Here’s a no-fuss way to help your heart: Make a point to eat fish—especially fatty fish—at least twice a week.
Several types of fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids decrease triglyceride levels, slow the buildup of artery-clogging plaque and lower blood pressure. Research also shows that omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of dangerously abnormal heartbeats.
Fatty fish that are particularly good sources of omega-3s include salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna. For a full serving of these fish, you’ll need to eat 3.5 ounces cooked—or about 3/4 cup of flaked fish.
Other food sources of omega-3s include flaxseed and walnuts.
Boosting your omega-3 levels by eating foods is generally preferable to taking supplements. However, people who already have heart disease and those with high triglycerides may not get enough omega-3s by diet alone, and they should ask their doctors if they might benefit from supplements.
One final caution: Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should avoid certain fish that are high in mercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.