Probiotics, found in yogurt and other fermented products, may ease the severity of colds. Look for labels that say “live and active cultures.”
Also look for added vitamin D. Studies show that people with low vitamin D levels may be more likely to get colds or the flu.
Calories and Macronutrients
An 8-ounce container of plain low-fat yogurt has 143 calories. Low-fat yogurt has about 12 grams of protein in an 8-ounce serving, so it provides amino acids necessary to build and maintain muscle tissue. A container of low-fat yogurt has only 3.5 grams of fat and just 14 milligrams of cholesterol; it can easily be part of your low-fat diet.
An 8-ounce container of low-fat yogurt contains 415 milligrams of calcium, more than a third of the daily requirement for adults. Calcium is important for bone and tooth health, and it also is essential for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. Yogurt also contains 531 milligrams of potassium per serving. Potassium helps build muscle, maintain electrical activity in the heart and regulate the balance of electrolytes in the body.
Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria found in low-fat yogurt and other products. These bacteria may help improve digestion, respiratory function and resistance to disease when consumed. However, little is known about which specific strains of bacteria are most beneficial or whether they act the same way in every person. Most of the people who seem to get a health benefit from yogurt consume it two or three times a day. Make sure to choose a low-fat yogurt labeled as having live or active cultures because this ensures that the probiotics in the yogurt will work in your body as intended.
Some low-fat yogurt contains added sugar or flavorings that can make it a less healthy option than plain yogurt. Adding fresh fruit to plain yogurt is generally a better option than eating yogurt with added fruit plus sweeteners. If you want your yogurt to be a bit sweeter, you can add a small amount of honey, molasses or maple syrup to it. However, keep in mind that these sweeteners also contain calories and natural sugars, so you should only use them in moderation.