Back in the 1970’s, something curious was discovered by Danish researchers about the Inuits in Greenland. Despite consuming a high-fat diet, consisting of 40% fats each day, they had far lower rates of heart diseases and heart attacks than the people in the west. Upon thorough investigation and years of research, the seafood rich diet filled with polyunsaturated omega -3 fatty acids was the reason behind the lower number of heart attacks among Inuits. Since then, the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have made headlines, not only for their cardiovascular benefits, but also for the beneficial effects they have on vision, thinking ability, and inflammation.
What is Omega-3?
The American Heart Association has been recommending people for many years to reach omega-3 fatty acids rich fish at least twice a week. They believe that unsaturated fats present in fish can prevent heart diseases and reduce the risk of dying of heart attack. What exactly are these omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the types of unsaturated fatty acids that can help in the reduction of inflammation throughout your body. Heart diseases and attacks are mostly caused by the inflammation of blood vessels that are responsible for the supply of blood to and from all parts of the body. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce blood clotting, lowers blood pressure, decreases triglycerides and reduces irregular heartbeats that can help prevent heart diseases.
Omega-3 and Heart Rate
Heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. The heart rate varies from person to person and is influenced by many factors. The higher the resting heart rate of a person, the higher are the risks of being affected by heart diseases and dying of cardiac arrest. It has been found that with the right intake of omega-3 fatty acids, the resting heart rate is reduced which prevents sudden deaths from heart diseases and heart attacks.
The Best Sources of Omega-3
Since your body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids on its own, you need to get them from dietary sources. There are two main sources of getting your dose of omega-3 fatty acids:
DHA and EPA is found in fatty fish including but not limited to tuna, anchovies, and salmon
Alpha-linolenic acid is found in nuts, vegetable oils, leafy vegetables, flaxseed, and flaxseed oil
A majority of the health benefits that are attributed to omega-3 fatty acids come from DHA and EPA. In most of the cases, you cannot get DHA from any other source than fish. Thus, it is recommended to eat fish regularly to give your body a regular supply of omega-3 fatty acids and keep your heart healthy and strong. If you are not eating fish twice a week, it is recommended by health experts to take omega-3 fatty acid rich supplement to make up for the deficiency.
So, if you are worried about heart diseases, just a couple of servings of fish once a week can reduce your risk of dying of heart attacks by lowering your resting heart rate.