By Carl Hanson
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More good news about fermented foods and the microbiome. Recent research suggests that the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may have a calming effect on the brain. Of course, a "calming effect" can't explain the guy who burned down his yogurt factory to keep it out of the meddling hands of new investors. There's such a thing as loving yogurt too much. So let that be a warning. And enjoy these top-rated yogurt recipes responsibly!

PRO TIP: For the probiotic benefit, choose yogurt with active or live cultures. Also, marinating meats with yogurt is great, but heat from the grill or oven will kill the beneficial bacteria. So make a little yogurt sauce to serve with cooked yogurt-marinated meats.

"Perfect summer smoothie for a post-workout boost," says megan.

Photo by lutzflcat

"A great summer fruit salad. The yogurt sauce is light and delicious with a definite zing of honey," says lutzflcat. "Don't add the sauce to the fruit until you're ready to serve."

Photo by lutzflcat

The secret to the avocado dip is Greek-style yogurt. "It's a bit more sour than regular plain yogurt," explains Carolin. "The dip fits perfectly with grilled salmon."

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Dip | Photo by Dianne

Experiment with different flavors of yogurt and different seasonal fruit.

Fruit Salad with Vanilla Yogurt_Photo by Carol

"Absolutely delicious!" raves tottiemoonie. "I never thought to use yogurt in a salad dressing, but it gives a wonderful light flavor with less calories than using all mayo."

Creamy Kale Salad | Photo by Molly

Here's a fresh berry parfait with creamy yogurt and crunchy granola. It's always delicious for breakfast and makes a healthy snack or tasty dessert, too.

Grilled chicken pairs up with a light-and-tangy, fresh cucumber yogurt sauce.

Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce | Photo by Anna Berman

Seasoned fried chickpea patties combine with a dill, cucumber, and yogurt sauce. Stuff the falafel inside pita pockets with plenty of yogurt sauce and chopped tomatoes.

The secret here is Key lime-flavored Greek yogurt. "Oh yeah, this is a good one," says lutzflcat. "I make a lot of breakfast smoothies, and it's been a while since I've rated one 5 stars, but this one is deserving."

Key Lime Pie Smoothie | Photo by lutzflcat

A healthier take on mac and cheese, this one combines cauliflower with creamy Greek yogurt, cheese, and seasonings.

Healthy Creamy Mac and Cheese | Photo by Allrecipes

The Health Benefits of Eating Yogurt

But wait, yogurt's calming effect isn't the half of it. This short video explores more health benefits of eating yogurt: