Not only does yogurt taste delicious, research has shown that it is great for your heart! In fact, eating yogurt as part of a well-balanced diet can lower your blood pressure more than taking blood pressure medication.
A recent study funded by the Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health found that those who eat yogurt have lower blood pressure than those who do not.
This study gathered data from more than 2,000 adults over the course of 15 years. When the study began, these participants did not have high blood pressure. During the 15-year period, the yogurt consumption of participants was tracked along with their blood pressure levels. Those participants who ate at least one six-ounce serving of low-fat yogurt every three days were 31% less likely to experience high blood pressure than those who did not eat any yogurt.
High blood pressure can lead to dangerous health conditions, such as congestive heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. Researchers noted that on average, the systolic blood pressure levels of those who ate yogurt were lower.
According to the American Heart Association, systolic blood pressure is a measurement of the force of blood on your arterial walls as your heart is beating. The top number of your blood pressure is the systolic blood pressure reading.
Amazingly, researchers also found that those who ate as little as 2 ounces of yogurt each day and did not take any blood pressure medication had lower blood pressure levels than those who ate the same amount of yogurt, but took medication for high blood pressure. This could mean that making healthy dietary changes could be enough to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Another study out of Spain found that everyone can experience lower blood pressure by eating low-fat dairy products. The University of Navarra Follow-up Study looked at the eating habits of university graduates. Based on their answers to questionnaires, researchers found that the risk of developing high blood pressure was cut in half for those who ate 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy products each day.
They also found that these results were consistent across the board. They were not affected by the participants’ gender, age, total fat intake, protein consumption, or body mass index. The same results were not seen with the consumption of higher fat dairy products.
A Dutch study, reported in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that drinking low-fat milk and eating low-fat dairy products could help to slow the progression of high blood pressure. A research team from the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and Wageningen University looked at the blood pressure levels and eating habits of 2,245 Dutch adults over the age of 55. Those who ate the most low-fat dairy products had the lowest blood pressure levels. Most of the participants included low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt in their diets.
The benefits of eating yogurt don’t stop at lower blood pressure. Adding low-fat yogurt to your diet could also lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, strengthen your immune system, and help your digestive tract to function properly.