Fish have long been recognized as one of the healthiest foods for seniors thanks in large part to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, and now new research from the Harvard School of Public Health sheds light on just how true that is. Scientists discovered that adults 65 and older who had more fish such as salmon and albacore tuna in their diet increased their lifespan by an average of 2.2 years.
The findings were published recently in Annals of Internal Medicine and are based off an extensive analysis of 16 years’ worth of data on more than 2,700 seniors. After looking at the levels of omega-3 in the participants’ blood, researchers determined that those with higher levels enjoyed a 27 percent lower mortality risk as well as a 35 percent lower chance of dying from cardiovascular disease. The results underscore the important role meal preparation plays in caregiving.
“Our findings support the importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health, and suggest that later in life these benefits could actually extend the years of remaining life,” said lead author Dariush Mozaffarian.
Omega-3s are present in more foods than just fish. Beans, nuts and leafy green vegetables are all substantial sources of the vital nutrient, according to U.S. News and World Report.