A healthy diet should include a variety of foods from each of the food groups. Varying your intake of each of these groups helps ensure you meet all of your nutrient needs. A healthy diet should include foods such as blueberries and yogurt. These foods are rich in nutrients and offer a number of health benefits.
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Low in Calories
Both blueberries and yogurt make low-calorie food choices. A 1 cup serving of fresh blueberries contains 84 calories, and a 6 oz. serving of nonfat fruit yogurt contains 163 calories. Balancing your calorie intake is the key to weight management, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2010 dietary guidelines.
In addition to being low in calories, both blueberries and yogurt are nutrient-rich foods. They contain high levels of essential vitamins and minerals in a low-calorie package. A 1 cup serving of blueberries meets 14 percent of your daily vitamin C needs and 20 percent of your daily manganese needs. You need adequate intakes of vitamin C to make the structural protein collagen found in your skin and tendons. Manganese is important for bone health. A 6 oz. serving of nonfat fruit yogurt meets 25 percent of your daily calcium needs. Calcium supports bone health and growth.
Both blueberries and yogurt can help satisfy your hunger. A 1 cup serving of fresh blueberries contains about 4 g of fiber. Fiber in food slows digestion, improving satiety. A 6 oz. container of nonfat fruit yogurt contains 7 g of protein. Protein in food delays stomach emptying which also improves satiety. Including low-calorie foods that help with hunger control can help you manage your weight.
Aid in Digestion
Blueberries and yogurt also help improve digestion. In addition to helping control hunger, the fiber in blueberries also helps alleviate constipation by adding bulk to stool. The active cultures, also known as probiotics, found in yogurt also help improve constipation by regulating gastric transit time. In addition, the probiotics in yogurt help digest the lactose in yogurt making it easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance.
Keep You Healthy
The nutrients found in both blueberries and yogurt can also keep you healthy. Blueberries contain high amounts of antioxidants, preventing free radicals from damaging your cells. Including more antioxidant rich foods in your diet may protect you from heart disease and certain types of cancer. The probiotics in yogurt improve the absorption of certain vitamins such as calcium, iron and magnesium, and also improve your immune system by regulating white blood cells and antibodies.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database: Blueberries and Yogurt
- Blueberry Council: Nutrition
- HealthCastle.com: Health Benefits of Probiotics; Gloria Tsang, R.D.; July 2008
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Manganese
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet
- U.S. Department of Agriculure: 2010 Dietary Guidelines: Executive Summary