Fish is packed full of nutrients, as it contains proteins with a high biological value and healthy fats.
Normally, eating fish is associated with good cardiovascular health, which is due to the essential polyunsaturated fats that are found in blue colored fish (salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and eel, etc.). Among these essential acidic fats, the omega 3 stands out, because of its numerous health benefits when regularly consumed.
Omega 3 benefits
Here are some of the most outstanding benefits derived from Omega 3:
- It helps to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, as it protects your heart’s health and the blood veins.
- It is considered to be anti-inflammatory and is useful in treating arthritis.
- It decreases your triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
- Helps to lower blood pressure levels.
- It causes an antithrombotic effect, which means that it prevents clots forming in your blood that could cause a heart attack or cerebrovascular accident.
- Prevents atherosclerotic disease, which is known for forming plaque buildup in the atheroma inside of the arteries. This causes hardening of the blood veins and if the veins have too much plaque buildup, it can cause an obstruction.
- Protects your cerebral health and avoids cognitive deterioration.
Are there any other foods that contain omega 3?
Dried nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and chestnuts), seeds (mainly chia, sunflower and flax seeds), soy, egg yolks and some seaweed can be an excellent source of Omega 3 and offer the same benefits as eating fish and shellfish.
Also, the food industry has enriched diverse products with Omega 3. On the supermarket shelves, you will find many items such as lactose products, margarine, fruits juices, breads and baby foods that are enriched with Omega 3.
On the other hand, there are dietary supplements of Omega 3, made from fish oil (even though it doesn’t taste like fish) or from chia and flax seeds.
Other healthy foods that contain properties such as Omega 3
There are many other foods that contain properties similar to Omega 3. Following we will share with you some examples of foods that protect your heart, brain and blood vessels. Also these food sources can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and other foods that prevent and decrease inflammation.
- Antioxidants: These food components act by neutralizing free radicals that cause cell damage, speed up the aging process and the appearance of different diseases such cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants prevent bad cholesterol (LDL) particles from oxygenizing and forming atheromatous plaque. For this reason, if you don’t care for fish or you can’t eat it because you are allergic, you can incorporate foods that are rich in antioxidants to care for your heart and blood vessels.
- Monounsaturated fats: These types of fats help to reduce cholesterol (LDL) levels just as Omega 3 would lower these levels. Food sources for monounsaturated fats are olives, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, dried fruits and canola oil.
- Soluble fiber: Soluble fiber is found in oats, beans, citrus fruits, apples, pears, carrots and pumpkin. They are found in many other sources, soluble fiber when it is digested and broken down, it captures the cholesterol found in other nutrients and causes it to be eliminated in the fecal matter.
- Anti-inflammatory: This is one of the main properties of Omega 3 as when it acts as anti-inflammatory. There are other foods that can have the effect by reducing inflammation such as turmeric, green leafed vegetables, dried fruits and nuts, extra virgin olive oils, red fruits, ginger and garlic.