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Get Your Good Belly Bugs

While it’s now common knowledge that yogurt is filled with healthful bacteria that aid in digestion, there are more benefits than you may know.

According to Jackie Newgent, R.D., a Fitness advisory board member, “One serving is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).

Yogurt also contains B12, which maintains red blood cells and helps keep your nervous system functioning properly.” The phrase “live and active cultures” on the container means that the yogurt has probiotics, beneficial bugs that live in your digestive tract and help protect the body from harmful microorganisms that can cause intestinal infections.

Yogurt eaters also get a dose of animal protein (about nine grams per six-ounce serving), plus several other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium and vitamin D. According to Jeri Nieves, Ph.D., M.S., director of bone density testing at New York’s Helen Hayes Hospital, “The combination of calcium and vitamin D has a clear skeletal benefit, provided the dose of vitamin D is high.” A dose of 400 international units per day is considered an adequate intake, but many researchers are now suggesting that you get more, especially in the winter, when sun exposure is low.

So, when it comes to foods that taste great and are good for you, yogurt is at the top of the list. Two light, Greek-style yogurts make a quick on-the-go meal that has an average of 180 calories, 24 grams of protein and only about 10 grams of carb. Yo is good to go!

Ninette Terhart

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