Omega-3s May Prevent High Blood Pressure Later in Life

Most Omega-3 fatty acid studies have been focused on those who already have high blood pressure. A new study out of Switzerland, however, reveals some interesting findings from healthy participants aged 25 to 41.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Don’t be frightened by the term fatty acid. It’s a necessary element in our diet, and our body doesn’t naturally produce it. Omega-3s, in particular, have shown to improve the functioning of our blood vessels, decrease inflammation, and strengthen heart health. It can be found in foods such as: fish (salmon, tuna, halibut), walnuts, flaxseeds, olive oil, beans, winter squash, tofu, and others.

Very high doses of omega-3s can lower blood pressure momentarily. But what about long-term, moderate use? Will that prevent high blood pressure in the future? That’s what the scientists were wondering…

The Study

Lead researcher, Dr. Mark Filipovic, studied results from 2,000 participants in the program. Men and women, aged 25 to 41, were divided into four groups. All of the people were considered healthy, did not have diabetes and were not obese. (Those conditions tend to impact blood pressure levels.)

Those with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had the lowest systolic and lowest diastolic of all the groups. Systolic pressure is the top number of the blood pressure reading; it measures the pressure exerted against artery walls when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure, the bottom number, measures the pressure exerted when the heart rests between beats.

How an Omega-3-rich Diet Can Benefit You

The assumption, after that particular study, is that encouraging diets rich in omega-3s could be a tool in preventing high blood pressure. Filipovic expressed that, overall, if blood pressure levels were lowered—even a small amount—it would make a big difference. Fewer people might suffer strokes and heart attacks.

An alternate study, which focused on those who already have high blood pressure, noted that adding omega-3 fatty acids into their diet reduced their levels. Even less than a gram made a difference. (That’s a handful of walnuts and a half of an avocado, or a 4-ounce piece of Alaskan salmon.)

Instead of taking more supplements, it’s best to incorporate fresh foods that promote optimum health. And when it comes to your heart, you don’t want to mess around. Click here for other helpful information on good-for-your-body foods.

 

Let’s Toast to Breadless Breakfast Treats

Want to avoid bread, but still want a filling, satisfying, and healthy breakfast ideas? Look no further. Here are some breadless suggestions that are nutritious and simple to prepare for the entire family.

SWEET POTATO TOAST

Get a good lookin’ sweet potato and cut it into square-ish slices about ¼-inch thick. Place the “sweet-potato toast” into the toaster on the highest setting. When it pops up, send it through for another round of toasting.

Once removed from the toaster and onto your plate, drizzle a bit of coconut oil over the top. Then for the finale, dust with organic brown sugar.

Healthy Facts: Sweet potatoes are rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin A, B, and C, and fiber. Coconut oil has the good fat and helps you absorb the nutrients from your tater.

RICE-CAKE NUTTER TOAST

Grab an organic rice cake and place it the toaster onto a 2-3 setting. Remove when warm, and plunk onto your plate. Spread your favorite nut butter atop the “toast” rice cake—perhaps peanut, almond, or cashew.

If you’re like most and enjoy a healthy sweet treat, drizzle some organic honey or raw agave over your buttered toast.

Healthy Facts: Nuts all contain the good fat, and recent studies show they decrease systemic inflammation. Almonds provide calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin E. Cashews have a lower caloric content than many any nuts and are high in iron, zinc, and potassium. Peanuts contain resveratrol (the compound in red wine that promotes healthy aging.) Honey is an antibacterial, antifungal, and contains flavonoids and antioxidants.

POLENTA PLEASURE TOAST

You can make your own polenta (from corn meal), or you can purchase an organic “tube” from your local health food grocer. Cut rounded slices about ½-inch thick each. Place them in your toaster oven or oven for about 15 minutes.

Once it’s heated thoroughly and thickened, place your warm polenta slices on your dish. A fantastic treat is to top with an organic fig spread.

If you’re more into salty than sweet, you can top your polenta with crumbled feta cheese and a few pepita seeds, pine nuts, or both.

Healthy Facts: Figs are full of vitamin A, B1, B2, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, and potassium. Feta cheese is perfect for the lactose intolerant as it’s made with goat or sheep’s milk. Pepita (pumpkin) seeds have protein and zinc and pine nuts contain iron.

If you choose to skip the crunch, you can use AVOCADO as a healthy, staple breakfast treat. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and then sprinkle with a bit of Himalayan salt and black pepper. Sesame seeds are great too (and contain iron.)

Another option is steamed BUTTERNUT SQUASH. Drizzle with coconut or olive oil and then sprinkle with cinnamon. This can be a terrific diabetic remedy option as it helps control blood sugar levels.

For other nutritious food tips, check out www.GetThrive.com