It is predicted that by 2030, almost 23.6 million people will die from a type of heart disease globally. In the United States heart attacks are the number one cause of death.
According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 600,000 people die from heart-related ailments in the country, that is 1 in every 4 Americans.
Heart attacks and strokes can be prevented 80 percent of the times with a healthy diet, proper physical activity and regular checkups.
A big part is played by seafood in heart health. Research has proved that people who regularly eat seafood have a lower risk of heart disease. Two servings of seafood per week can reduce the risk of heart attacks by 36 percent.
Seafood is rich in protein, selenium, zinc, iodine and vitamins A and D as well as omega-3 fats. Doctors recommend 2-3 servings of seafood a weak to maintain heart health.
The benefits of seafood are many. The omega-3 fats in fish benefit against the development of erratic cardiac rhythm disturbances. Omega-3 also helps in lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and there is evidence that it aids in easing inflammation.
According to studies conducted by Harvard School of Public Health professors Dariush Mozaffarian and Eric Rimm, eating one or two servings of fatty fish a week reduces the chances of dying from heart disease by more than one-third.
Consultant nutritionist Juliette Kellow says that omega-3 fats keep the heart healthy and in good working order by lowering the levels of triglycerides (a type of blood fat) and reducing blood pressure.
“Other heart health benefits come from some of the B vitamins in fish. For example, B6 and B12 help control homocysteine (a type of protein), high blood levels of which increase the risk of heart disease. Meanwhile, the naturally occurring cholesterol that’s found in foods like shellfish doesn’t affect blood cholesterol levels (unless you have familial hypercholesterolaemia, a genetic condition that causes exceptionally high levels of cholesterol). Instead, it’s high intakes of saturates and trans fats that affect blood cholesterol. All varieties of fish are low in these,” she further adds.
Despite the recommended levels of fish and seafood intake, a majority of people do not adhere to the guidelines. Seafood is healthy, some varieties relatively easy on the wallet and also tasty. “Fish is a great, versatile, fast food option and there are so many dishes that can be quick to prepare and easy to cook – it’s also a lot more affordable than many people realize. White fish such as cod, plaice, haddock and coley, and shellfish such as prawns, mussels and crab, are a great choice if you want to reduce your calories without resorting to small portions or missing out on a recipe that is packed with flavor,” says Jane Devonshire, aspiring chef and MasterChef winner.
Salmon, tuna, trout and crab meat are specially recommended.
Pollutants in food have become a concern nowadays and seafood is no exception. Rising levels of mercury in fish have raised concerns. But numerous studies have shown that levels of contaminants such as mercury and dioxins in fish are very low, similar to levels in meats, dairy products, and eggs. The benefits far outweigh the risk, say experts. It is important to find a reputable seafood market so you know that you are receiving top quality.
Moreover, latest studies show that eating seafood helps in controlling Alzheimer’s and is beneficial for pregnant moms and helps in brain health of babies.
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