Even though omega-3 fatty acid supplements smell like fish, there is a good reason to take them for high blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in many cold-water fatty fish, like salmon, sardines, herring, tuna, mackerel, and others. Many studies have shown that they are good for you. Omega-3s are good for your heart in more ways than just lowering your blood pressure. This means that omega-3s can help:
- Lower the amount of triglycerides in the blood
- Lower the risk of heart rhythm problems
- Lower the chances of having a stroke or heart attack
- Slow the buildup of plaque in the arteries
When we talk about omega-3s, we mostly mean the two main ones: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which are found in the fish listed above. Polyunsaturated fats, like omega-3s, are often called “good fat” or “healthy fat.” The American Heart Association says that you should eat three to four ounces of baked, poached, broiled, or steamed fish twice a week to get enough omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy heart and blood vessels.
How to Use Supplements with Omega-3
If the thought of eating fish makes you roll your eyes or turn up your nose, you could try taking fish oil supplements instead. If you choose a concentrated ethyl ester form, one gram is usually enough, but the recommended daily dose is three grams. Do not take more than these doses without talking to your doctor. If you don’t want to take fish oil supplements for personal or ethical reasons, you can use algae-based DHA supplements instead.
Some of the possible side effects of omega-3 supplements are diarrhea, flatulence, and stomach pain. Before taking omega-3 supplements, you should talk to your doctor if you are pregnant. If you take a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, you may be more likely to bleed. If you take blood thinners like warfarin, you shouldn’t take omega-3 supplements until you’ve talked to your doctor.