Fish Oil Benefits & Why YOU Should Be Supplementing
Supplementing with fish oil is absolutely crucial for just about everybody who wants to experience good health.
Of course, the best way to get the nutrients in fish oil is to eat enough of the right kind of fish. But only a very small percentage of people will do that, which is why almost everyone should take a fish oil supplement.
The fat in fish contains a form of polyunsaturated fatty acids called Omega-3 fatty acids. Smaller fish that are lower in the food chain get these Omega-3s from eating plankton. Then larger fish eat the smaller ones. The colder the temperature of the water where these fish live, generally the more Omega-3s the fish will contain. Cold water fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna have an abundance of the two most potent forms of Omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
There’s a third type of Omega-3 called alpha-linolenic (ALA) that comes from flaxseed oil, walnut oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds, or borage seed. ALA is also found in small amounts in leafy green vegetables and Brussels sprouts.
Here’s What Omega-3s Do For You
They support the function of your heart and your brain, they reduce inflammation, and they boost your immune function. When you consider that most common diseases have a basis in inflammation or immune system dysfunction, it’s no surprise that Omega-3s get credit for preventing (and in some cases treating) those diseases and disorders.
Heart health: It’s no coincidence that there’s almost no heart disease among Greenland’s native Inuit people, despite the fact that their diet is really high in fat. They eat lots of fish and thus they get lots of Omega-3s.
In studies, fish oil has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease in several ways. Omega-3s help increase good cholesterol (HDL) and help to reduce triglycerides which are a type of fat found in your blood that you want to limit. Omega-3s also help to keep platelets in your blood from clotting and can even strengthen the heart’s electrical system, preventing heart rhythm problems.
Furthermore, Omega-3s inhibit inflammation within the walls of your arteries, keeping plaque buildup under control.
Inflammation: The general anti-inflammatory effect of Omega-3s help reduce your overall risk for disease and can benefit skin conditions and autoimmune problems.
Better joints: Studies have shown that fish oil supplements can help with rheumatoid arthritis. People in those studies reported having improved joint health and relying less on anti-inflammatory drugs.
Bowel health: Fish oil can benefit inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn’s disease.
Brain function: Since your brain consists of about 60 per cent fat (mostly Omega-3 fatty acids), getting enough Omega-3 is in your diet is essential for normal brain function and for improving mental health. Research has shown that fish oil can reduce symptoms of brain disorders like schizophrenia and can prevent the onset of a brain disorders in people with risk factors.
Cancer: Omega-3s are linked to supporting, preventing, and reducing the effects of breast cancer and colon cancer.
The Omega-6 Problem
The standard American diet of processed food, hydrogenated vegetable oils, farm-raised fish, and too much grain-fed protein is excessively high in Omega-6 fatty acids. This is a problem because Omega-6 fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids need to be in a specific ratio in your body. That ratio should be somewhere in the range of 4:1 (4 x Omega-6 to 1 x Omega-3) down to 1:1, which might be optimal. But most people who eat a typical Western diet have a ratio that is above 20:1, sometimes even 30:1 or even worse. That causes disease. So the standard American diet that contains too many Omega-6 has and not enough Omega-3s is dangerous, mainly because it fuels inflammation in your body
How To Get Your Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio In Order
- Eat wild caught cold water fatty fish at least twice a week, or ideally more often. Don’t eat farmed fish.
- Reduce your consumption of foods that contain Omega-6 fatty acids. That means reducing or preferably cutting out:
- hydrogenated vegetable oils, soy and soybean oil, safflower oil, corn oil, and grapeseed oil
- fast foods
- grain-fed meats (eat grass-fed meat only)
- processed foods
- Every day, take a high quality fish oil supplement that contains the right amounts and ratio of EPA and DHA. You can see that ratio and dosage on my product called Omega-3 Fish Oil. All batches manufactured at the BodyManual facility are tested by two independent laboratories before being released to the public.
So, for the sake of good health, start eating some wild caught cold water fish, reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, and get your hands on a top quality fish oil supplement – if you’re not already taking one.
Know Your Body - Know Your Health
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