Maintaining a diet rich in a selection of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean protein is a primary building block to good health. We all know that. Did you also know that ingesting certain bacteria is also critical to wellness?
Inside each of us, there is a war waging between two forces – a microbial Hatfield and McCoy battle, if you will. At all times the human body is host to two small armies: Candida and Acidophilus. Candida is fungi. It is the human parasite commonly known as yeast. Each of us has Candida at all times, but when it tips the scale of appropriate levels in its human host, Candida is manifested in outbreaks such as Esophagitis (thrush), eczema, gastrointestinal irregularities and vaginal yeast infections.
Acidophilus is the mighty Candida foe. It is human-friendly bacteria that produces hydrogen peroxide; it is deadly to Candida. Making sure the body has sufficient Acidophilus ‘troop’ levels can help stave off the various and sundry fungal infections Candida is known to cause. It is an integral component to our well-being, and should be part of one’s diet.
While Acidophilus supplements are readily available in capsule and powder form, there are much tastier and cheaper ways to get your fill. At the top of the list is creamy, delicious, cool yogurt. Yogurt is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Additionally, you can substitute it in many settings if you are lactose intolerant. The next time you want a bowl of cereal, serve yourself a cup of yogurt and let the cereal be the condiment.
Yogurt is also wonderful to incorporate into savory dishes. It makes an excellent base for chicken marinade, and dressed up with some seasonings, is a great lower fat alternative to mayonnaise.
If you don’t normally eat yogurt, you should experiment with different ones until you find the one that suits your palate. Some commercial brands are very sweet. Non-fat yogurt can be rather runny (and contain artificial sweeteners). Greek yogurt has a nice thick consistency, but some are made with whole milk and can tip the fat scale at 20 grams or more. Read the labels when you are shopping!
For an afternoon pick-me up, try one of the yogurts marketed for children. Stoneyfield YoKids and Chobani Champions are both excellent. The portions are perfect snack size, and only have about 100 calories each.
For a savory snack option, make your own tzatziki dip and eat it with pita bread and fresh veggies.