Since yogurt is a great source of probiotics, it tends to lead to better gut health, says Liz Weinandy, MPH, RD, LD, of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "There is some really exciting research out there showing that people who have better gut flora or more beneficial bacteria in their guts tend to weigh less," she adds. "The way our gut flora affect our overall health is just starting to be discovered and it may be that it affects many different aspects of our health from our weight to our thought processes."
One great thing about yogurt is that it's versatile, so we love this recipe from The New Abs Diet Cookbook that puts a fun and festive spin on a traditional parfait (Bonus: It's high in fruit, too!):
Blackberry Parfait Martinis
(Makes 4 servings)
Nutrition per serving: 210 calories, 7 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 90 mg sodium, 3 g fiber
1/4 cup crushed cashews
2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup diced strawberries or tropical fruit
2 cups blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries
Directions: 1. Coat a skillet with cooking spray, add the cashews, and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes.
2. Making thin layers, divide the yogurt, graham crackers, strawberries, and blackberries among 4 martini glasses, ending with yogurt. Top with large blackberries and the warm cashews.