Did you know that the average person’s heart beats at a rate of 80 times a minute? Do the math and that means the heart beats about 115,000 times in one day or 42 million times in a year! That is a lot of work for one organ. Given this information, wouldn’t it be smart to eat foods supporting your heart in all it does, even while you are fast asleep? Let’s take a closer look at what makes a diet rich in fish, a heart healthy choice.
Why Fish is a Great Choice
Let’s start by looking at what’s in fish that makes a meal of salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, or tuna such great choices. Fish tend to be a food that are high in unsaturated fats. The “good” or healthy fats in fish are called omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients in fish may benefit heart health and reduce the risk of dying of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids, along with other benefits are known to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes.
The Mayo Clinic reports that: Omega-3 fatty acids may benefit heart health by:
- Decreasing triglycerides
- Lowering blood pressure slightly
- Reducing blood clotting
- Decreasing your risk of strokes and heart failure risk
- Reducing irregular heartbeats
According to the American Heart Association, eating a diet rich in unsaturated fats at least twice a week may help prevent heart attacks and other serious cardiovascular problems. Since our body does not make the omega-3s naturally, we must rely on adding them to our diet. This is why adding fish to your diet is a smart choice for your health.
Why can’t we just get our nutrients from chicken and red meat? Fish is often a better choice than meat. It’s leaner and lower in cholesterol and saturated fats.
While there are many varieties of fish you could choose to make as your main dish, One Medical recommends the following fish as the highest in heart healthy nutrients and omega-3s: sardines, Albacore Tuna, wild-caught Alaskan Salmon, oysters, and Rainbow trout.