Greek yogurt contains all of the essential amino acids.
A diet that's low in overall calories and high in low- or nonfat dairy products may help you lose weight and gain muscle mass, reported a 2012 study published in the "International Journal of Obesity." The rich protein content of dairy might be part of the reason for this effect: Dairy-based protein may help keep you feeling fuller longer. The protein supplied by these products, including Greek yogurt, are good sources of the amino acids your body needs.
Excellent Source of Protein
A 170-gram container of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt - approximately 3/4 cup - supplies 17 grams of protein. That's 30 percent of the protein the average man should aim to consume each day, and it fulfills 37 percent of the average woman's recommended daily intake. Most of Greek yogurt's protein is casein, the primary type of protein found in milk-based products.
Contains All Essential Amino Acids
The casein in Greek yogurt is a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids: methionine, lysine, isoleucine, histidine, valine, tryptophan, threonine, phenylalanine and leucine. You can only obtain essential amino acids from your diet - your body cannot synthesize them. Cellular tissue growth and repair and the production of protein-based compounds like enzymes depend on you consuming enough of these amino acids.
Rich in Leucine
A 250-gram serving of 1 cup of Greek yogurt contains 2.5 grams of leucine, as much as you'd obtain from more than four eggs, 1 1/3 servings of chicken breast or top round beef, or five servings of peanuts. A "Journal of Nutrition" study published in 2006 linked a high intake of leucine-rich foods to greater satiety and a lower risk of metabolic syndrome. Leucine is also needed for muscle protein synthesis.
High in Glycine
Greek yogurt contains more glycine per serving than milk, reports the Dairy Council. Your body normally produces adequate glycine, but you may need it from a dietary source if illness, injury or extreme physical activity prevents you from making enough. Glycine acts as a neurotransmitter, a chemical that transmits signals between neurons in your nervous system. Glycine also aids with the production of bile acids, other amino acids, DNA and RNA.