Blog

Omega-3 Rich Seafood Protects the Heart from Mental Stress More Effectively than Olive Oil

Posted by on Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

The average American is no stranger to stress. We lead extremely busy lifestyles between work, family, and hobbies. We feel stress on a daily basis, from the moment the alarm goes off until we fall tiredly into our beds again at night. This mental stress can directly impact our bodies in very interesting and harmful ways. It can make us overly tired or completely wired. We can develop headaches and stomachaches, muscles tension, and sleeplessness. Over time, mental stress can even have a detrimental effect on cardiovascular health.

mental stress

Eating seafood regularly helps our hearts cope with the effects of mental stress.
Image credit: Flickr user N Wong

Your customers know that seafood is good for the heart. After all, fish oil supplements now constitute a $1.1 billion industry because consumers are aware of the fantastic benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. But those of us who love eating seafood will seek out the natural sources because, well, they are delicious! Your customers will glad to learn that a new study that has revealed that the omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood help protect the heart during episodes of mental stress.

Mental stress and the heart

We’ve known for a long time that fish oil has some protective benefits for the heart, but the exact mechanism has never been exactly understood. We just know that eating seafood regularly reduces the risk for heart disease.

When we are stressed, our heart rate goes up until the stressor goes away. Mental stress causes an increase in heart rate, raises blood pressure and releases vasoconstricting hormones. Over time, chronic stress may eventually contribute to hypertension. Stress can also cause us to develop unhealthy habits that hurt the heart, such as smoking, drinking, overeating, and physical inactivity. It makes sense that a great way to protect the heart would be to eliminate stress! Unfortunately, that is not really possible for most of us. We endure mental stress as simply a part of life and accept it as inevitable.

Now there is a new way to combat the harmful consequences of mental stress – eating healthy delicious seafood. This new study, published in the American Journal of Physiology, has shown us that people who regularly consume omega-3 fatty acids are better able to physically cope with acute mental stress than people who consume olive oil.

mental stress

Consuming delicious healthy seafood rich with omega-3s helps protect the heart.
Image credit: Flickr user Shimelle Laine

The study was composed of 67 adults similar in age and each person’s heart health was assessed. They were then divided into two groups: one group took just 9 grams of fish oil per day, while the other group took 9 grams of olive oil per day. Neither group knew which supplement they were taking. After eight weeks, they underwent the same battery of tests that they had at the beginning. Heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) were all measured while each person underwent a mental arithmetic test under a time limit, a scenario designed to bring on mental stress (you think?!).

The results were exceptionally interesting. While at rest, the two groups had the same test results. However, once they were subjected to the mental stress, the tests showed that the people who took the fish oil overall kept a lower heart rate and a lessened MSNA reactivity than the group that took the olive oil. The fish oil group also had results that were significantly improved from their tests at beginning of the study.

mental stress

Regular meals like this one help our hearts deal with stress better and make us happier!
Image credit: Flickr group Meal Makover Moms

Fight heart disease with seafood!

This news supports the notion that a diet with a regular intake of fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids, has the ability to help our heart cope with mental stress. That alone is amazing! Just taking a few grams of fish oil per day was enough to have a positive and significant effect on the heart. Imagine if you consumed fish oil regularly for years, even decades. You would be doing your heart a huge favor. It would be excellent to see this study conducted on people of different ages, with different health conditions, and for a longer period of time. It’s exciting to think about what the results might show.

A few months ago we learned that eating seafood has the fantastic ability to combat depression and actually elevate our mood, making us happier. It makes perfect sense that these outcomes may be related. If our body is able to cope with mental stress, we are much happier with life in general. Conversely, if we are happy then we’re better able to deal with stress. Either way, we encourage you to educate your customers about the incredible health benefits of seafood. Make them happy by choosing your heart healthy wholesale seafood from the Pucci Foods Catalog today.