By the time the New Year comes around, "Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh" may be the elevator music that makes you take the stairs.
But it turns out a bit of DASH-ing combined with a dose of probiotics could deliver the holiday present you truly are hoping for: better health.
At the American Heart Association's annual meeting, researchers presented preliminary findings that showed combining the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet with probiotics-packed foods can reduce fasting blood sugar and A1C levels (an average of your blood glucose levels over two to three months).
Around 40 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure (it's 79 percent among folks with diabetic kidney complications). Adopting a nutrition plan that benefits both conditions is a one-two punch.
Some study participants with high blood pressure followed the DASH diet with added probiotics. A 2,000-calories-a-day DASH plan includes three kinds of whole grains daily in 7 to 8 servings (some with probiotic granola); 4 to 5 servings each of fruits and veggies; 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or nonfat probiotic-rich yogurt and drinks; 2 or fewer servings of meat and poultry; 4 to 5 of nuts, seeds and legumes weekly; and limited fats.
So if you're battling high blood pressure and have prediabetes or diabetes, dash to the store for probiotic-rich foods to add to your DASH diet.
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