Seafood Benefits for Older Adults
What Can Seafood Do For You?
Staying healthy as you age is important. There are nutrients you need in order to keep yourself in the best possible health. Eating protective foods that contain beneficial omega-3s, like seafood, can help you from head to toe.
Seafood Benefits for Boomers+
- Improves Heart Health
- Protects Eyesight
- Maintains Bone and Joint Health
Improve Your Heart Health
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in men and women in the U.S., with risk factors including age (starting at 55), diabetes, high blood cholesterol and being overweight. While you can’t control your age, the good news is that you do have the power to help manage some of the other risk factors. Studies show you can help control dietary risk factors and protect your heart by eating more fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Deficiencies in omega-3s are known to increase the risk of heart disease such as heart attack or stroke. Start taking control of your heart health at your next meal – it can be as easy as adding a can of tuna to your salad!
Fight Alzheimer’s Disease
The nutrients found in seafood are important to your brain health. Studies have suggested that seafood nutrients, such as omega-3s, may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.ii The Alzheimer’s Association recommends that people should eat more fish high in omega-3s, such as tuna.
Protect Your Sight
Seafood may also help reduce the risk of chronic eye conditions, including macular degeneration. The American Optometric Associations says that eating omega-3s from sources like tuna or salmon is “linked to healthy eyes and may reduce risk of some chronic eye conditions.”iii
Maintain Your Joint Health
Nutrients found in seafood may help to relieve symptoms such as inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The Arthritis Association reports, “adding about two 3-ounce servings of seafood to your menu each week is a good way to increase your levels of omega-3s and help decrease the body’s inflammatory reaction.”iv
Keep Your Bones Strong
Eating the recommended amount of seafood may help protect against bone loss. One study suggests that the combination of nutrients found in seafood – particularly the omega-3s, DHA and EPA – can help you maintain your bone density.v This is particularly important for those concerned about osteoporosis. So take control of your heart health – it’s as easy as eating 2 or 3 seafood meals each week!
Did You Know?
Women are particularly at risk for heart disease, with more women dying of heart disease than men each year. In fact, more than 200,000 women die from heart attacks every year—five times the number of women who die from breast cancer.iii
Did you know that taking a fish oil supplement is not the same as eating fish? While supplements provide omega-3s, they do not provide the other healthy nutrients found in fish. To get the most health benefits, eat seafood, such as canned or pouch tuna, at least 2 times per week.
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iLloyd-Jones D, Adams R, Brown T,. et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2010 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcomittee. Circulation. 2010; 121:e1-e170
ii Alzheimer’s Association. Adopt a Brain-Healthy Diet. Available at: http://www.alz.org/we_can_help_adopt_a_brain_healthy_diet.asp. Accessed March 5, 2012.
iii American Optometric Association. Nutrients for Eye Health. Available at: http://www.aoa.org/documents/Nutrients-for-Eye-Health-Patient-Handout.pdf. Accessed March 5, 2012.
iv Arthritis Today. Fish May Reduce Inflammation. Available at: http://www.arthritistoday.org/nutrition-and-weight-loss/healthy-eating/food-and-inflammation/fish-inflammation.php. Accessed March 5, 2012.
v Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;93(5):1142-51. Epub 2011 Mar 2. Protective effects of fish intake and interactive effects of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes on hip bone mineral density in older adults: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.