How to Drink Your Way to Better Heart Health
High blood sugar is a serious problem for millions of Americans. It can lead to many health issues, including heart trouble. So when I find an easy – and delicious way – to lower heart risk, I want to spread the news.
One reason high blood sugar raises heart risk is that it involves what you could call “systemic irritation.” Tissues all over your body react as though they were slightly injured. When this happens, levels of some chemicals linked to injury reactions rise in your body.
One of these chemicals is called C-reactive protein, or CRP for short. Numerous studies have shown that when your CRP levels go up, so does your risk of heart trouble. So, CRP is called a “marker” for heart risk.
Doctors working in the Middle East recently made a remarkable discovery. They were worried about an increase in obesity there. But they also know that many people in the region can only afford simple remedies. One answer they hit on is not only simple and effective, it’s absolutely delicious.
Centuries ago, the Persians first made a drink of yogurt and water called “doogh.” Today, doogh is still enjoyed in many parts of the Middle East. And though it’s not sweet, it’s really quite tasty.
These doctors asked volunteers to try three different versions of doogh. Then they tested the volunteer’s blood for CRP and certain other risk factors for heart trouble.
Some people drank plain doogh – about 8-1/2 ounces, twice a day. Another group drank doogh with natural vitamin D added. And a third enjoyed their doogh with vitamin D plus calcium.
After 12 weeks, the vitamin D and vitamin D-plus-calcium groups had much lower levels of CRP and several other heart-risk markers. These same groups also had much higher levels of adiponectin.1 That’s a hormone your body uses to fight systemic irritation.
In other words, by enjoying a refreshing drink twice a day, they’d lowered their risk of heart trouble.
Doogh is easy to make, healthy and refreshing. And because it’s mostly water and yogurt, it’s a great alternative to juices and other drinks that tend to be high in sugar. Here’s a simple recipe…
- Soften one cup of low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt in the bottom of a pitcher.
- Add a pinch or two of salt and ½-tablespoon of crushed dried mint.
- Pour the water into the pitcher and mix thoroughly.
- Serve chilled, over ice.
If you prefer your drinks fizzy, you can make this recipe with sparkling water. And for a more intense flavor, experiment with fresh mint.
To match this recipe to the one in the study, you’ll have to add a little natural vitamin D (called D3). But it’s available in most health food stores in liquid form. Just mix 2,000 International Units – which probably won’t be more than a couple of drops, depending on the brand – into the recipe above.
Adding calcium raised the volunteers’ adiponectin levels more than vitamin D alone. But I think you can skip the extra calcium. The vitamin D had a significant effect on its own… and omitting the calcium will save you some hassle.
Besides, yogurt already delivers a fair amount of calcium… along with high-quality protein. And it contains active bacteria cultures that promote digestive health.
Doogh makes a wonderful compliment to Middle Eastern dishes. But you can enjoy it all on its own. It’s a perfect, healthful refresher for a hot summer day.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Neyestani, T.R., et al, “Improvement of Vitamin D Status via Daily Intake of Fortified Yogurt Drink Either with or without Extra Calcium Ameliorates Systemic Inflammatory Biomarkers, including Adipokines, in the Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes,” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. March 22, 2012; jc.2011-3465.