Fishing for a Healthy Heart

By Beth Sumrell Ehrensberger, R.D.

You know by now that omega-3 fats, like those found in fish are important to eat. But what makes them great? Marine sources of omega-3s can help support heart health and mental and visual function. Although additional studies are needed, according to new and emerging research published in the June 2010 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating one-to-two servings of fatty fish (like herring and mackerel) per week may lower the risk of heart failure in middle-aged and older women.

Though you can get your omega-3s from a bottle, there are bigger benefits to putting fish on the menu. Along with getting essential fatty acids, fish also provides the antioxidant power of vitamin D and selenium. That’s a nice three-fer from just one tidy filet. Another bonus? Fish is a fantastic source of filling protein.

I have to admit, I’ve been slow to add regular servings of fish into my diet, but the benefits have motivated me to give it more effort. Some of my biggest hang-ups have been convenience (who has time to buy fresh fish the day they plan to eat it?) and simply not knowing what to do with it. But here’s what I’ve found: Frozen fish is convenient and tastes delicious—and as far as preparation goes, it’s best to keep it simple. A few of my go-to faves: Salt-and-pepper grilled salmon topped with a quick sauce of fresh dill and sour cream and broiled tuna flaked into a whole-wheat wrap, then spiced up with a fruit-based salsa. For a time-crunched cook like me, I’ve found one of the best perks to fish is that it cooks in a flash! So why not try fish for dinner tonight? It’s good for your heart, plus it makes a simple meal solution—great benefits to catch!



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