• Fri24April 2015
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  • Omega-3 and heart health: do you ever think about it?

    You exercise regularly, eat a relatively balanced diet, sleep at least six hours a night and religiously slap on expensive face cream with added SPF every morning. Why? When you’re healthy inside, it shows on the outside.

    Your eyes sparkle, you’re bouncing off the walls with energy and you may just squeeze yourself into that dress that’s been hanging at the back of your wardrobe for the past three years.

    And of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling great and looking good. Like it or not, we live in a society where first impressions count. You wouldn’t turn up to an interview in your PJs and expect to be taken seriously or expect a politician to turn up to a husting wearing a onesie. Try and deny that you don’t love it when people comment positively on a photo taken from a good angle posted on various different social media sites. It’s like having a confidence boost on tap and why not? You’ve worked hard, your body is a temple and it shows.

    But in what has been branded ‘the selfie (or healthie) generation’ is being branded ‘fit’ a confusing terminology?

    A recent survey of 1,000 people over 35 by Edelman Berland for DSM revealed that 68 percent of Brits worry more about their appearance than their heart health. Stats from research revealed last year (BBC) showed that calls for the number of nose jobs, face lifts and breast implant operations all soared by more than 10 percent while liposuction increased by a massive 41 percent in 2013.

    You always take these stats with a pinch of salt but it’s hard to ignore the reality that on the whole we are a teeny-weeny bit more concerned with what’s going on outside than inside.

    And it’s a shame because as this infographic reveals we could prevent the biggest cause of death in the UK by thinking about how to improve the health of our ticker.

    Shocking, isn't it?

    Shocking, isn’t it?

    You are probably already halfway there if you take the steps illustrated at the beginning of this piece but a real step in the right direction is upping your intake of Omega-3s (that can be converted in the body to the fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)).

    A search on the internet will reveal that findings from studies reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association and Moll Cell Biochem all point to how DHA/EPA can reduce the risk of sudden death from irregular heart rhythms or heart attacks and affect cellular functions involved in ensuring a normal heart rate and coronary blood flow.

    It’s a pretty clear and conclusive message: Omega-3s can help to prevent heart disease.

    How?

    You could either get your fix by eating oily fish twice a week or find a supplement with a vegetarian algae-based Omega-3 DHA/EPA. It won’t harm you to try, and you may find your body will benefit in other ways as Omega-3s have also been linked to improving joint health, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, vision, Alzheimer’s (although studies on how fatty acids have improved these conditions are inconclusive).

    So next time you’re deciding on your next fitness class or what juice bar to try out next, spare a little thought for your heart. Think of it as part of your beauty routine as a way of ensuring you really are the picture of health both inside and out.

    Disclaimer: I am not a health professional nor do I claim to have expert knowledge. Everything in this article is from research I have found and expert opinion at an event I attended hosted by DSM.

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