If high blood pressure related ailments are keeping you sick, your doctor may have suggested yoghurt to you. It has many benefits, from the probiotic effect it has that helps healthy bacteria to flourish in your digestive system, or the abundance of calcium and vitamin B5 and D which strengthens your bones and keep your skin glowing. But a lesser-known but equally beneficial drink that helps lower blood pressure is kefir — a fermented probiotic milk known to maintain the balance of good bacteria in the digestive system.
A recent study done on rats at Auburn University in Alabama, USA, shows that kefir can also have a positive effect on blood pressure by promoting communication between the gut and brain. Previous research has shown that an imbalance in the gut’s colony of bacteria (microbiota) may cause high blood pressure in some people. Similarly, probiotics — live bacteria supplements that are beneficial to the digestive system — have also been found to lower blood pressure, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are unclear.
What the study shows
The study shows that after nine weeks of kefir supplementation, the rats had lower levels of endotoxins — which are toxic substances that disrupt cell functioning — as well as lower blood pressure and improved intestinal permeability.
In addition, kefir supplementation restored the balance of four different gut bacteria and of an enzyme in the brain essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system, suggesting that the nervous and digestive systems work together to reduce hypertension, the results showed.
The findings will be presented at the American Physiological Society’s (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego.
5 other fermented products that you should have:
Kombucha is a fermented, probiotic tea that’s tart, lightly sweetened, and slightly effervescent.
Hollywood actors Cameron Diaz, Lindsay Lohan and Halle Berry swear by this fermented beverage. Much like yogurt, kombucha is loaded with beneficial bacteria. It can ease digestive issues, restore good bacteria in the body, and boost your immunity and mood, says a report in Health.
Fermented cabbage sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage and is rich in fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and B vitamins. It’s also a great source of iron, copper, calcium, sodium, manganese and magnesium. It boosts digestion, fights inflammation, and strengthens bones.
Kimchi is a Korean dish.
This traditional fermented Korean dish includes various vegetables and improves your heart health and digestion. It has high levels of antioxidants that protect you from diseases like diabetes and obesity.
Pickles are filled with several enzymes and active bacterial cultures.
Pickles are as beneficial as kimchi and are filled with active bacterial cultures and enzymes which are good for your gut. Opt for pickles not made with vinegar.
Yoghurt contains probiotics that increases the number of good bacteria in the gut.
Studies have shown that yoghurt can help reduce risk of cardiovascular problems. It contains probiotics that help in increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut for a healthy stomach, aiding in digestion and reducing the uncomfortable feeling of being bloated.
(Inputs from IANS)
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