Banana & Yogurt Diet

Dr. Jonny Bowden identifies bananas and yogurt as some of the healthiest foods to include in your diet. Bananas and yogurt offer a wide variety of nutrients essential for your body. Bananas are a good source of potassium, folate, vitamins C and B6. Yogurt provides your diet with calcium, zinc, phosphorus and protein. Including bananas and yogurt in your well-balanced diet offers many nutritional benefits.

Uses of Bananas

According to the University of California at Berkeley, the most popular fresh fruit in America is the banana for several reasons. The fruit is inexpensive and in generous supply all year in supermarkets. Bananas can be consumed at any stage of ripeness. Bananas can be easily digested by anyone such as babies and the elderly. The fruit has a peel that comes off easily, making it an ideal and convenient portable snack or dessert. Several types are available such as plantains, cavendish, finger, yellow and red bananas. Slice bananas on top of yogurt, toast, pancakes, waffles and fruit salads. Blend frozen bananas with skim milk or juice for a smoothie. Mash bananas and add them to muffin or bread recipes.

Benefits of Potassium

Bananas are a rich source of the vital mineral potassium. One medium banana offers 422mg of potassium. Potassium plays a major role in the body by helping maintain cells, fluid and electrolyte balance and a steady heartbeat. Low potassium is often associated with hypertension, muscle cramps and fatigue. According to Dr. Jonny Bowden, regular consumption of bananas reduces your risk of developing kidney cancer.

History of Yogurt

Yogurt has long been a staple in certain parts of Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe for centuries. Low-fat and nonfat yogurt is recognized as a nutritious and healthful food. It is an excellent source of calcium, protein, riboflavin, phosphorous and vitamin B12. Yogurt is made through the fermentation of milk sugar into lactic acid. The process retains healthy bacteria, enzymes and other live microorganisms. Yogurt is more digestible than milk for people with lactose intolerance because it is fermented. Types of yogurt that are available include lassi, kefir, Bulgarian and Greek yogurt.

Benefits of Probiotics

According to The Reader's Digest Association, yogurt supplies good bacteria called probiotics that support and improve your immune and digestive systems. Yogurt contains bacteria strains called bulgaricus, bifidobacteria and lactobacillus. Bulgaricus and bifidobacteria have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. The lactobacillus strand helps control inflammation which is associated with certain cancers and heart disease.

Considerations for Yogurt

Yogurt made from whole milk contains high levels of saturated fats. Consume low-fat or nonfat yogurt to limit the amount of fat in your diet. The best nutritional deal is plain yogurt with live active cultures. Highly sweetened containers of yogurt contain more calories and carbohydrates. Make sure to read the ingredients list on nutritional labels for protein and sugar values. Choose those that are higher in protein and with a lower sugar content.

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