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Omega-3s in Seafood Linked to Healthier Aging



A recent study published in the BMJ found that omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood were linked to healthier aging among older individuals. Populations worldwide are living longer, and the demand for a longer health-span is increasing. If you've never heard the term "health-span" before, it refers to living longer without chronic disease and with good physical and mental function.


In the study researchers measured the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in participants at baseline, at 6 years into the study, and then at the end of the study (year 13). Seafoods rich in omega-3 fatty acids actually have specific types of these acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA). Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) is also an omega-3, but it is mostly found in plant sources such as flaxseeds and walnuts. So for the sake of this study, researchers were only looking at EPA, DHA, and DPA.


At the end of the study, researchers concluded that EPA was associated with a 24% risk reduction of unhealthy aging, and DPA levels were associated with an 18-21% risk reduction. They didn't find an association between DHA for healthy aging. Though, that doesn't mean that DHA intake won't improve overall health.


The reason that these omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help improve healthy aging is that they can help regulate blood pressure, reduce triglyceride levels, lower heart rate, and reduce inflammation. So if you want to be healthier as you age, eat your fatty fish! The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids from seafood come from salmon, mackerel, seabass, sardines, oysters, shrimp and trout. It's best to seek out wild-caught and sustainable sources of these seafoods when possible. If you're curious about the dangers of farmed fish, you can read Dr. Axe's article about this topic here.


Now that you've committed to eating more seafood for healthier aging, check out these delicious recipes gathered for you from around the internet:



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Hey there! I'm Stephanie, a functional nutritional therapy practitioner, restorative wellness practitioner, certified holistic health coach, and educator. I teach individuals how to take back their health with real food so they can finally get to the root cause of dysfunction and restore wellness within themselves. I reside in Boise, Idaho where I enjoy spending lots of time outdoors, drinking copious amounts of tea, cuddling with cats and reading good books. 

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