Did you know eating yogurt could save you from a cold?


Yogurt comprises probiotics, which can help boost the immune system.

This wet season, there's a good chance you might be looking for anything and everything to rid yourself of an annoying, lingering and sometimes debilitating cold.
You may want to add yogurt to your list of cold-fighting remedies. For example, yogurt is full of probiotics, which can help boost the immune system, according to Kristi L. King, a senior registered dietitian at Texas Children's Hospital and a national spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Studies that have looked at probiotics have found promising results in terms of reducing the duration and incidence of colds. However, specific benefits can only be attributed to the actual strains studied which do not necessarily exist in regular, non-supplemented yogurt, according to Rubin. For example, conventional yogurt contains Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus two cultures that are integral to the yogurt making process, and as such are known as "starter cultures." While these are beneficial bacteria, they are not necessarily the same probiotics that have been studied in clinical trials, according to Rubin.
Yogurt also contains another immune booster: zinc. Research indicates that zinc can reduce the duration of cold symptoms, but the amounts of zinc needed for benefits at least 75 milligrams is much higher than the 2 milligrams present in an 8-ounce cup of yogurt.

Carbohydrates in yogurt provide energy, which is important in helping you recover from a cold, according to King. And one recent study, funded by the National Dairy Council, found that when women consumed yogurt every day for nine weeks, they had reduced inflammatory markers in their blood -- findings that suggest a mechanism by which yogurt might be helpful in fighting off cold symptoms.

In summary. 

Though the ability of yogurt to help fight a cold is, at best, theoretical right now, experts say there's no good reason not to choose yogurt when you have the sniffles or difficulty swallowing. So choose yogurt for its soothing texture and nutritional attributes, which include calcium and vitamin D, along with possible cold fighters like zinc and probiotics but not necessarily as a primary therapy for a cold. For maximum benefits, it's recommended to eat plain yogurt with other antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries, which contribute natural sweetness, in addition to more cold-fighting nutrients. Pairing yogurt with blueberries or strawberries will give you an extra dose of vitamin C and antioxidants to fight the cold off.

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