Reduce Stroke Risk with Healthy Fish Dinners
Cut your risk of stroke by one-third just by choosing this for dinner: fish.
But here's the catch: You've gotta choose it three times this week. In a Swedish study, women who ate healthy fish for dinner at least 3 nights a week enjoyed as much as a 33% lower risk of stroke during the 10-year follow-up period.
A Fine Fish Tale
How does fish downsize stroke risk and stroke risk factors? More research is needed to clarify the protective mechanisms. But here are a couple of theories: (1) When we eat more fish -- a lean, healthy source of protein -- we crowd out other less-healthful animal proteins, such as red meat laden with artery-clogging saturated fat; and (2) fish is high in taurine, an amino acid that appears to reduce blood pressure and triglycerides in both human and animal studies. And anytime you reduce blood pressure or unhealthful blood fats, that's good news for your stroke risk. (Coddle that cod. Find out what cooking method does the best job of preserving the health benefits of fish.)
A Fish by Any Other Name
It appeared that lean, healthy fish provided a better stroke-reduction benefit (i.e. lessened stroke risk factors) than did fatty fish in the study -- an unusual finding because fatty fish have much higher concentrations of stroke-thwarting omega-3 fats. But the researchers suspect that the stroke-protective benefits from the fattier fish may have been neutralized in this particular study by preparation methods. In Sweden, fatty fish like salmon and herring are often eaten in a salt-cured form -- not a particularly blood-pressure-friendly way to serve it. So don't muddy up your fish benefits by dousing your salmon with salt or frying it in butter. Instead, get your fix of healthy fish with one of these delicious seafood recipes from EatingWell:
- Grilled Salmon with Mustard & Herbs
- Baked Cod Casserole
- Pacific Sole with Oranges & Pecans
- Curried Fish
Eating nonfried fish three times a week can make your RealAge up to 3 years younger. Take the NEW RealAge Test!