Whether you mix it into your post-workout smoothie or sprinkle fruit and granola over it for breakfast, yogurt is a delicious treat you can enjoy any time of day. But did you know that it can work wonders for your health? You probably have heard it’s great for your gut, but new research has shown that yogurt could play a key role in slashing your risk of heart disease and other heart-related medical problems.
A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension by Boston University and Harvard University scientists recently looked at yogurt’s impacts on the cardiovascular system. They dug into data from almost 75,000 respondents between the ages of 40 and 55 who took the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study over the course of 30 years. Researchers focused on participants who had high blood pressure.
The results from the study concluded that people who ate just two servings of yogurt per week could cut their risk of heart disease by 17 percent. Women also saw a 30 percent drop in their risk of experiencing a “cardiac incident.” What a difference!
Why the rapid change? It appears to have something to do with fermentation. “We hypothesized that long-term yogurt intake might reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems since some previous small studies had shown beneficial effects of fermented dairy products,” explained Justin Buendia, PhD, one of the study’s authors.
Researchers are still working out what makes the bacteria in fermented dairy products so beneficial for long-term heart health. But they believe that together with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, those products play an important role in regulating the cardiovascular system and keeping everything in good and working order. Regardless, it’s a relief to know that such a common part of many people’s diets can be great for health, too!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.