Researchers set out to determine if there is a connection between omega-3s and longevity by tracking 2,240 participants over 11 years and analyzing the omega-3 levels in their blood. So, what did they find out?
In a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers discovered that having higher levels of omega-3s in the blood could predict a lower mortality rate in people over the age of 65 years. According to their analysis, people with high omega-3 levels in their blood who did not smoke had the highest survival estimate.
Omega-3 foods are associated with living longer because of their benefits to heart health and their role in combating inflammation, reports Well+Good.
However, much of the 'diet' marketing hype in recent years has been about 'low fat', even though all the experts have continued to say that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are vital for heart, gut, and brain health.
In western diets, we tend to get plenty of beneficial omega-6 fatty acids without trying too hard. So, in order to keep a more balanced ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s, experts recommend increasing one’s intake of omega-3 foods, which by contrast are often lacking in the typical Western diet.
Here are the five top omega-3 foods for heart health and longevity:
Fatty fish: Fish is one of the best omega-3 foods. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel are particularly high in the nutrient.
Flaxseeds: They may be small, but they're full of omega-3s. In fact, their high omega-3 content is the reason that they've been linked to helping protect against cardiovascular disease.
Chia seeds: Also small-but-mighty and packed with healthy fats. Chia seeds are higher in fiber and protein than flaxseeds, but they are both strong sources of omega-3s. Whichever one you prefer, you're instantly increasing the nutrient density to your meal by adding a teaspoon.
Walnuts: All nuts are nutrient-rich, but as far as foods with omega-3s go, walnuts deliver the most and are associated with increased cardiovascular health, improved cognitive function, decreased symptoms of depression, and overall reduced inflammation.
Algae oils: What you cook with can also add more omega-3s to your diet. Algae oil in particular is a rich source of the fatty acid. Other cooking oils with omega-3s include canola oil, flaxseed oil, and walnut oil - no surprise about the latter two, right?
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