Yogurt is a delicious snack that a lot of us enjoy. Many of us eat yogurt to boost our intake of protein, calcium, or even probiotics. But can yogurt improve your heart health? Research seems to suggest so.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Hypertension, wanted to determine whether yogurt could improve high blood pressure.
For the study, the researchers looked at two groups all with high blood pressure. This included 55,898 female participants aged between 30 and 55 years old who enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and 8,232 male participants aged between 40 and 75 years old who enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS).
The women completed food frequency questionnaires throughout the course of the study between 1980 to 2006. The male participants also filled out food questionnaires when they enrolled in the study.
The researchers uncovered that the consumption of yogurt was associated with a decreased risk of heart disease later in life.
Two or more servings of yogurt a week was associated with a 20 percent reduction in suffering congenital heart disease or stroke in the future.
For the women, over two servings of yogurt a week was associated with a 30 percent reduction of a heart attack. In men, this reduced the risk of heart attack by 20 percent.
The study authors wrote, “Our results suggest that higher long-term yogurt intake is associated with lower CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk among hypertensive men and women. These findings endorse that incorporation of yogurt into a healthy diet pattern for individuals with hypertension to aid in the prevention of incident CVD.”
To further reduce the risk of heart disease, the researchers found the consumption of yogurt and a higher DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) score was most effective. The DASH diet encourages the consumption of more fruits and vegetables and nutrient dense food in order to reduce high blood pressure.
Related: Can foods lower heart rate?