Over the recent years, the popularity of yogurt has grown. It has been hailed as one of the “must eat” foods on numerous diet plans, and major dairy companies have invested a tremendous amount of time and money to come up with the yogurt that gives you the most benefits. Among the many pro-health claims made for yogurt is that the “live and active cultures” of probiotic bacteria can help maintain a healthy digestive system and improve your immunity. Yogurts are also known to promote cardiovascular health, and they do that by help controlling your blood pressure.
Low Sodium, High Potassium
The most significant contributor to high blood pressure is a high dietary intake of sodium. Studies have proven that higher levels of salt intake leads to increases in your blood pressure. For you to reduce your blood pressure, reducing the amount of salt in your diet is mandatory. Studies have shown that you need to keep your dietary intake of sodium below 2,000 mg per day to keep your blood pressure within the normal range.
In addition, blood pressure can also be controlled by raising your dietary intake of potassium. Studies have shown that being on a high potassium diet can effectively reduce your blood pressure by as much as 10%. The recommended daily intake of potassium for an average adult is 4,700 mg, but if you are not mindful, you may not consume enough to meet the daily requirement. This can also increase your risks of hypertension and heart disease.
Yogurts can help you from both sides. On average, one 8 ounce cup of yogurt contains less than 90 mg of sodium and around 240 mg of potassium. This differential in the sodium and potassium content is one of the primary reasons why taking yogurt can help your blood pressure.
High Calcium, High Magnesium
You already know that calcium is important to having healthy bones, but it is also vital to many other functions in your body including conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contractions, hormone secretion and enzyme regulation.
In terms of controlling your blood pressure, the effect of calcium is done with the aid of magnesium. Studies have shown that a high calcium, high magnesium diet can help you reduce your blood pressure without having to reduce your salt intake. For an average adult, you are recommended to take at least 1000 mg of calcium and between 500 mg to 700 mg of magnesium per day to be healthy.
An average 8 ounce serving of yogurt can generally supply you with about 370 mg of calcium and 40 mg of magnesium. Though milk may also give you a good dose of calcium and magnesium, they are not suitable if you are lactose intolerant. Studies have shown that the probiotic cultures in yogurt can produce their own lactose. which can help your digestive system accept yogurt.
In general, all yogurts have the ability to reduce your blood pressure. If you are really looking for an optimum effect, choose the kinds that are low fat, reduced sugar and have added fiber.