In addition to a laundry list of benefits for a healthy gut, yogurt may drastically reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. A recent study in the American Journal of Hypertension found that men who eat at least two servings of yogurt per week had a 21 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and risk among women dropped by 17%.
A team of scientists at Boston University’s School of Medicine studied more than 740,000 individuals who had previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Using health questionnaires administered over the last 30 years, the scientists measured yogurt intake and weighed it against heart-related health issues such as heart attack or stroke.
In a press release, one of the study’s authors revealed that the team behind the report had initially wanted to see if fermented dairy products could aid poor cardiovascular health. The study shows a correlation between yogurt and heart health—so it’s not yet clear whether eating yogurt actually reduces risk, or that overall healthier people tend to eat more yogurt, so more research will have to be done.
Still, recent studies have found health benefits for a variety of probiotic and dairy foods, including the superfood kefir which significantly boosts gut health. And recent scientific research has found heart-healthy benefits from eating small amounts of cheese every day.
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While the researchers didn’t target a particular variety of yogurt, it’s important to recognize that yogurt brands greatly vary in the dairy aisle, and some are better for you than others. It’s clear that yogurt can be a great addition to your diet due to heavy probiotics, calcium levels, and a healthy source of fat.
Regardless of which kind you choose to pick up, this new evidence could finally be the final bit of buzz to get you to incorporate yogurt into your daily lineup. Added bonus? There’s a way you can try a slew of different yogurts for free this month, too.
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