Dealing with high blood pressure involves so many lifestyle and dietary changes that it can easily be overwhelming, but new research has found that a common snack could be one of the easiest changes to make.
Researchers with the University of South Australia and the University of Maine teamed up and studied almost one thousand adults’ eating habits who were diagnosed with high blood pressure (equal or more than 140/90 mmHg). One of the foods that caught researchers off guard was yogurt, which correlated to lower blood pressures in people with hypertension.
It sounds like an unlikely way to lower blood pressure, but the reasons behind it do make sense. Yogurt is a source of live cultures and bacteria, and it’s the presence of these bacteria which cause the body to release certain proteins which lower blood pressure. Though it may seem strange to support eating dairy products which can be high in fat and are generally not recommended for people who with heart disease or high blood pressure, yogurt is actually a rich source of vitamins and minerals (such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium) which lowers blood pressure as well.
To gain these benefits, the participants in the study didn’t have to eat large amounts of yogurt because even moderate servings of yogurt lowered blood pressure by almost seven points! Yogurt comes in a variety of forms and also can be non-fat or made from skim milk, so incorporating yogurt can be an easy way to grab a snack that keeps you full until dinner and improves your heart health.
Alexandra T. Wade, et al. Higher yogurt intake is associated with lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals: Cross-sectional findings from the Maine–Syracuse longitudinal study. International Dairy Journal, 2021; 122: 105159 DOI: 10.1016/j.idairyj.2021.105159