Fish oil is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements of any available. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for your mind and your body so it’s well worth taking!
Here are a few of the health benefits you might see through taking a fish oil supplement…
What Is Fish Oil?
Fish oil is the fat or oil that’s extracted from the fish’s tissue. It usually comes from oily fish, such as herring, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), they recommend eating approx 1–2 portions of fish per week, however, if you aren’t able to do this, you should be taking a fish oil supplement on a daily basis. Around 30% of fish oil is made up of omega 3, while the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. What’s more, fish oil usually contains some vitamin A and D.
It’s important to note that the omega 3 found in fish oil has a greater health benefit than the omega 3 found in plant sources. The main omega 3 in fish oil is called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while the omega 3 in plant sources is mainly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Although ALA is an essential fatty acid and very good for you, EPA and DHA have many more health benefits.
Supports Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death all across the world, according to many scientific studies. These studies show that people who eat a lot of fish have a much lower rate of heart disease. The risk factors for heart disease appear to be reduced when a high consumption of fish or the oil of a fish is taken on a regular basis.
The benefits of fish oil for heart health include:
- It can increase the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
- It can lower triglycerides by 15–30% if taken on a regular basis.
- It helps to reduce blood pressure.
- It has been known to prevent arterial plaque that cause your arteries to harden.
- It may reduce fatal arrhythmia (what causes heart attacks).
Supports Mental Health
Your brain is made up of nearly 60% fat, and much of this fat is omega 3 fatty acids, therefore, omega 3’s are essential for normal brain function. In fact, some studies suggest that people with certain mental disorders have a much lower level of omega 3 in their system.
many research studies suggest that fish oil supplements, taken regularly, can prevent or improve the symptoms of some mental health disorders. For example, it can reduce the chances of psychotic disorders in those who may be showing signs.
Aids Weight Loss
Obesity can significantly increase your risk of diseases such as – heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even certain cancers. Some studies have indicated that fish oil supplements, in combination with a good diet and regular exercise, can actually help you lose weight.
Supports Eye Health
Your eyes rely heavily on omega 3 essential fatty acids. Evidence shows that people who don’t get enough omega 3’s have a much greater risk of eye conditions later on in life. This can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), however, eating fish will reduced the risk of AMD.
Inflammation is your immune system’s way of fighting infection and treating injuries, however, chronic inflammation is associated with a more serious illness such as – obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease. Reducing the inflammation in your body can help treat symptoms of these diseases.
As fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties, it may help treat conditions involving high levels of inflammation. For example, in stressed and obese individuals, fish oil can reduce the production of inflammatory molecules called cytokines. However, fish oil supplements can also significantly reduce joint pain and stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Supports Healthy Skin
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids however, the health of your skin can (and will) decline throughout your life, especially during old age or after too much sun exposure. That said, there are a number of skin disorders that may benefit from fish oil supplements, including psoriasis and dermatitis.
Reduces The Fat In Your Liver
Your liver processes most of the fats you put in your body and can play a huge role in weight gain. Liver disease is increasingly common, particularly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is where fat accumulates in your liver. Fish oil supplements can improve your liver function, which may help reduce symptoms of NAFLD and the amount of fat deposited in your liver.
People with a history of depression appear to have a much lower level of omega 3 in their blood levels, however, studies show that fish oil and omega 3 supplements may actually improve the symptoms of depression.
Improves Attention and Hyperactivity
A number of disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), involve hyperactivity and not being able to focus attention for longer periods of time. Omega 3’s make up a significant proportion of the brain, so by taking steps to ensure you have high levels of this in your body, may be able to prevent these types of disorders later on in life.
May Improve Allergies
A number of research studies show that fish oil may reduce symptoms brought on by asthma.
Supports Bone Health
During old age, your bones can begin to lose their essential minerals, making them more brittle and therefore more likely to break. This can lead to conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Obviously calcium and vitamin D are important for bone health, but some studies suggest that omega 3 fatty acids can also be beneficial in maintaining the health of your bones.
We hope you found this article helpful but if you have any questions, please do get in touch.
The Fitness Focus Team
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