Your heart may weigh less than a pound, but this powerful organ is vital to your survival, so it makes sense to do all you can to take care of it. If you already eat a healthy diet, don’t smoke and take up regular exercise, you may be wondering if there’s anything else you can do to keep your heart in shape.
When it comes to heart health, this is one fat you really don’t want to cut back on, and here’s why…
Omega 3 may reduce the fat in your blood
While triglycerides don’t get as much bad press as cholesterol, having high levels of this type of fat in your bloodstream is thought to be just as deadly for your heart. A lipid produced by the body in response to the food we eat, triglycerides are known to contribute to the thickening of arteries, which in turn increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
But the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA (found only in oily fish and fish oil supplements and not in plant-based sources of Omega 3) have been shown to reduce triglyceride levels. In fact, they’re considered so effective that Omega 3 capsules are available on prescription to those with high triglyceride levels living in the US.
Omega 3 may lower your blood pressure
According to the British Heart Foundation, having untreated high blood pressure – or hypertension –can leave your heart enlarged and less able to pump effectively, all factors that have been implicated in heart failure.
But Omega 3 has been found to offer significant benefits to those with high blood pressure – and can prevent it developing in people that don’t. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that the EPA and DHA found in Omega 3 fish oil actually reduced blood pressure as much as lifestyle changes such as exercising, lowering salt intake or cutting back on alcohol.