Women who eat five or more servings of yogurt a week are less likely to develop high blood pressure , research has found. The study – the largest of its kind, involving data from hundreds of thousands of people - found that the risk of high blood pressure was reduced by a fifth. This was compared to people who ate just one portion of yogurt a month. The effect was most noticeable in women because men eat much less yogurt, the researchers said.

People who ate yogurt with fruit five times a week saw a 31 per cent reduction in risk for high blood pressure , compared to those who ate yogurt just once a month. And the benefit of eating yogurt five times a week was even greater in people who also ate lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts and beans. They saw a 31 per cent reduction in risk for high blood pressure , compared to those who ate yogurt just once a month.

Justin Buendia, a PhD candidate at Boston University School of Medicine, said: ‘No one food is a magic bullet, but adding yogurt to an otherwise healthy diet seems to help reduce the long-term risk of high blood pressure in women.

‘I believe this is the largest study of its kind to date to evaluate the specific effects of yogurt on blood pressure .’

Ms Buendia, who presented the study at a conference of the American Heart Association, added: ‘Our study shows that daily intake of dairy products, particularly yogurt, lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure , which is a key risk factor.

The research was funded by the National Dairy Council in the US. It used data taken from studies of nurses’ health involving more than 240,000 people, mainly women between the ages of 25 and 55, and a second study of 51,000 health professionals, mostly men between 40 and 75. How yogurt reduces blood pressure was not explained. However it has previously been suggested the bacteria in yogurt may play a role in helping to lower cholesterol - which can cause the restricted blood vessels that led to higher blood pressure . It may also help control blood sugar levels. How yogurt reduces blood pressure was not explained.

How yogurt reduces blood pressure is not clear - but the bacteria in yogurt may help to lower cholesterol. Researchers have also found that yogurt may help against osteoporosis, and lead to lower levels of cardiovascular disease. However, Spanish research on 4,000 adults found no benefits to health from yogurt. And the potential benefits of eating yogurt does may also be undone by its high levels of sugar, which may increase weight and the risk of tooth decay in children.

Yogurt consumption has risen by 30 per cent between 2001 and 2011 in the UK, while cheese consumption grew by only 5 per cent in the same period. 

Extra glass of water can help reduce weight: Study

Researchers have found one percent increase in plain water consumption can lead to reduction in intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat thus makes a huge difference to shed a few extra kilos.

The study that examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 US adults found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water by one percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol, a private news channel reported.

People who increased their consumption of water by one, two or three cups daily decreased their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily and their sodium intake by 78 to 235 grams, the findings showed.

“The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race/ethnicity, education and income levels and body weight status,” said researcher Ruopeng An, a professor at the University of Illinois in the US.

“This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy cust omisation,” An noted.

A small but statistically significant one percent increase in participants’ daily consumption of plain water was associated with an 8.6-calorie decrease in daily energy intake, as well as slight reductions in participants’ intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and discretionary foods along with their consumption of fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.