As kids, we were always reminded to get our daily dose of dairy to grow strong bones. As we've gotten older, our understanding of dairy has shifted, and many of us have chosen to ditch the animal product for healthier alternatives. But it turns out that one particular dairy product is highly correlated with physical fitness, not to mention bone mineral density and a lower risk of osteoporosis.
A recent study published in Osteoporosis International and found that after for adjusting for variables like age and health and behavioral characteristics such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity, daily yogurt eaters performed better on tests of physical fitness. Regular yogurt eaters also showed a 3% to 4% increase in bone mineral density and a 39% lower risk of osteoporosis in women when compared to their counterparts who don't eat yogurt.
"The main message is that yogurt is a good source of micronutrients, vitamin D, B vitamins, and calcium—and protein and probiotics as well," said the study's lead author, Eamon J. Laird, a research fellow at Trinity College Dublin. "We think it could be a combination of these things that has the beneficial effect." He also notes that the study was observational, so they cannot prove cause and effect, but other dairy products did not produce the effect of yogurt. If you do choose to add yogurt into your regular diet, Laird warns to be mindful of sugar and look for a healthy variation like Greek yogurt.
Looking to up your yogurt intake? Check out these genius ways to cook with Greek yogurt.