NEW ORLEANS — Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent high blood pressure in healthy young adults, new research suggests.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats, mostly found in fish and some types of plant oils. Researchers measured blood pressure and the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood of 2,036 young, healthy adults. They divided people into four groups, from those with the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood to those with the lowest.

They found adults in the highest group had about 4 points lower systolic and 2 points lower diastolic blood pressure compared to those with the least omega-3 fatty acids in their blood. This suggests promoting diets rich in omega-3 foods could become a strategy to prevent high blood pressure.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions.