Pain-relieving Greek yogurt popsicles

Greek yogurt has been gaining popularity since 2009. It’s no wonder; Greek yogurt has double the protein of regular yogurt, is easier to digest and has a more decadent texture. Most Greek yogurt types also have vitamin D, offering immune support. With all those advantages, Greek yogurt still has another benefit most people haven’t heard of: pain relief.

The live cultures in Greek yogurt supplement the good bacteria in our stomachs and reduce inflammation. C-reactive protein, which marks inflammation, is reduced by the bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus. By reducing the amount of inflammation, it also reduces the amount of pain for people who have arthritis. Another way yogurt shuts down inflammation is with a molecule named lactoferrin. It helps to reduce the body’s production of a chemical that triggers inflammation in joints.

Greek yogurt has a good amount of protein, as stated above, which slows digestion and helps control blood sugar. The live cultures in Greek yogurt help to process the sugars we consume, which also evens out blood sugar and insulin production. Reducing these spikes also keeps inflammation down.

When shopping, choose Greek yogurt with live cultures; be aware that some yogurts have been heat treated to have no live cultures left. Look for unsweetened yogurt with no additives or thickeners. There are imitations of Greek yogurt on the market that use thickeners and added protein to mock Greek yogurt, but the additives may not help you on your anti-inflammatory quest. Greek yogurt can be tart and tangy; if that is too intense, try mixing it with healthy granola, fruit or a drizzle of honey. For summer, try these popsicles with raspberry for added anti-inflammatory benefits.

Tart raspberry Greek yogurt popsicles

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

Add yogurt, raspberries and 1 tablespoon of honey to a blender or food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth and even in color. Taste for sweetness and add additional honey if needed.

Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for at least four hours.

Enjoy!

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