yogurt may increase overall immunity and help ward off pesky colds and the flu. Scientists theorize that eating probiotic-containing yogurt daily helps increase the number of friendly bacteria in the GI tract. Probiotics can help with immunity by increasing the number of disease-fighting cells in the body; the good bacteria may also actually destroy body-invading pathogens. Since we like the food first approach (instead of supplements), it’s good to know that the fermented milk in yogurt is the perfect vehicle to help probiotics survive the journey through the acidic environment of the stomach.

When it comes to the live cultures in food, more is usually better, so look for the “Live & Active Cultures” label on packages of yogurt and Greek yogurt. Be sure to keep yogurt cold because live cultures can die at temperatures above 41F (the safe refrigerator temperature). Pick yogurt up last at the supermarket and put it in the refrigerator as soon as you can.

During chilly weather, yogurt makes a delicious topping for steamy pancakes or pasta; swirl it into any bowl of soup; or use it to cool your tongue when eating a sinus-cleansing, spicy Indian curry or Mexican stew.

—By Serena Ball, MS, RD is a registered dietitian and food writer in Chicago.
 

banana split parfait

Banana Split Yogurt Parfaits

This parfait double as a well-balanced breakfast—that’s how much your kids will love it!

17-day-diet-yogurt

Berry Frozen Yogurt

This frozen yogurt is every bit as delectable as that which you’d find in a yogurt shop.

Easy Winter Berry Frozen Yogurt

Few ingredients keep this very berry dessert a snap to throw together.

Lemon Frozen Yogurt

Lemon Frozen Yogurt with Blackberries

Fresh berries complement an easy frozen yogurt.

sorghum frozen yogurt

Sorghum Frozen Yogurt

The distinctive flavor of sorghum and the tang of yogurt meet in a one-of-a-kind dessert.

Yogurt and Mint-Dressed Cucumber Salad

A perfect side for salmon or lamb, this cucumber salad is brightened with mint.

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