I can’t think of a single food or supplement that is more important for heart health than omega-3s from fish. That is saying a lot – considering my 34 (and counting) years working in nutrition education. But I stand by my statement. Fish oils are the most important supplement you can take to support a healthy heart.
How do the omega-3s EPA and DHA love your heart? Let me count the ways.
- Keeping the beat. It is sometimes romantic to say “my heart skipped a beat” when referring to the first time you met your sweetheart for example. But it is not good for the heart to be skipping beats. We want a good steady, stable, healthy heart rhythm and that is something that fish oils support.
- Going with the flow. Blood flow that is. The heart pumps blood, carrying oxygen and nutrients to and through every cell in the body. To do that you need healthy flexible, relaxed blood vessels and fluid. The omega-3s EPA and DHA support flexible, elastic blood vessels and promote healthy platelet function so your blood flows nicely to all of your cells. Relaxed blood vessels mean healthy, normal blood pressure levels.
- Fighting fats with fats. Blood fats called triglycerides can be elevated due to an unhealthy diet of too much sugar, too many trans fats or too many calories. Elevated triglyceride levels translate to higher heart risk. EPA and DHA – either from the suggested two fatty fish meals per week, or from a supplement that delivers 2,000 to 4,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily – support triglycerides within the normal range.
- Quenching the fires of inflammation. A diet low in omega-3 is suspected to contribute to a background level of systemic inflammation. Boosting omega-3 intake is thought to bring about inflammation balance promoting the health of the heart and circulation as well as many other body functions.
- Slow and steady wins the race. For longevity that is. You want your heart rate to be more like the tortoise and less like the hare. A good steady and slow heart rate is a sign of healthy aging. Exercise helps the heart rate. So do omega-3s.
When you think about being heart smart, consider this. We observe healthier hearts in cultures that eat more fish. When those people move to the United States and adopt our diet, their hearts typically become less healthy. Boosting omega-3 intake is a gift that keeps on giving. Your precious heart deserves the very best. Bless it every day with Carlson omega-3s, providing EPA and DHA.