A big part of COVID-19 prevention is ensuring your immune system is in the best possible shape to fight infection – that way, even if you get the new coronavirus, you are much less likely to have serious complications compared to someone with a weakened immune system.
Stepping down inflammation is an important part of that strategy, and when it comes to what can give you a diet increase in the right direction, a new study suggests that you may want to load up fatty fish. (Related: The 7 healthiest foods to eat right now.)
Choice as salmon, Atlantic mackerel, sardines, cod and herring are all packed with Omega-3 fatty acidsand research published in the journal Prostaglandins, leukotrienes and essential fatty acids finds There is direct evidence that higher omega-3 blood levels may reduce the risk of COVID death.
Researchers looked at 100 patients admitted to the hospital with the virus and examined their blood samples, noting that 14 had died since the post. They found that the risk of COVID-related mortality was four times higher for those with low omega-3 blood levelsand in fact, 13 of the patients who had passed away were in the group with the lowest amount.
Although researchers noted that larger studies will need to be done to confirm the results, this pilot study suggests that there are strong links between anti-inflammatory effects of fatty acids and better COVID results.
It’s just an advantage to have more omega-3 in the diet, says Lisa Mosconi, doctor, neurologist and author of Brain food: The surprising science of eating for cognitive power. Eating oily fish at least a few times a week can improve brain health and even boost your mood, she states. It can reduce the risk of the infamous “brain fog” that many people experience with COVID, and also lower stress levels – another great way to support your immune system.
“The good news is that even if you’re made less than healthy choices for a while, your body and brain will respond to positive changes fairly quickly,” she says. “It can lower your inflammation and raise immunity quickly, as long as you stay on that track.”
Although there are plenty of omega-3 supplements on the market that can increase your levels quickly, Mosconi suggests that you eat fatty fish first. Not only do fatty fish alternatives have the right type of fat to reduce the risk of several negative health effects (think cardiovascular disease), but they also provide various nutrients such as vitamin D, riboflavin, calcium and other minerals.
“Plus, this type of fish is super easy to prepare and it’s delicious,” she adds.
For inspiration on what dishes you can make at home, be sure to check it out 21+ best healthy salmon recipes for weight loss.
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