Salmon and red meat ward off heart attack
Salmon and red meats have always been seen as good additions for a healthy diet, but scientists now believe that eating either of them every day can be as good for you as giving up smoking.
While salmon is rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamin B6, steak is an excellent source of iron, vitamin B12 and zinc, which keeps the immune system working properly.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia believe that people who eat lots of protein-rich food have lower blood pressure and healthier arteries, which significantly lowers the risk of a heart attack and stroke.
The scientists put this down to the levels of amino acid in these foods. Amino acid helps build protein which in turn helps strengthen the body’s cells, tissue and muscle.
People who ate the right proteins rich in these amino acids were found to have similar health benefits to those used to encourage people to stop smoking.
The team recommend consuming a 75g portion of steak a day, a 100g fillet of salmon or a pint of skimmed milk to help keep heart disease at bay. Other foods that can be incorporated into your diet include broccoli, beans, lentils and spinach.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, was based on health data from 2,000 British women. The team looked at what foods the participants ate, focusing on seven different amino acids. They discovered that the women who ate the highest levels of amino acids had lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness levels compared to those who ate less.
While vegetables, lentils and pulses helped lower blood pressure, lean meats and fish such as salmon aided the arterial stiffness, which is a major cause of strokes and heart attacks.
“This research shows a protective effect of several amino acids on cardiovascular health,” said lead researcher Dr. Amy Jennings, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School. “The really surprising thing that we found is that amino acid intake has as much of an effect on blood pressure as established lifestyle risk factors such as salt intake, physical activity and alcohol consumption. For arterial stiffness, the association was similar to the magnitude of change previously associated with not smoking. So changing your diet to include more meat, fish, dairy produce and pulses could help both prevent and treat the condition.”