It has long been recognized that eating certain fishes rich in Omega-3s fatty acids is beneficial in supporting healthy cholesterol levels, and good for overall cardiovascular health. However, additional research over the last few decades indicates that the benefits of making certain fish a regular part of one’s diet — or taking fish oil — can include improved vision, healthier skin, and a better mood.
Fish oil is not only good for the skin, but for all that goes on under the surface.
Omega-3’s can reduce the inflammatory response, a root cause of many illnesses and chronic conditions. This beneficial fatty acid may reduce the development of plaque in our arteries. It may even be of measurable benefit to serious mental disorders, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The richest natural sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in some fishes, particularly fatty coldwater fishes. Among them are salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, lake trout, anchovies, mackerel and cod. They’re so good for you that the American Heart Association recommends that every adult eat fish, especially these heart-healthy species, at least twice a week.
That said, all these fishes are not readily available in all parts of the country, especially rural areas in the nation’s interior. There’s another problem, too. A significant percentage of people simply do not like fish, at least these fatty fishes. Quite a few people avoid eating fish altogether. Fortunately, for fish lovers and fish avoiders alike, there are some excellent fish oil and Omega 3 supplements, with all of the benefits and none of the fishy taste.
Fish Oil Health Benefits
The list of benefits from including Omega-3s in our diet is a long one, and it is a list that keeps growing with additional research around the world.
Let’s start with the heart. Doctors and medical researchers have taken the time to dive deep into the multiple cardiovascular health benefits of fish oil. And they are significant.
Findings show Omega-3 fatty acids may help to:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce triglycerides
- Slow the development of plaque in the arteries
- Reduce the chance of abnormal heart rhythm
- Reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke
- Lessen the chance of sudden cardiac death in people with heart disease**
Omega-3’s do all this, and more. Omega-3’s in fish or fish oil supplements can increase the levels of the body’s beneficial HDL cholesterol, while reducing the “bad” LDL cholesterol. Fish oil can also lower triglycerides in the blood by up to 30%, and even in small doses can lower elevated blood pressure levels.
The Fish Oil Effect
Omega-3’s in fish and fish oil are not the only source, but studies show that fish oil has overall greater health effects than the Omega-3’s found in plant sources. The main Omega-3 in plants in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is in fact an essential acid, but the EPA and DHA acids found in fish oil appear to have a wider range of benefits, such as brain function, mood, and even improving the symptoms of serious mental disorders. Multiple sources indicate fish oil can reduce the chances of psychotic disorders, and measurably so. The effects of fish oil on several organs and some essential bodily functions have gone from intriguing and possible to well-investigated and highly probable.
Staying Heart Healthy with A, B, C and Fish Oil
At Lifebotanica we support optimum nourishment, naturally good health and, in several important ways, creating a greater sense of well-being. Step A is eating healthy. A well-rounded, richly colored diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes and nuts is always the first step. B is being fit, and trim. Being overweight seriously increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and a dozen other illnesses. Avoiding too many sugars, snacks, sodas and super-sized meals is the key. Foods rich in fiber (such as oats, bran and wholegrain cereals) are a great and healthy way to fill up, stay regular, and increase your energy. Step C is getting to the local track or pool, getting to the gym, getting outside, and otherwise getting active. 30 minutes or an hour of even moderate aerobic activity four or five times a week will work wonders for heart health, maintaining a good weight, and state of mind.
And then there’s F: Fish Oil. To gain all the benefits stated above, fish oil supplements make for a happier heart and brain, and perhaps better eyesight and nicer skin. Brenda Watson, a health educator, says we should look for a few key things in our fish oil supplements: A labeled content of 1,000 mg of Omega-3 is first. Next, an enteric coating for better absorption; which allows for the vitamin, pill or supplement to reach the small intestine and not be completely dissolved by stomach acids. Also, look for Vitamin D added to the fish oil, for an extra health boost.
There are a number of ways to take care of your heart, brain, and the rest of your body. Whatever your health regimen, a well-formulated fish oil supplement is a special form of “health insurance.” Few things pack in so many acknowledged and essential benefits in a single supplement, and in such a modest daily dose.
** sources include WebMD.com and Healthline.com