Glowing skin, healthy long hair, reduced risk of stroke, smoother muscle activity and efficient cell growth – these are a few of the possible benefits that can be bagged with the magic potion, that is fish oil. It is considered to be a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids wherein the two omega-3s, namely docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are found to be dominant. These are considered to be very important for the health of your body. Fish is by far the most common source of fish oil and hence the name. Read on and know all about fish oil and its benefits, and discover whether you need to consider getting its supplements.
What is fish oil?
The fat or oil extracted from fish tissues is nothing but fish oil. Usually derived from oily fish, it is the anchovies, bluefish, tuna, mackerel, marlin, salmon and herring that are considered to be the best varieties of fish to get the oil. As mentioned earlier, fish oil is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These types make up to 30 percent of the fish oil while other fats make up the remaining 70 percent. Consumption of these omega-3s is important as it is said that the DHA and EPA offer healthier benefits as compared to ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which is found in plants.
How much fish oil do you need?
The recommended daily allowance is 1100 mg for women and 1600 mg for men. A healthy adult can safely consume as high as 3000 mg per day. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends regular fish consumption, including one to two servings per week. This serving should offer an equivalent of 200-500 mg of EPA and DHA acids which is the recommended dietary intake of these fatty acids by most of the mainstream health organizations.
As our body does not make any omega-3 fatty acids on its own, it is important to meet this requirement by eating food. Unfortunately, the modern Western diet has replaced the omega-3s to a greater extent with other fats like the omega-6s, and this distorted fatty-acid ratio can lead to a few health problems like rough, scaly skin, and dermatitis. The recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is 4:1 or less and to maintain that it is important to follow a balanced diet.
If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, then it is highly recommended to opt for fish oil supplements. Fish oil can be consumed at any given time of the day. But to minimize the “fish burp” taste, it is recommended to consume with meals.
What are the benefits of fish oil?
As mentioned right at the beginning, you will always stand at an advantage upon sufficient consumption of fish oil. A few of the benefits that fish oil has in store are listed below.
- Reduction in Triglycerides – There is strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can largely reduce blood triglyceride levels. A study, in fact shows that a dosage of 3.4 gm/day of Omega3 fatty acids can reduce plasma triglycerides by about 25-50 percent after a one-month treatment.
- Reduction in major depression – Although the data is insufficient to prove the effect of fish oil on minor depression, initial evidence shows that fish oil and omega-3 supplements might have a positive effect on the symptoms of depression.
- Reduction in High Blood Pressure – After numerous studies between fish oil and blood pressure levels, it has been well established that even small amounts can partially help reduce the elevated levels of blood pressure.
- Reduction in Inflammation – Chronic inflammation may contribute in the development of some serious illnesses like obesity, depression, heart diseases and diabetes. Fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties and with its consumption, you may reduce inflammation which may in turn, lower the symptoms of the above-mentioned illnesses.
- Increase in HDL – Although there is no strong evidence, a couple of studies showed that fish oil may benefit individuals suffering from hyperlipidemia with a slight increase in HDL.
Now, knowing all about fish oil and its benefits, we hope that your curiosity is satisfied. If you follow a balanced diet that includes regular servings of fish, you do not have to look for fish oil supplements. But, in case you do not have fish in your meals, it is safe to opt for the supplements and enjoy the many benefits of fish oil.
About the Author : Ketki H is a wandering soul who loves travelling solo, and firmly believes in enjoying the journey rather than hurrying to the destination. Although a graduate in Mechanical Engineering, she took to writing for reaching the masses.
Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences (INFS) was established with the intent of providing comprehensive and practical knowledge in Health and Fitness. INFS Nutrition and Training courses are divided into levels so that everyone from a general health enthusiast to someone who wants to build a career in Fitness industry can benefit from them.
For more about INFS Courses, visit us here.