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For healthful good taste, mix up a better bowl of yogurt

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Plain yogurt brings powerful health benefits to your table, but the taste can leave something to be desired. Dessert style yogurts aren't the answer because they reduce nutrients and add calories.

You can get the benefits of true yogurt and much more by creating your own mix with fruit and sweetener.

These are some of the great health benefits of natural yogurt:

Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that the potential health attributes of yogurt go far beyond boosting intake of protein and calcium. They include the ability to make the immune system more resilient.

The live and active cultures found in yogurt help to protect the intestinal tract. They have great potential as anti-infection agents. And they may help to increase resistance to immune-related diseases such as cancer and infection.

The recommended daily intake of protein varies for different groups of people. In general, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends that most people get two to three servings of high-protein food such as yogurt each day.

Calcium in yogurt does more than keep bones strong. Studies show a link between calcium and normal blood pressure, to name just one of calcium's other functions.

Consider these suggestions for mixing your own concoction with yogurt:

* By adding fruit such as oranges, peaches, or pears to yogurt, you get the added nutrients in those foods, including vitamin C.

* Mix with dessert-style yogurt. Go half-and-half to lighten the calorie load Even if you add a little sweetener, you still get the benefits of plain yogurt.

* Sweeten smartly. When you add fruit, you can sweeten with sugar-free sweeteners, honey, or applesauce.

* Use yogurt, or sweetened yogurt as a dip for vegetables or as a salad dressing.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > For healthful good taste, mix up a better bowl of yogurt

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