Yogurt may already have a place in the back of your refrigerator, but did you know that it is a Diabetes Healing Superfood? Protein-rich plain yogurt stabilizes blood sugar, soothes inflammation and reduces stress on the immune system — all great excuses to move natural yogurt to the front of the fridge and increase consumption of this rich, creamy food.
1. Yogurt stabilizes blood sugar. Yogurt is high in protein, which slows digestion and calms the flow of glucose into the blood stream. Yogurt is a cultured dairy food, meaning that live organisms are introduced into the milk to create yogurt. Friendly bacteria, such as acidophilus, predigest the lactose (milk sugar), bypassing the glucose-insulin cycle and making yogurt’s nutritional benefits easily assimilable.
2. Yogurt strengthens the immune system. The friendly bacteria in yogurt (also known as probiotics) keep excess sugar in check by exponentially boosting the numbers of beneficial bacteria that live in your GI tract. Beneficial bacteria are essential to good digestion and wellness. They help your body fight off harmful bacteria like e coli and salmonella, which, in these days of mass-produced food production, sneak in through unhygienic food operations and make you ill. Beneficial bacteria are also essential following a course of antibiotics, which wipe out all the friendly bacteria in your gut, along with the bad guys.
A study from the University of Vienna, Austria, reported in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism backed up yogurt’s important role in immune system function. Participants eating yogurt on a daily basis substantially increased the numbers of infection-fighting white blood cells in their bodies.
4. Which type of yogurt is best? Choose plain, unsweetened yogurt from happy, organically raised, grass-fed cows or goats. Organic soy yogurt is also a good choice. Avoid like the plague any yogurt that has added sugar, fake sugar, cookies, chemicals or unpronounceable additives. You want the live yogurt cultures of ancient healing traditions, not sugary, dead impostors. Your local health food store should have a good selection of plain, unsweetened yogurts (including traditional strained Greek yogurt, which is extra thick and delicious) or you can make your own and save a bundle.