Foods rich in this type of omega-3 fatty acid found to reduce risk of death, especially from coronary heart disease.
Nuts and seeds — due to being rich in an essential omega-3 fatty acid — have been found to improve life expectancy.
Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid naturally found in foods such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, soybeans, chia seeds, and canola oils.
Consuming a high amount of ALA is linked to a reduced risk of deaths from all causes including heart and blood vessel diseases, a study has found.
In contrast, foods and drinks high in sugar can cause serious health problems quite apart from obesity or diabetes.
The findings are based on an analysis of 41 studies that were carried out from 1991 to 2021 to see if there is any link between ALA intake and various causes, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The research team found that higher consumption of ALA was linked to:
- 11 percent reduced risk of dying from coronary heart disease,
- 10 percent reduced risk of death from any cause,
- and 8 percent reduced risk of dying from CVD.
The higher the intake of ALA, the lower the rates of CVD mortality.
For example, increasing daily intake of ALA by one gram was linked to a 5 percent reduced risk of death from CVD.
One tablespoon of canola oil or a 15 gram serving of walnut oil contains one gram of ALA and a 28 gram serving of walnuts contain 2.5 grams of ALA.
The study adds more evidence to the possible beneficial health effects of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The authors added:
“Further studies should examine the association between ALA and a wider range of causes of death to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the potential health effects of ALA as well as to examine whether specific foods rich in ALA are differentially associated with mortality from cancer and other causes.”
About the author
The study was published in the British Medical Journal (Naghshi et al., 2021).
Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.
This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.
It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.
I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.