With its cool, creamy texture and delicious tangy flavour, yoghurt is irresistible any time of the day, but do you know that it’s also good for your overall health?

Research by scientists has revealed that there are many health benefits to eating yoghurt regularly. Read on for seven smart reasons to include more yoghurt in your family’s diet this year

1. Yoghurt’s such a convenient snack! It’s tempting to grab a chocolate or a packet of crisps when you’re in a hurry and feeling peckish. But these snacks contain mostly kilojoules coming from fat, and do not provide any significant nourishment for your body. Yoghurt, on the other hand, is a great choice for between-meals grazing, because it provides essential nutrients such as calcium and protein, contains all 9 essential amino acids, and has live cultures.

2. Yoghurt can be part of a varied and balanced diet. Yogurt contributes to daily nutrients (such as calcium and proteins) that are needed throughout life. Danone is committed to improving the nutritional quality of its products, and NutriDay has been enriched with nutrients that are missing in the diet of many South African children making it a smart choice

3. Yoghurt is made from two live cultures, Streptococcus thermpohillus and Lactobaccillus bulgaricus. Live cultures in yoghurts improve lactose digestion in individuals who have difficulty digesting lactose. Fermentation is a natural process, and in yoghurt-making it takes almost 8 hours for the live cultures to form a delicious thick and creamy yoghurt. Danone has more than 90 years of experience mastering the fermentation process and is committed to research on interaction between fermented products and gut microbiota.

4. Yoghurt’s is a source of calcium. Calcium contributes to normal muscle functions and is needed for the maintenance of healthy bones. Research has also shown that consuming yoghurt and similar dairy products can reduce the risk of tooth erosion caused by acidic, sugary drinks and snacks.

5. Yoghurt’s good for the waistline! Great news if you’re watching your weight: a 2005 study found that people who ate three yoghurts a week gained 50% less weight and had a 15% smaller waistline circumference compared with those who had no yoghurt in their diet.

6. Including yoghurt in your diet is associated with a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (T2D). Dr Salas-Salvadó of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Spain’s Rovira i Virgili University remarked that ‘substituting one unhealthy snack or food alternatives per day (e.g. cake, biscuit or chocolate) with one portion of yoghurt can reduce the risk of T2D by up to 45%’. It’s also good to know that yoghurt has a low glycaemic index.

7. Yoghurt may help lower blood pressure. During a 15-year study, researchers found that participants who derived at least 2 percent of their daily calories from yoghurt were 33% less likely to develop high blood pressure (hypertension). Are you convinced that yoghurt is indeed a smart food, given all this interesting research? Tell us on Facebook, or leave a comment below.