Did you know…that omega-3s dramatically lower your risk of heart disease…and help prevent atherosclerosis, hypertension and high cholesterol?
Omega-3s boast many benefits: they help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma and digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and are even used to treat certain types of cancer and depression. Of course there are the skeptics who refute these merits with statements like, “there is inconclusive evidence” or “further research needs to be conducted,” but there is one benefit of omega 3 that has no trouble standing up to naysayers.
Omega-3s have been proven to lower your risk of heart disease and strengthen your overall hearth health. Everyone would do well to pay attention to this superstar nutrient. After all, heart disease is the #1 killer around the world.
Why Omega-3s Are Essential
You may have heard of the power of omegas—a group of essential fatty acids that your body does not produce on its own, but desperately needs to function properly. While all are essential, the benefits of omega 3 is the most essential of all, especially because the standard American diet does not provide an adequate amount.
Americans tend to consume too much omega-6 (found in oils, meats and processed foods) and too little omega-3 (found in fish, fish oils, nuts and nut oils). The University of Maryland Medical Center estimates that Americans are eating 14 to 25 times more omega-6 than omega-3.
This means we are missing out on a whole lot of goodness. The most health promoting Omega-3s are EPA and DHA, the kinds you find in fish and fish oil. ALA (an omega-3 found in flax, walnuts, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil and olive oil) is also a wonderful source of the essential fatty acid, as the body partially converts it to DHA and EPA.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Triglycerides are blood fats in the blood, and when levels are too high, your risk for heart disease is significantly increased. When high triglycerides levels are matched by high LDL cholesterol levels, the threat is even greater.
In fact, triglycerides tell the liver to make even more LDL cholesterol! LDL cholesterol is code for “bad” cholesterol, the kind that fills your arteries with plague and causes atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of heart attack and stroke.
Adding hypertension (high blood pressure) to the mix is a recipe for danger. High blood pressure exerts added pressure on already clogged artery walls, which leads to further damage and decreased blood flow. Damaged arteries cannot deliver blood to organs, and when blood stops flowing to the heart, a heart attack occurs.
Nourish the body with benefits of omega 3 and cut your risk of heart disease down dramatically. The benefits of omega 3 has been shown to decrease triglyceride and cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. It thwarts atherosclerosis by inhibiting the development of plague and blood clots that clog arteries.
Epidemiological studies over 30 years ago cite low rates of death due to cardiovascular disease among Eskimo populations with high fish consumption. Recent studies have confirmed this link. A meta-analysis of 13 studies that followed 220,000 people over 12 years noted that those who ate fish once a week had a 15% reduced risk of heart disease compared to those who ate fish once a month.
Those who ate fish 5 or more times a week had a 40% reduction!
Don’t take our word for it: The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week.
Best Sources of Omega-3s
Eating fish once a week is a great start, particularly anchovies, bluefish, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, sturgeon, lake trout and tuna. Eat wild fish as often as possible, as farm raised fish tends to have contaminates. Avoid fish with high levels of mercury, such as wild swordfish, tilefish and shark.
Doctors recommend supplementing with 1 gram (1000 mg) of DHA/EPA omega-3 every day. Please be aware that too much omega-3 can thin the blood and cause excess bleeding if taken with an anticoagulant drug, such as Coumadin, Plavix, Efficient and Brilinta.
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