Eating mussels three times a week could boost your omega-3 levels

In a new study, researchers found eating mussels three times per week may bring about significant health benefits—such as the reduced risk of cardiac arrest—thanks to their omega-3 fatty acid properties.

They found that adding the shellfish to diets over a two-week period “significantly improved” omega-3 status.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of Stirling.

It is known that omega-3 has a range of health benefits, and although it’s recommended that people eat at least one portion of oily fish per week, less than 20% of the population achieve this and therefore do not consume the required levels of these essential fatty acids.

Previous evidence also has shown that the omega-3 in world fish stocks is insufficient to meet the population’s daily requirement, so it’s essential that alternative dietary sources are explored

The current research project—which involved 15 participants—sought to find ways of improving the intake of the essential fatty acids among the general population.

Participants consumed mussels three times per week over 14 days.

Regular blood samples were taken from those involved and subsequently analyzed to measure the levels of essential omega-3.

The team found that adding the shellfish to diets over a two-week period could strongly increase omega-3 status in the people.

This suggests that mussels provide a viable omega-3 source that can complement existing alternatives, such as oily fish.

Increased consumption of farmed mussels could also have wide-reaching benefits for the environment.

As well as containing high levels of omega-3, the seafood includes a range of vitamins and minerals found in other meat-based sources, but greenhouse gas emissions per edible kilogram of mussels are a fraction of that from producing pork, beef or chicken.

The research is thought to be the first to explore the impact of eating mussels on boosting omega-3 levels.

The lead author of the study is Dr. Stefano Carboni, from the University’s Institute of Aquaculture.

The study is published in Nutrients.

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