Yogurt contains beneficial micronutrients that regulate blood pressure
Yogurt contains beneficial micronutrients that help regulate blood pressure and help keep your heart healthier, according to a recent study in the US and Australia.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, and high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.
Research conducted at the University of South Australia in partnership with the University of Maine studied the connection between certain foods and cardiovascular risk factors. Specifically, scientists examined data from 915 adults, who self-reported the foods they ate, including their yogurt consumption.
The researchers found a link between those who ate yogurt regularly and their blood pressure levels. Habitual yogurt consumption, or eating yogurt often, was found to result in lower blood pressure.
Those who ate yogurt frequently saw the strongest positive effect, with blood pressure readings that were significantly lower than those who didn't eat any yogurt at all.
Participants who made yogurt a regular part of their diets saw blood pressure levels about 7 points lower than those who skipped out on this dairy-based food.
Why is yogurt potentially so great for high blood pressure? The study's researchers suspect that it has to do with the micronutrients present in your typical yogurt.
Yogurt contains a mix of minerals that help regulate blood pressure: Calcium, magnesium and potassium. As Harvard Health Publishing notes, each one of these three minerals plays an important role in managing blood flow throughout the body.
Potassium helps relax the walls of your blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure. Magnesium regulates blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels, and like potassium, it relaxes the blood vessels. And calcium is involved in the process of blood vessels constricting and relaxing, helping them function smoothly.
But it's not just the minerals present that make yogurt a good choice. "Good" bacteria is also playing a role.
The study's researchers point out that certain bacteria present in most yogurts help release proteins, which in turn may lower blood pressure. As researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine note, this can help activate receptors in the blood vessels, which in turn can help lower blood pressure overall.
Researchers also suggest that yogurt may not be the only food that offers these potential blood pressure benefits. They hypothesize that other dairy-based foods may also have a positive impact.