Healthy Seafood: The Benefits of Omega 3 Including for Heart and Mental Health
Seafood is one of the best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that eating fish and shellfish rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least once a week can be good for your heart and mind.
Omega-3 fats are essential nutrients. They are integral for healthy cell membranes and functioning cell receptors in your bodies. They also play a vital role in making the hormones that relax or inflame artery walls and regulate blood clotting and contraction. They are believed to play a role in regulating genetic functions.
Omega-3s and Heart Health
Omega-3s are known as heart healthy fats because the American Heart Association (AHA) encourages people to incorporate these healthy fats into our diet. The reason that the AHA has made this recommendation is that research suggests eating a diet rich in omega-3s may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The scientific community has not reached a conclusive verdict on why communities who eat a diet rich in fish are less likely to suffer from stroke or heart disease. Research does suggest that there may be 6 reasons that omega-3s are heart healthy fats:
Blood Clot Prevention
Studies suggest the possibility that omega-3s may play a role in preventing dangerous blood clots by helping platelets to not clump together.
High triglyceride levels increase the risk of heart disease. Patients who were given omega-3 supplements were found to have lower levels of triglyceride than patients who were not taking omega-3 supplements.
Research suggests that omega-3s increase the amount of healthy cholesterol in your body and reduce the level of unhealthy cholesterol.
Lower Blood Pressure
A diet rich in omega-3s has been linked to successfully reducing high blood pressure by a 2010 study in which young, overweight patients were given three servings a week of salmon. Their blood pressure decreased during the eight-week period.
Plaque Buildup Prevention
Studies suggest that omega-3s may prevent the plaque buildup that clogs, hardens in and restricts arteries.
Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms Reduction
Metabolic syndrome is a grouping of risk factors. It includes high triglycerides, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol and abdominal obesity. All of which are risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Omega-3 supplements have been found to improve these symptoms in multiple studies.
Omega-3s Impact on Mental Health
Research suggests that eating a diet rich in omega-3s isn’t only good for your heart. It may also be good for your brain and mental health. Here are 3 ways they could improve your mental health:
Alleviate Depression and Anxiety
According to several studies, people suffering from anxiety and/or depression experienced reduced symptoms after adding an omega-3 supplement into their routine. In at least one study, the omega-3 supplements were as effective at combating the symptoms of depression as a common depression medication.
Reducing Other Symptoms of Mental Illness
A handful of studies suggest that there is a correlation between omega-3 and decreased anti-social behavior, violence and borderline personality disorder symptoms.
Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Mental Decline
Clinical trials suggest that omega-3s may potentially have a neuroprotective effect. High levels of omega-3s may be able to slow or reverse some cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia, age-related mental decline and, possibly, Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists may not agree on the exact benefits of omega-3s but they do agree that our body needs them. Eating seafood regularly could improve the health of your heart and mind. So why don’t you swing by City Fish Market and pick up fish for dinner tonight? Mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, halibut and trout are all rich in omega-3s. You can find great recipe ideas on our Pinterest!