Adding more yogurt to your diet may help lower risk of high blood pressure, according to a new research.

A study presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions found that long-term yogurt-eaters were less likely to develop high blood pressure and on average had lower systolic blood pressure than those who didn’t eat yogurt.

Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading. It measures the force of blood against the walls of arteries when the heart is beating.

During the 15-year study, researchers followed more than 2,000 volunteers who did not have high blood pressure at the start of the study.

Yogurt consumption was measured by questionnaires filled out by the volunteers at three intervals over the study period, researchers said in a statement.

Study participants were 31 per cent less likely to develop high blood pressure if at least 2 per cent of their daily calories came from yogurt, which would be like eating at least one six-ounce cup of low-fat yogurt every three days.

In addition, their systolic blood pressure increased less than that of people who didn’t eat yogurt.