What foods are high in this nutrient?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat that is good for health. They help keep the heart healthy and protected against the possibility of a stroke, states the medical library MedlinePlus.

The body does not produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own, but these are obtained through food, with some fish being the best sources of this nutrient, as are certain vegetables.

According to experts, these acids are good for the heart and blood vessels because they reduce triglycerides, a type of fat present in the blood; they also decrease the risk of developing irregular heartbeats or so-called arrhythmias; They reduce the accumulation of plaque, a substance that includes fat, cholesterol and calcium and that hardens and blocks the arteries.

Omega-3 acids also serve to lower blood pressure and can fight cancer, depression and inflammation in the body.

The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of omega-3-rich fish per week. One serving equals 100 grams.

Foods rich in omega-3

Fatty fish rich in omega-3 are mainly: salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, trout and sardines. Experts indicate that some fish may be contaminated with mercury and other chemicals.

They warn that eating contaminated fish can be a health risk for young children and pregnant women, who should avoid eating swordfish, shark, king mackerel and sea bass.

For specialists, if the consumer is middle-aged or older, the benefits of eating fish outweigh any risk, including that generated by mercury.

However, fish are not the only foods in which omega-3 acids can be found. They can also be found in some plant products such as ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds, canola and soybean oil, and tofu.

Of all the plant-based foods, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil have the highest amount. Ground flaxseeds can be eaten over granola or in smoothies. Flaxseed oil goes well in salad dressing.

The benefits

According to the US National Institutes of Health, many studies show that eating fatty fish and other types of shellfish as part of a healthy eating pattern helps keep your heart healthy and protects you from some heart problems.

This same source indicates that there are studies suggesting that people who get more omega-3 from food and dietary supplements may have a lower risk of breast cancer and possibly colorectal cancer. However, a large clinical trial found the opposite, so further analysis is required.

On the other hand, some research shows that people who consume more omega-3s from foods like fish may have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other problems with cognitive function. As in the previous case, more studies of the effects of omega-3 in the brain are required.

Macular degeneration is a major cause of vision loss among older adults. Studies suggest that people who get higher amounts of omega-3 from food may have a lower risk of developing this condition. However, once a patient has AMD, taking omega-3 supplements does not prevent the disease from worsening or slow vision loss.

Another benefit would be related to rheumatoid arthritis, which causes chronic pain, swelling, numbness and loss of function in the joints. Some clinical trials have shown that taking omega-3 supplements can help manage the condition that causes this disease, when combined with standard medications and other treatments for this condition.

For example, people with this disease who take omega-3 supplements may need less medication for pain relief.