Doctors used to be perplexed by an apparent paradox: Eskimos and Inuit tribes (who haven’t been lured by the typical Western diet) have an extremely low rate of heart disease, despite eating foods that are high in fat and cholesterol. Studies revealed that a secret that revolutionizing scientific thinking about how to avoid plaque in the arteries: the Eskimos’ diet was rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon (and other cold-water fatty fish) are packed with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), two of the heart-healthiest omega-3 fatty acids. Both dial down inflammation and BHA also reduces blood pressure.
For best seafood buying options at the current time, visit SeafoodWatch.org. In most cases choosing wild salmon is best, since farmed salmon can actually be toxic, a scary study by Indiana University found. The researchers reported that farmed salmon contains high levels of several pesticides, dioxin (a known carcinogen), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, endocrine-disrupting chemicals used as flame-retardants in plastics and textiles). The source of these contaminants is the feed used in fish farms.
Here are several ways that salmon helps ward off cardiovascular threats:
- Lower risk for blood clots.. The omega-3s found in fish reduce the ability of platelets in the blood to clump into artery-blocking clots that could trigger a heart attack or stroke.
- Improved cholesterol levels.. Eating omega-3 rich fish is linked to lower triglycerides and higher levels of HDL, the good cholesterol that keeps arteries clean.
- Reduced danger of sudden death.. Omega-3s have been shown to cut risk for sudden cardiac arrest due to irregular heartbeats.
- Weight loss. Researchers report that fish helps dieters slim down, particularly if they also exercise. As an added bonus, fatty acids in salmon help lower blood sugar.
For more foods that boost heart health, check out this blog – Foods That Fight Heart Disease.
For more salmon information, including Brain Warrior approved recipes click here.