There are many yogurts on the market but plain Greek yogurt continues to be a standout. All yogurts are excellent sources of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. What distinguishes Greek yogurt is its thicker, creamier texture because the liquid whey is strained out. It’s also lower in lactose and has twice the protein content of regular yogurts.

Now for it’s stress busting characteristic: Probiotics. In a study performed by researchers from UCLA’s School of Medicine 36 women were recruited to take a closer look at how gut health ties to brain health.

The women, aged between 18 and 55, were randomly split into three groups. For a month the first group ate yogurt with live bacterial cultures twice per day, the second group ate a placebo yogurt with no live bacterial cultures, and the third group ate no product at all.

MRI scans were taken before and after the study and they discovered that, compared to the other groups, the group that consumed live probiotics in the yogurt had their stress response significantly reduced. The researchers were able to correlate this healthier response to chronic stress as a direct relationship to healthy gut bacteria.

So don’t wait! Pick up your favorite Greek yogurt the next time you’re at the store and try out these easy ways to incorporate it into your meals.

10 Ideas for Greek Yogurt

  1. Blend into smoothies,
  2. Make a smoothie bowl: smoothie on the bottom topped with all your favorite fruits and nuts/seeds,
  3. Add salt for a simple sour cream substitute, add some hot sauce to make it spicy,
  4. Make your own flavored yogurts by adding your favorite jam or jelly,
  5. Make a healthier version of honey Greek yogurt by adding some raw local honey,
  6. Use as a replacement for heavy cream in sauces,
  7. Blend with fresh fruit and put in popsicle trays for a healthy alternative to the high sugar varieties in stores,
  8. Use as a topping for oatmeal,
  9. Add to pancake batter by substituting some milk,
  10. Replace all or some of the mayonnaise in your favorite mayonnaise based salad recipe.