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What's The Relation Between Omega-3 and Heart Health?

Omega-3 helps protect your neurons and prevents several neurological disorders. But does it improve your heart health too? If yes, how? Well, if you have these questions in mind, you've come to the right place.

Below, you'll learn what omega-3 is and how it is related to your heart health. You'll also find out what are the most common sources of omega-3. So, if you're ready, let's begin. 

What are omega-3 or omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids fall under the category of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Although such fatty acids have important functions (support heart health), they aren't produced in your body. You need to eat specific food items to meet your daily need for omega-3 fatty acids.

How can omega-3 fatty acids help your heart?

Omega-3 fatty acids help in building brain cells and also in preventing inflammation. And this, in turn, decreases/reduces the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Here are other ways by which omega-3 helps your heart:
●    Reduces the level of triglycerides in your blood.
●    Reduces the risk of arrhythmias or irregular heartbeat.
●    Helps prevent chances of blocking your arteries.
●    Helps lower the blood pressure slightly.
●    Reduces the chances of clot formation.
●    Reduces the chances of heart failure or strokes.

Do omega-3 fatty acids offer benefits other than good heart health?

Yes, apart from helping your heart, omega-3 fatty acids also:

Reduces ADHD symptoms in children

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattention. And research has found that omega-3 supplements can help reduce these symptoms over time.

Improve overall eye health 

DHA, which is a kind of Omega-3 fatty acid, is an essential component for your eye's retina. And when there isn't enough DHA in your body, you might face vision problems. Fortunately, with omega-3, you can reduce the chances of muscle degeneration which can further help you prevent eye damage or even permanent blindness.  

Fight autoimmune disorder

An autoimmune disorder is one when your body attacks your own healthy cells. Common examples can be sclerosis, type1 diabetes, etc. Fortunately, there are studies showing that omega-3 might help fight type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune diabetes.

What is the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids?

Your body doesn't produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own. So, you need to get the required amount from your diet. 5-10% of the total calories you consume must contain omega-3 fatty acids. And you can meet this amount by consuming the richest source of omega-3, which is fish.
Although several types of seafood contain a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish is the best. Fatty fish seems to be the most beneficial for your heart health. 2 servings of fish each week can help you prevent the risk of heart disease, specifically a sudden cardiac arrest.
Here are some fish rich in omega-3:
●    Sardine
●    Salmon
●    Canned, light tuna
●    Atlantic mackerel
●    Herring
●    Cod
●    Lake trout

Are fishes safe to eat?

Although fish may be a rich source of omega-3, not all are safe for consumption. It's because some particular fishes could be tainted with chemicals like mercury. And consuming fish tainted with chemicals can be harmful both for young kids and pregnant women.

Here are some types of fish pregnant women and kids shouldn't consume:
●    Swordfish
●    Tilefish
●    Shark
●    King mackerel
However, if you belong to the middle-aged group or are older, the benefits of consuming fish will outweigh the risks. You can refer to this paragraph above to decide which fishes are safe to consume and which are not.

Are there any other sources of omega-3 fatty acids other than fish?

Fish is undoubtedly the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, it's not feasible for everyone to consume fish. After all, not everyone is a non-vegetarian. So, for them, there are veg sources such as:
●    Soybean oil and soybeans
●    Dairy
●    Flaxseed oil and flaxseed
●    Chia seeds
●    Canola oil
●    Walnuts
●    Green leafy vegetables
●    Cereals and pasta
●    Food products that are fortified with omega-3 fatty acids
Apart from these sources, you can also go for omega-3 supplements. Such supplements are easy to consume and taste well too. However, you should put decent time into research before you buy an Omega-3 supplement.

Wrapping Up

Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease triglycerides, reduce cholesterol and inflammation. All this sums up to fewer chances of cardiac arrest and a healthy heart. And this is how omega-3 is related to your heart. You can consume fish, walnuts, dairy, chia seeds, or even some effective omega-3 supplements to meet your daily needs. And this will help improve your overall heart health.


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