Want to protect your heart health? New study reveals Omega-3 could be key

Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids could prevent your risk of heart disease and help you live longer

Healthy older woman jumps up in air creating a heart shape with fallen leaves
(Image credit: Getty)

It is important to protect the health of your heart as you grow older since the heart becomes more susceptible to age-related issues such as cardiovascular disease. Diet is a really great place to focus on first and science recently discovered that omega-3 can help prevent inflammation related to heart disease.

Exercise is often recommended for people at risk or suffering from cardiovascular issues. Physical activity like running on a best treadmill or completing some resistance training with a best kettlebell can help with weight loss (this is important since obesity is linked to heart disease), it can lower heart rate and blood pressure.

Research also suggests that diet plays a significant role in protecting your heart health. This recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation discovered that omega-3 fatty acids could help to control inflammation levels, preventing more serious health risks such as atherosclerosis (this is when fatty deposits clog up your arteries which can have severe outcomes). 

According to the study, atherosclerosis is linked to chronic inflammation in the blood vessels. Stop signals known as resolvins normally control inflammation, switching it off and stimulating tissue healing and repair. Resolvins come from omega-3 fatty acids and work together to activate a receptor known as GPR32.

The study's first author Hildur Arnardottir explained, "We've found that this receptor is dysregulated in atherosclerosis, indicating a disruption in the body's natural healing processes."

"This discovery can pave the way for completely new strategies for treating and preventing atherosclerosis by arresting inflammation in the blood vessels, while also turning on the body's healing processes with the help of omega-3 fatty acids, for example."

A selection of sources of omega-3 including a salmon fillet, olive oil and omega-3 in the form of supplements

(Image credit: Getty)

Moreover, there is more scientific research out there backing up the relationship between omega-3 and a healthy heart. 

Take this 2019 study as an example, the research team here collected data from over 10 studies to form a meta-analysis.  The results revealed that fish-oil omega-3 supplements reduced risk of heart attack and death from coronary heart disease.

You can up your omega-3 intake easiest by taking a best fish oil supplement every day. 

Alternatively, you can carve more omega-3 rich foods into your diet. Fish and various seafood are rich in omega-3 especially cold-water fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, salmon or sardines. 

Opting for certain nuts and seeds as a snack is another easy way to increase your dietary omega-3 intake. Try to find flaxseeds, walnuts or chia seeds next time you are at the supermarket. When it comes to cooking, look to use plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oil.

Finally, the way you cook things can also help to lower cholesterol levels, further protecting the health of your heart. Consider using a best health grill over a frying pan filled with butter next time you go to cook.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.