5.) Coldwater Fish
Some types of fish are particularly beneficial for your heart health. Cold-water fish—think sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring—have an extra layer of fat to help them survive through frigid temperatures. While the thought of extra fat may send you running the other direction, your heart actually needs this fat, known as omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3s, a type of polyunsaturated fat, not only drop your bad LDL cholesterol, they help raise your good HDL cholesterol. You want that. The more HDL cholesterol you have in your body, the more protection your heart has. “Omega-3s have an anti-clotting effect, so they keep your blood flowing,” says Rachel Johnson, PhD, RD, Bickford Professor of Nutrition at the University of Vermont. The omega-3 fatty acids also lower the risk of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and atherosclerosis (plaque build-up inside the arteries). The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least twice a week or taking omega-3 dietary supplements.
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