The probiotics in foods like yogurt have been promoted as an effective way to regulate your digestion, but a new study suggests that the beneficial bacteria may help lower your blood pressure too. Researchers at the Griffith University School of Medicine in Australia looked at nine different studies where participants took probiotics for at least eight weeks and found reductions in blood pressure across the board.
At Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire, we understand that many seniors struggle with their blood pressure, especially those in their 70s and 80s and wanted to share some of the information presented by the Griffith University School of Medicine. This new research can be utilized by seniors and their caregivers to promote a healthier life at home.
The research showed that people with elevated blood pressure received the greatest benefit from eating foods with the so-called “good” bacteria. On average, the systolic blood pressure (represented by the top number) was reduced by 3.6 and the diastolic or bottom number was lowered by 2.4. The study found that probiotics that contain several strains of bacteria were more effective than those containing one type of bacteria.
Scientists believe there may be multiple reasons probiotics may have a healthful effect on blood pressure. Prior studies have shown that probiotics help lower bad cholesterol levels, control blood sugar and balance the hormonal system, all of which have a positive effect on blood pressure.
Even a small drop in an elevated blood pressure can significantly reduce the risk for heart disease, so adding foods packed with probiotics might be a good idea if your aging loved one’s numbers are high. With our Balanced Care Method™ emphasizing the importance of a well-balanced and healthy diet, we suggest the following probiotic-rich foods:
- Yogurt with live and active cultures
- Fermented cheeses like cheddar, Swiss and gouda
- Kefir, a fermented milk drink that tastes similar to yogurt
- Fresh buttermilk (cooking with buttermilk kills the helpful bacteria)
- Miso soup, a Japanese favorite made with fermented soybean paste
- Korean kimchi made with fermented cabbage
Other studies suggest that probiotic bacteria can boost the immune system, lower stress levels and improve brain function. All are great reasons to start enjoying healthful portions of probiotic-rich foods today.
Interested in learning more about senior nutrition? Contact Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire today. Our highly trained and professional New Hampshire caregivers assist seniors at home with meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders and so much more. Call 603-471-3004 to request free information or schedule your in-home consultation.