Yogurt is one of those foods you can enjoy at any time of day; such as a hearty breakfast, an appealing midday snack, or even a tasty dessert to cap off the night. And as good as it can taste plain, you can add toppings to yogurts to make them more nutritious. Since yogurt is full of bone-strengthing nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, it’s good to protect brittle bones.
With that being said, it’s important that when you consider what to put in your yogurt, you choose ingredients that emphasize yogurt’s benefits. If you’re looking for more foods to help prevent your bones from aging, you may want to consider a particular one. According to Emma Laing, PhD, RDN, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says the #1 best yogurt combination to prevent your bones from aging is yogurt with prunes.
Dr. Laing says that yogurt paired with prunes can pack a bone-strengthening punch.
How to add prunes and bone-strengthing foods to your yogurt
Although prunes may not be everyone’s number one fruit choice, they provide lots of benefits. Therefore, it’s worth trying to incorporate them into your yogurt. As a recipe option, Dr. Laing suggests adding stewed prunes to a bowl of plain yogurt. Then, sweeten the bowl with honey or a sugar substitute and add cinnamon to taste. Then you can enjoy it as a nutritious breakfast or snack.
If you can’t seem to enjoy adding prunes to your yogurt, Dr. Laing suggests a second option—other fruits!
“Many fruits contain bone-building nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C and have been linked to staving off skeletal fractures,” she says.
Yogurt, in general, is a great food to add to your diet
For another recipe idea, Dr. Laing suggests grabbing a mason jar or tall glass and creating a colorful fruit and yogurt parfait.
“Layer plain yogurt with the fresh or frozen fruits you have on hand, like strawberries, bananas, blueberries, papaya, kiwi, or pineapples,” Dr. Laing recommends. “Top the parfait with crunchy whole grain granola or other nuts or seeds to provide extra protein and magnesium.”
The benefits of yogurt don’t just stop there…
Adding any of these ingredients (with or without the crunch) can also be blended into a smoothie. Dr. Laing recommends adding fresh or frozen spinach to your smoothie for bonus amounts of vitamins A, C, K, B-vitamins, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. To create a smoother drinkable yogurt, you can also add milk, water, or 100% juice when blending.
For more recipes and ideas, you can visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.
Whichever option you might choose, Dr. Laing boasts the benefits of adding yogurt to your diet.
“Yogurt is a versatile food in the marketplace,” she says. “You can find it in numerous flavors. Also as regular fat, low fat, and no fat options. And, as frozen, refrigerated, drinkable, or squeezable.”
She continues to say that similar to many dairy products, certain brands of yogurt can be terrific sources of calcium. Plus, they can be packed with protein and other “bone-promoting” nutrients.
“Protein, in particular, is a macronutrient that is important for supporting both bone and muscle health,” says Dr. Laing. “Because muscle has a profound influence on bone, nutrients that support muscle also support bone and vice versa.”