Research studies prove that consuming two 113-gram servings of seafood per week reduces the risk of heart disease and deaths affiliated to it. This treasured quality of seafood is due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids in them. The good news is that, omega-3s are not limited to fish alone but are also present in some vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and soy foods.
Fish contains two types of important omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapetaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaeonic acid). Although the research is not widespread, studies prove that in patients with heart disease, higher blood levels of DHA and EPA are associated with a reduction in arrhythmias (irregular heart beat) and fatal heart disease. The advantages of consuming fish by those people with heart disease is still unclear. High blood triglyceride levels can be decreased with the help of omega-3 supplements.
An omega-3 fatty acid called as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) can be found in some plants. Various oils, nuts, seeds and beans are other sources of ALA. Here again, the research is limited, but studies prove that increased intake of ALA has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease in individuals with or without heart disease. Given here are few tips for getting more omega-3 fatty acids from foods:
Omega-3 supplements help to fight against heart disease. Studies prove a 45-percent decrease in sudden death in people with heart disease who consumed EPA or DHA supplements while in some others there was no effect. Interestingly, there is no scientific evidence describing the advantages of omega-3 supplements on heart disease risk for people who don't actually have heart disease. Consult a doctor/nutritionist before deciding upon the benefits of omega-3 supplements on your body.
Never Indulge in Too Much of Omega-3’s
As many foods are fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, additional supplements may result in excess amount of this nutrient added to our body. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions against consuming more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids as it may result in uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. There is also a risk of increased bleeding possibility in individuals who consume anti-platelet agents or anticoagulants along with 3 to 4 grams of EPA and DHA.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.