I have yogurt on my brain…
Why? Because my daughter is susceptible to yeast imbalances. If you know anything about yeast, you know that sugar (especially the refined white stuff) feeds it.
Nina spent 3 weeks at a camp in Maine this summer. Initially, she ate more dessert than her body is used to. Three days later, she wasn’t feeling herself. Symptoms vary widely when it comes to yeast problems, but for Nina, foggy brain, rashes, irritable moods.
Yeast overgrowth is a common problem for three main reasons. One, frequent use of antibiotics which kill both bad and good bacteria. Two, an underuse of cultured foods that repopulate the good bacteria. Cultured foods were a common part of our ancestor’s diet, consumed daily in many cultures. And the final reason for yeast overgrowth… sugar!
Whether or not you fall into the category of having yeast overgrowth or candida, we can all benefit from having more beneficial bacteria. Beneficial bacteria help us to thrive, maintaining a healthy balance between the good bacteria (we were born with) and the bad bacteria (we’ve been exposed to) in our bodies.
Cultured foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, and yogurt are full of healthy bacteria and great for your digestion and immune system.
Getting back to Nina, I wanted to mention the one food she ate at camp regularly that supported her body, strengthened her system and prevented a recurring issue.
That’s yogurt. It’s easy to find, easy to make and can be tolerated (in one form or another) by just about everyone.
Here is my cheat sheet to choosing the best yogurt for you:
1. Choose from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, almond milk, or coconut milk yogurt.
If you struggle with allergies, asthma, sinus issues, constipation, IBS… try a non-dairy version like almond or coconut milk.
2. Buy Organic
Hormones and antibiotics in processed dairy will make their way into your yogurt. Organic is best.
3. Go Full Fat
Fat, ironically, does not make us fat. It’s sugar that feeds our fat cells. And healthy fat is an important part of a healthy diet. So dig in. You’ll find you feel full and satisfied (and less inclined to overeat).
4. Make It Plain.
Read your labels. Strawberry, blueberry, peach and other flavors contain fruit, sugar, and the preservatives necessary to prevent the fruit from going bad. You are better off adding your own condiments. Try honey or maple syrup for a hint of sweet.
My favorite way to enjoy yogurt is with fresh summer berries and a sprinkling of flax seed. Yum!
Simple Action Step
Think about the yogurt consumption in your home. Is a high quality yogurt regularly on your plate? Read the labels and upgrade what’s in your shopping cart this week.
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