After a certain age, it’s important to eat in a way that supports a healthy heart. Good heart health comes from a combination of lifestyle factors, and eating a diet rich in certain nutrients is crucial. In fact, studies show that eating two servings of fish per week can help you reduce your risk of a heart attack and fight heart disease.
Fatty Fish and Heart Disease
For their review, a team of researchers from McMaster University in Canada analyzed four studies which included a total of 191,558 participants from 58 different countries. They compared fish consumption among the participants, as well as other major cardiovascular events including heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, and sudden death.
The analysis revealed that among people with heart disease, those who ate at least six ounces (about two servings) per week of fish had a significantly lower risk of death and other major cardiovascular events. Furthermore, the research also showed that consuming fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and mackerel, was the most beneficial.
The researchers suggest that omega-3 fats found in fish help keep your heart healthy by lowering inflammation, which other studies have also pointed to. Inflammation is the body’s normal response to harmful invaders. Chronic inflammation, however, is persistent, and it happens when we’re constantly exposed to immune-system-triggering chemicals, microbes, stress hormones, and pollutants. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a host of conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.
To get the full benefits of fish for heart health, the American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5-ounce servings of non-fried fish every week. Mix it up by including fish high in omega-3 fats, like salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, and albacore tuna, into your diet. Other types of fish and shellfish, like cod, tilapia, shrimp, and catfish also contain omega-3s, just not as much.
There you have it. Having a healthier heart could be as simple as varying up your lunch or dinner menu to include some seafood a few times a week. We hope you’ll take advantage of this little healthy eating tip — it may just help you live longer!