Yogurt is best known to improve gut health, but during the Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association held in Phoenix, Arizona, the researchers explained that yogurt can also boost heart health.

This benefit is accomplished by consuming at least five servings of yogurt every week. According to the AHA, women who don’t eat yogurt have higher risk of developing hypertension based on their findings.

The Root Cause of Many Diseases

High blood pressure is when blood pressure levels reach 140/90 mm/Hg or higher. Having high blood pressure is potentially dangerous because it causes tension for the heart. This results to several diseases including the hardening of arteries which is known as atherosclerosis. Hypertension also increases the risk for brain hemorrhage and may even result to kidney diseases, blindness, and strokes.

Yogurt’s Good Effects on Hypertension as Backed by Science

According to the lead author of the study, Justin Buendia of the Boston University School of Medicine, a lot of studies in the past have already shown that dairy products can indeed lower your risk of hypertension. But this recent study is different as it is quite a large study that evaluated how yogurt affects blood pressure positively. Using data from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), over 170,000 people who were mainly women with an average age range of 25 to 55 were closely followed for 18 to 30 years. It was discovered that more than 75,600 participants who ate less than one serving of yogurt monthly developed hypertension.

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But women who ate at least five servings each week had 20% lower risk for developing high blood pressure. Note that a serving here is defined as one cup, which is the size of a baseball. The study though emphasizes that men, even though they regularly consume yogurt, had lesser impact on the blood pressure levels.

How to Use Yogurt to Lower Your Blood Pressure Levels

The researchers recommend that in order for yogurt to work for blood pressure maintenance, the following conditions should be met:

Eat with a DASH diet, which is rich in whole grains, fish, beans, nuts, and milk products that are fat-free.

Eat more fruits and vegetables to further lower your risk of hypertension to 31%.

Eat more cheese and drink milk, which when accompanied by yogurt, have even better results in women.

Yogurt may also help reduce body mass index or BMI, which is a measure of obesity. Since being overweight or obese is a risk factor for high blood pressure, you should definitely add yogurt to your daily diet.