You might want to add an extra serving of yogurt to your breakfast routine. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition has revealed that the dairy product may help reduce inflammation, which may in turn reduce the risk of bowel disease, asthma, and arthritis. We’ll raise a smoothie to that!

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that yogurt reduces inflammation by improving the integrity of the intestinal lining. That helps to prevent pro-inflammatory molecules like endotoxins from crossing into the bloodstream.

The study was conducted on 120 women, half of whom were obese. Half of the group was instructed to eat 12 ounces of low-fat yogurt every day for nine weeks, while the control group was given non-dairy pudding. Blood tests were taken at multiple points during the course of the study. Over time, the yogurt eaters had better levels of tumor necrosis factor, or TNF, an important inflammation-activating protein. Metabolism rates were also improved in the obese participants as well.

Ruisong Pei, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison had this to say, “Eating eight ounces of low-fat yogurt before a meal is a feasible strategy to improve post-meal metabolism and thus may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.”

Unfortunately the research wasn’t able to account for which compounds in yogurt are responsible for this effect, but further studies may be able to make that determination.

While the benefits of the popular probiotic food have long been touted, it’s also important to be on the look out for hidden sugars when buying yogurt. Many brands add extra sweeteners and, while delicious, are far from necessary and work to negate its overall nutritional benefit.

Yogurt is also far from the only food known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so the next time you’re in the supermarket you may want to stock up on these items as well:

Leafy Greens – Veggies like spinach, swiss char, and bok choy are extremely high in vitamins and antioxidants.

Turmeric – The earthy yellow spice is not only super trendy, but super healthy as well!

Walnuts – Got to love those omega-3 fatty acids!

Flaxseeds – Even more omega-3 and flavanoids.

Blueberries – These are just delicious.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jessica is an Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
See more articles