Photo: Photo by Travis Yewell on Unsplash / Unsplash
We all want to live better and longer, based on this it is well known that food can simply be the best or the worst ally. Specifically, for decades there has been a bad image on the consumption of foods with fat. Fortunately today we know that healthy fats are essential for good health and weight loss. In fact, currently one of the strongest medical recommendations is ensure adequate intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are particularly important for the heart, gut, and brain.
The truth is that there is numerous scientific evidence confirming the important role of omega-3 acids in health. Recently a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, undertook the task of analyze the connection between omega-3s and longevity.
What did the study consist of? The researchers focused on the medical follow-up of 2,240 participants for 11 years and consistently conducted various tests of omega-3 levels in the blood. Unsurprisingly, the findings were compelling, the researchers found that having higher levels of omega-3s in your blood could predict a lower death rate in people over 65 years of age. In addition, according to their analysis, people with high levels of omega-3s in their blood who did not smoke had the highest survival estimate.
Without a doubt it is a relevant discovery, however the million dollar question for many is Why are omega-3 foods correlated with living longer? One of the main virtues that these types of fats provide is that they are associated with benefits for heart health and are related to an important role in the fight against inflammation. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids come in different forms and fortunately many of their main sources are incredibly nutrient-dense foods.
The three main omega-3 fatty acids include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Each is associated with different specifications, for example: omega-6s are also fatty acids, found mainly in vegetable oils. While both types of fatty acids are unsaturated fats and important for heart health, omega-6s are more readily available in the typical western diet. That is why experts emphasize the importance of finding a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3, with special emphasis on increasing the consumption of the latter.
Based on this, we set about selecting five of the foods richest in omega-3, highly recommended by nutritionists. They shine for their benefits to enhance heart health and longevity.
1. Fatty fish
It’s no secret to say that fatty fish are one of the best foods to get Omega-3 fatty acids. Best of all, it is one of the best sources of high biological value proteins, they are low in calories, satiating and the perfect dietary addition to take care of body weight. nutrition experts recommend considering the consumption of two servings of fatty fish per week. The best alternatives are options like salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel. They have also been positioned as a great ally to enhance brain function and reduce the risk of suffering from certain types of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
2. Flax seeds
Flax seeds are only small in size, its nutritional and medicinal benefits are immense. They shine for their content in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and of course, they are packed with omega-3s. In fact, their high omega-3 content is the reason why they have been linked to great benefits to strengthen the heart and protect against cardiovascular disease. Also, they are a great ally of the digestive and intestinal system, they promote the purification of the organism and a healthy loss of weight. Flax seeds are also a great source of magnesium, thiamine, and fiber, which support the immune system.
3. Chia seeds
Another clear example of how it is possible to find wonderful amounts of omega-3 fatty acids through foods of plant origin. The seeds are chia stand out for being full of healthy fatsAlthough they are similar in size to flax seeds, they actually provide different and very specific benefits. Chia seeds are higher in fiber and protein than flax seeds, but both are very strong sources of omega-3s. They stand out for their benefits to promote a good digestive and intestinal process, help to lose weight, provide a lot of energy, improve brain performance, fight inflammation and benefit cardiovascular health. The simple habit of integrating a teaspoon a day will make a difference.
While all varieties of nuts are rich in nutrients and a great dietary addition, when it comes to the foods with omega-3, walnuts are the ones that contribute the most. There are several references that support the benefits of walnut consumption for greater cardiovascular health, better cognitive function, a decrease in depression symptoms and a general reduction in inflammation. They are also versatile, delicious, satisfying and very practical, integrating them into the daily diet does not require great science.
5. Vegetable oils
The fats with which we cook can also be a great alternative for adding more omega-3 fatty acids to food and get another long list of benefits. The truth is that some oils are better than others, experts recommend very specifically the consumption of seaweed oil in particular, it is one of the best sources of fatty acids. There are also more common options and just as good as the wonderful olive, canola, linseed and walnut oil. They are related to great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
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