Recovery from a heart attack is a daunting task for those directly and indirectly involved. Fortunately, some good news has come from a study released in the most recent publication of Circulation, a journal by the American Heart Association. The study, led and implemented by Boston-area researcher Dr. Raymond Y. Kwong, shows that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids post-heart attack can greatly improve the function of the heart.
Study shows that regular treatment and intake in necessary
The study included 360 heart attack survivors, half of which were given a high daily dosage – 4g to be exact – of omega-3 fatty acids and the other half a placebo. (To put that dosage into perspective, a 1 tablespoon serving of tuna contains approximately 1.5g of omega-3s). After six months, those 180 patients who were given the omega-3s were seen to have increased heart function through improved contractions, reduction of fibrosis, and lessening of inflammation in the affected areas.
Kwong, director of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, stated, “The omega-3 fatty acids seem to be preventing scarring of the otherwise healthy muscle that now has to overwork because of the heart attack.”
What foods will provide you with beneficial amounts of omega-3 fatty acids?
There are many scrumptious foods with omega-3s that you can easily find that cater to each individual’s needs – carnivores and vegetarians alike. The most common foods that you will come across and hear about with omega-3s are various types of fish. For example, in 1 cup of cooked mackerel, you can find upwards of 6,982mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Other fish with high doses include salmon, cod, tuna, and anchovies.
For those who are either vegetarian or concerned with the increasing danger of consuming too much seafood due to mercury intake, there are plenty of other options. Walnuts can easily be found in supermarkets across the country and provide up to 66% of your daily value of omega-3s in only ¼ cup. While in the market, also look for chia seeds (which are now popular in probiotic drinks such as kombucha), flaxseeds, and egg yolks. Even vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and cauliflower can provide a minute amount of omega-3s.
Below is a table that details various foods high in naturally occurring omega-3s.
|Seafood||Omega-3s (mg) per 100g serving||Grains, Nuts, and Veggies||Omega-3s (mg) per 1 oz. serving||Foods commonly enriched with omega-3s|
|Lake trout||1,600||Hemp seeds||1,100||Juice|
|Salmon||1,400||Mustard oil||826||Soy milk|
|Tuna (fresh)||700||Seaweed (1 Tbsp.)||58||Cereal|