Although utopian race days, hard-earned PRs and the ability to hammer when necessary—no matter what your age—may make us feel invincible, we’re not. Marathoners, triathletes, swimmers and any other type of athlete can still clog their arteries and suffer from heart attacks (although admittedly less frequently than non-active people). Focusing on both energy output and input, including consuming plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, can help ensure that you’re racing as long as your competitive spirit desires.
A recent study conducted at the University of California San Francisco and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that omega-3 fatty acids—found in certain fish oils, walnuts, canola oil and flaxseed—may protect against cellular aging in people with coronary heart disease. While the research was not completed on patients without the disease, athletes take preventative precautions all the time when preparing for a race—why not take the same approach here?
Anti-aging, Heart-healthy Pasta
1/4 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch kale, washed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup red wine (I used Barbera)
1 can skinless, boneless wild Alaskan salmon
1/3 cup walnuts, broken into halves
Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired
Cook pasta in salted, boiling water two minutes less than package directions instruct. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add garlic and saute until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add kale, salt and pepper and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally. Add salmon and walnuts. Pour in wine and allow to reduce for about 5 minutes. Add pasta to the skillet and toss; cook pasta with the other ingredients for about 2 minutes, adding a bit of starchy pasta liquid if the pan gets too dry. Turn off heat and drizzle with the remaining teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.