Good heart health is gained or maintained with exercise and the food we eat.
According to the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, research has found that omega-3 fatty acids are essential to the well-being of our bodies.
Eating a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids does appear to decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease. These polyunsaturated fats carry acids that help control blood clotting and aid in building of cell membranes in the brain.
The Right Food Can Help
We cannot manufacture these on our own, so we need to get them from the food we eat. Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in marine and plant oils. Here is a list of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids:
- Almonds, walnuts and, flaxseed (ground) eaten raw or in recipes are a good way to get your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Oatmeal is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids; as well as magnesium; potassium; folate; niacin; calcium; soluble fiber. The less processed the oats, the better. Steel cut oats have the highest nutritional value where as instant oats the least. Oatmeal-and-raisin cookies are a heart healthy treat.
- Black or Kidney beans contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as B-complex vitamins, folate, magnesium, calcium and fiber, plus niacin. These beans are great to add to soups and salads for extra flavor and heart-healthy nutrients.
- Fish such as herring, halibut, sardines, tuna and salmon are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. (Make sure to buy wild not farm-raised salmon.) The American Heart Association suggests eating one or more of these fish at least twice a week.
Research shows, that besides heart disease, a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can help with cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
What is your favorite omega-3 fatty acids food?