Yogurt is more than just a breakfast or lunch snack. This dairy product offers countless benefits ranging from improving gut health to immune support to muscle building. And while yogurt can be delicious on its own, adding flavorings can make it a more balanced meal as well as contribute additional health benefits.
One of these benefits can help reduce chronic inflammation—something that many people can benefit from. While acute inflammation occurs naturally after an injury or illness, chronic inflammation occurs when the body is unable to turn off its inflammatory pathways, which can be a side effect of excessive alcohol consumption, excess weight, insufficient exercise, and stress. . Chronic inflammation is long-term and can eventually lead to various diseases and conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases and metabolic disorders.
If you want to reduce inflammation, there’s no better time to start than first thing in the morning with your breakfast yogurt. And according to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPTits author The first-time mom’s pregnancy cookbook, The 7-Ingredient Cookbook for Healthy Pregnancyand Nutrition of male fertilityThe The best combination of yogurt to reduce inflammation is the addition of wild blueberries and walnuts.
“It’s no surprise that one of the most popular yogurt combinations is also one of the best combinations for managing inflammation,” says Manaker. “Topping yogurt with wild blueberries (the tiny ones often found in the frozen food section) and walnuts can give your dairy base a boost in nutrients, some of which have anti-inflammatory properties.”
How blueberries and walnuts can help manage inflammation
According to Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistrywild blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins and other flavonoids with anti-inflammatory effects.
“These sweet fruits have no added sugar and add a satisfying flavor to any dish, including yogurt-based ones,” says Manaker. “Wild blueberries have a higher concentration of the antioxidant anthocyanin compared to conventional blueberries, allowing them to have more antioxidant capacity per serving.”
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As for walnuts, Manaker suggests that they are the only nut that is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – the essential plant omega-3 fatty acid.
“The data suggests that this fatty acid has anti-inflammatory properties along with being a source of plant-based protein and fiber,” says Manaker.
Not only that, walnuts are a rich source of anti-inflammatory vitamins and antioxidants. This includes vitamin E and other phytonutrients such as phenolic acids, tannins and flavonoids.
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While there are so many ways to eat yogurt to help your health, you might want to consider it the winning combination—especially if you’re thinking about how to help reduce inflammation.
“This combination will not only help your body fight inflammation, but it will also deliver a seriously satisfying taste without added sugar,” says Manaker.