Omega-3 is an immensely beneficial compound for a healthy heart. Omega-3 fatty acid has very important role in preventing heart disease and stroke. Damage to blood vessels causes strokes and various heart diseases. Omega-3 fatty acid is responsible for decreasing blood triglyceride levels, stimulating blood circulation, and increasing the breakdown of fibrin that reduces blood clotting which results in a decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids also minutely lower blood pressure but has no significant role in changing the level of LDL or bad cholesterol and HDL or good cholesterol. Three types of omega-3 fatty acids are involved in human physiology, these are ALA (a-linolenic acid) that is commonly present in plant oils and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) that are commonly present in marine oils or oily fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids are not produced in our body, we must have to add them to our diet. By adding more than one gram of omega-3 fatty acids containing foods to these heart-healthy diets, one can become protective against heart attacks, stroke, and any other cardiovascular diseases. Some incredible sources of omega -3 fatty acids, which can be included in heart-healthy diets to lead a better and healthy life, are as follows:
- Seafood is a very good source of omega-3 (EPA and DHA) along with protein. Unlike other fatty diets, seafood doesn’t contain high saturated fats, and hence, it can be considered as a heart-healthy diet. Oily fishes like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, oysters (shellfish), anchovies, shrimp, tuna, lake out, halibut etc. are good suppliers of omega-3. Cod liver oil extracted from the liver of cod fish is another source of EPA and DHA along with vitamin D and vitamin A. You can consume sufficient omega-3 to your body by consuming fish 2 to 3 times in a week.
- Walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, red lentils, soybeans, etc., are some ALA omega-3 rich foods. These are very nutritious and all are loaded with high fibers and proteins.
- Some other decent vegetarian ALA omega-3, heart-healthy diets include winter and summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and green leafy vegetables like spinach, grape leaves, parsley, and kale.
- Oils of flaxseed, walnut, olive, canola, and mustard are some omega-3 containing oils can be added to a healthy diet for cooking or salad dressing.
By adopting a habit of adding these omega-3 rich foods in our diet list, we can get a healthy heart along with other long-term health benefits.