Yogurt is the perfect way to get a dose of protein and calcium in your day. Make snack time healthier with this recipe for delicious cucumber yogurt dip. But first, let’s review just why yogurt is so good for you.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
Yogurt comes from milk. When you eat it you get a dose of animal protein (about 9 grams per 6-ounce serving), plus several other nutrients including calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium. Calcium has beneficial effects on bone mass in people of all ages.
It may help prevent osteoporosis, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, and help with certain gastrointestinal issues, such as lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrhea, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and H. pylori infection. Changes are though to be due to changes in the microflora of the gut, the time food takes to go through the bowel, and enhancement of the body’s immune system.
Yogurt with active cultures may also discourage vaginal infections.
A Helping of Probiotics With Each Spoonful
Probiotics are “friendly bacteria.” They are naturally present in your digestive system. Live strains of these “good bacteria” are found in many yogurt products. There is evidence that some strains of probiotics help boost the immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Tips for the Grocery Store
When buying, decide whether you want regular-fat, low-fat, or fat-free. If you have a favorite brand, check the nutrition label for sugar content. Some flavors and brands have more than others.
To make sure your yogurt contains active cultures, check the label. Most brands will have a graphic that says “live and active cultures.”
Cucumber Yogurt Dip
- 5cloves of crushed garlic OR 4Tbsp. dried garlic
- 1/8cupolive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/4Tbspwhite wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1qtplain, low-fat yogurt
- 2cucumbers, grated
- 1/2tspsea salt
- 1/2tspblack pepper
- 1 1/2Tbsphoney
- 1/2tspdill (fresh or dried)
- 1tspmint (fresh or dried)
- Mix the crushed garlic with the salt and pepper. Add the oil and vinegar and mix well.
- Place the yogurt in a serving bowl. Add the oil and vinegar mixture in stages, stirring gently with a wooden spoon.
- Add the grated cucumber and mix well. Chill before serving.
- Cut up an assortment of raw vegetables into dipping size pieces.
For more on adding dairy products to your diet, including recipes, book recommendations, and fun activities for kids, check out the Vermont Harvest of the Month website.
Get more recipes from the UVM Medical Center. View our Recipe Collection by clicking here.