Do you take your health for granted? Do good nutrition and diet fuel your body or set you on the path to chronic diseases? Adding certain supplements can promote good health in a number surprising ways. Let’s look at the benefits of an important supplement called pure fish oil.
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Why Pure Fish Oil?
We often associate “oil” with something bad or unhealthy. However, fish oil is essentially good for your health. The secret to its benefits is something called omega-3 fatty acids.
There are 3 main types of omega-3 fatty acids:
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) supplies energy
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is key to the brain, eye, and other functions
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) aids in several body functions
The body doesn’t produce fatty acids naturally, so you must get them through your diet or supplements.
Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have several sources. ALA is primarily found in plants, while DHA and EPA are both animal and algae-based.
Common fatty acid sources:
- Fatty fish – Herring, tuna, anchovies, mackerel, and salmon
- Seeds – Flax seeds, flaxseed oil, and chia seeds
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that everyone eat 1-2 portions of fish every week. If you don’t eat that much fish, you will wind up missing essential nutrition.
Unfortunately, many of us do not eat enough “fatty” foods. The only alternative is to take supplements.
Fish Oil Supplements
Because most of us don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in our diets, many of us turn to fish oil supplements. These supplements come in several different forms.
The first type is natural fish oil, which is almost like eating actual fish. These supplements are about 30% omega-3s and 70% fatty, which aids in absorption. These supplements can also contain vitamins A, D, and K2.
Fish oil concentrate is a processed supplement. Contaminants like mercury and PCB are stripped, and it often elevates the levels of EPA and DHA. You can find these pretty easily in your local drug store.
You’re most likely to find supplements as omega-3 small fish oil capsules or fish oil soft gels. They have no taste and the soft coating makes them easy to swallow.
9 Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil is beneficial for a number of reasons. Supplements can enhance everything from your heart and brain function to eye health.
Here are 9 of the most notable benefits of fish oil.
1. Heart Health
Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the U.S. among men and women. Many studies have found that fish oil can help reduce the risks of heart disease in a number of ways.
- Lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL)
- Increase “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels
- Lower triglycerides levels
- Reduce blood pressure
- Prevent build-up of plaque in the arteries
- Reduce fatal heart arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
Take fish oil and your heart will thank you.
2. Mental Health and Depression
Mental health is a rising concern and diet plays a big part in brain function. It’s important to note that your brain is 60% fat. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to keep your brain strong and healthy.
Some research suggests that fish oil can improve and even prevent certain mental disorders, including depression.
Some studies also suggest that depression is more common in people who have lower levels of omega-3s. Fish oil may help improve symptoms.
3. Eye Health
There is a close link between the eyes and the brain, so it makes sense that fish oil can also enhance eye health. Omega-3s may even help prevent diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Inflammation is a sign that your immune system is trying to rid your body of infection, injury or disease. Chronic inflammation can be a symptom of conditions like obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease.
Fish oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to your body. Omega-3s may...
- Reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines
- Reduce joint pain and stiffness
- It also Reduce the need for medication if you have rheumatoid arthritis
Overall, your joints may find relief if you take fish oil.
5. Mental Decline
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating degenerative condition that affects around 44 million adults according to Alzheimer’s News Today.
Even older adults who don’t have a specific disease often experience mental decline. Pure fish oil may help enhance brain function and slow age-related decline.
6. Pregnancy and Early Childhood
Many doctors now recommend that pregnant women get more omega-3s. Fish oil is essential to the development of an unborn baby and for the first few years of a child's life.
Consider taking supplements when you’re pregnant and then continue taking them if you’re breastfeeding.
7. Behavioral Disorders
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA) is very common in children. It can make it harder for them to concentrate in school and in general.
Omega-3s are essential for brain health. So, it makes sense that fish oil can help ease symptoms of behavioral disorders.
They might also improve symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, impulsiveness, and aggression.
8. Liver Health
Your liver is responsible for processing fat. Reduced liver function from too much bad fat can result in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). You may also experience weight gain and obesity.
Taking fish oil may improve liver function, reduce inflammation, and reduce symptoms of NAFLD.
9. Bone Health
Your bones can become brittle as you age, leading to an increased risk of fractures, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis. Many older adults take vitamin D for bone health, but you might also consider fish oil.
Some studies suggest that people with higher levels of omega-3s have greater bone density.
How Much Fish Oil Should You Take?
Fish oil is safe to take and has many benefits. Consider taking a high quality fish oil supplement. The American Heart Association recommends taking up to 3 grams of fish oil every day.
Speak to your doctor if you need specific advice on how much to take.
There are pros and cons of fish oil, especially if you take too much:
- Fishy taste in your mouth
- Fishy breath
- Upset stomach
- Loose stools
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may want to stop taking fish oil supplements. Again, speak to your health care provider before adding any supplement to your diet.
Fish Oil and Your Natural Health
Pure fish oil is one way to help achieve the optimum body and brain function. Beyond supplements, good health can be yours if you keep four pillars in mind…nutrition, exercise, healthy mind, and not smoking. Plan your complete healthy lifestyle journey and get on the path to a strong body, mind, and soul.
Want to learn more? Find all the information you need for body, mind, personal, spiritual, and financial health right here.
- Gunnars, Kris BSc. "What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids? Explained in Simple Terms." healthline, 23 Ma. 2019, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-omega-3-fatty-acids
- Hjalmarsdottir, Freydis. "Omega-3 Supplement Guide: What to Buy and Why." health line, 10 Dec. 2015, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/omega-3-supplement-guide
- Robertson, Ruairi PHd. " 13 Benefits of Taking Fish Oil." healthline, 18 Dec. 2018, https://discoveryournature.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=3653&action=architect&tve=true
- "Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements for Heart Disease." WebMD, 2 Apr. 2019, https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/omega-3-fish-oil-supplements-for-high-blood-pressure
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