Omega-3 fatty acids have gained a lot of attention in the last few years. In this article we’ll cover what omega-3s are and how they can help with your stroke recovery.
What Are Omega-3s?
Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid. While there are certain fats that you want to avoid, like saturated and trans fats, these fatty acids are not the fat you want to skimp on. Here are 3 types of omega-3s that you should know about:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
The cool part is that when you consume ALA, your body can make EPA and DHA out of it when needed. However, it cannot make ALA from scratch, meaning that you need to consume it from dietary sources or supplements.
Foods Highest in Omega-3s
Here are some of the healthiest foods that contain omega-3s, starting with the most potent:
- Brussel sprouts
Flaxseeds and walnuts make an excellent addition to cereal, oatmeal, and smoothies. If you’re trying to fit more omega-3s into your diet, breakfast is the easiest way to do it! But if morning munching isn’t your thing, we definitely recommend getting hooked on salmon. All you need to remember is that wild salmon contains more omega-3s than farmed salmon does.
Alright, on to the science.
DHA Improves Stroke Recovery
In an article published in the Translational Stroke Research report, DHA was reported to have brain protective powers when taken within 5 hours following an ischemic stroke. Now, that’s a tall order considering that taking an omega-3 supplement is the last thing on your mind when experiencing a stroke. But the fatty acid does provide many other benefits, especially when taken as fish oil.
Fish Oil for Stroke Prevention and Recovery
Fish oil supplements are a great source of EPA and DHA and have been shown to lower elevated triglyceride levels, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Fish oil is also known to help with joint pain and stiffness, a common side effect of stroke. And to top it all off, DHA plays a crucial role in brain function, which is of the utmost importance to stroke survivors.
Have we sold you on the importance of omega-3s for stroke recovery? How do you get your omega-3s into your diet? Leave us a comment below sharing one of your favorite snacks or recipes that help you fit this brain booster into your day.