As common as heart disease is in our society, people are always looking for ways to boost the health of their hearts. And while not all supplements are effective at this, one supplement stands above the others for its benefits to our hearts and cardiovascular systems: omega-3 fatty acids.
Research has shown a strong link between omega-3 intake and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. These benefits include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Less risk of heart attacks
- Less overall inflammation in the body
Omega-3s can be found in food sources, such as cold water fish, flaxseed and soybeans.
Supplements vs. Diet
Unfortunately, omega-3 fatty acids are not produced in our bodies. This means that to get their benefits, we have to take them in from outside sources. This is most commonly done in the form of supplements, which include fish oil capsules and flaxseed oils.
While both methods can be good ways of getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, each has its upsides and drawbacks.
- Supplements: Getting omega-3s through supplements allows you to measure your intake easily without much hassle. However, not all supplements are made the same, and many do not offer the benefits that they claim. Typically, supplements are less bioavailable than their food counterparts, meaning that the nutrients are not as easily absorbed in the body.
- Food Sources: Changing your diet to get more omega-3s is another way of increasing your intake. Food sources are absorbed easily and often contain other healthful nutrients. However, many of the fish sources that contain omega-3s are also high in mercury. Too much mercury intake can have negative health effects.
Depending on your needs and your diet, you may find heart health success with either option of omega-3 supplementation.