Health Benefits of Fish Oil: Known for its richness in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients, it is no wonder that fish oil is one the most commonly consumed dietary supplements. Fish oil is one of the most important sources of Omega-3 fatty acids that is quintessential for your health and general well-being. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends people to eat at least 1 to 2 portions of fish every week, if not more.
About 30% of fish oil is made up of the healthy and touted omega-3s, while the rest 70% comprises of other healthy fats. Unprocessed fish oil is rich in vitamin A and D. It is noteworthy to mention that the omega-3s found in fish oil is considered to be a lot healthier than its counterpart found in certain plant sources. The main omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil are EPA and DHA, while plant sources contain ALA. Although it is said that ALA is beneficial to human health, it is EPA and DHA that offer more health benefits.
If your regular diet does not already include a lot of oily fish, you should take a fish oil supplement to make sure that you get enough of these beneficial fatty acids. They provide a number of health benefits, including protecting you against many diseases. Still wondering what the big deal is about fish oil? Read on to find out.
Here is why you should be consuming fish oil:
Health Benefits of Fish Oil
1. Promotes Heart Health
The leading cause of death across the globe is heart disease. Most cardiologists opine that consuming fish in your diet can help lower the risk of heart disease dramatically. Fish oil has many benefits for heart health – increasing levels of good cholesterol or HDL, lowering triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, and preventing formation of plaques in arteries. Studies also suggest that those suffering from arrhythmia can greatly benefit from the consumption of fish oil. You may also include seafood in your daily diet to improve heart health, as it is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
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2. Improves Symptoms of Certain Psychiatric Disorders
Did you know that the human brain is made up of nearly 60% fat? And, yes! A large percentage of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids. This means that these fatty acids play a vital role in normal brain functioning. There have been several studies proving that people with certain mental disorders have lower blood levels of omega-3s. Studies have also proven that regular consumption of fish oil supplements can help in preventing the onset of some psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It also helps in managing and reducing the symptoms of these disorders.
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3. Supports Eye Health
Like with the brain, omega-3 fatty acids are an integral part of the structure of the eye too. In fact, there is evidence that people who do not get enough of these fatty acids have a greater risk of contracting eye diseases. Additionally, studies have found that eating fish regularly may help prevent decline in eye health that leads to age-related macular disease, or AMD. However, you should note that there is no conclusive evidence that the sole consumption of fish oil supplements have the same effect, so try to get your dose of omega-3s from fresh fatty fish as well.
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4. May Help with Weight Loss
Did you know that a whopping 13% of the world’s adult population is obese and over 39% are overweight? There is conclusive evidence that consuming fish oil supplements can help in improving body composition and reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes in obese people. Furthermore, there have been studies showing that fish oil supplements combined with diet and exercise can help in weight loss. If you are looking for an effective way to reduce your weight and waistline, simply include fish oil in your diet.
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5. Reduces Inflammation
The fatty acids in fish oil reduce inflammation. So why is this important? Well, many chronic diseases are caused by inflammation, which is why including fish oils in your diet can improve your overall health. People with chronic inflammatory illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), short bowel syndrome, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s diseases and gastrointestinal disorders have found fish oils to be highly effective in the treatment of these complications. Patients suffering from illnesses have difficulty absorbing essential fats and vitamins, and can greatly benefit from consuming fish oils, even in supplement form.
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6. Treats Arthritis and Rheumatism
Apart from omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil also contains omega-6 fatty acids. Both of these are effective in treating rheumatism, arthritis and Raynaud’s. Studies have proven that fish oils can reduce enzymes that destroy cartilage and thereby, show positive results in the treatment of conditions like arthritis and osteoarthritis. If you suffer from chronic bone disease, you are sure to get relief from aches and pains by including fish oil in your diet. And, if you are experiencing early symptoms, it may be worth a shot to increase your fish oil intake to prevent the disease.
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7. Reduces Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
Yes, fish oil can also help in the treatment of depression and anxiety. According to research, fish oils help in relieving stress, depression, mental fatigue, sadness, nervousness, decreased libido and restlessness. Experts recommend fish oil supplements, as well as increasing fatty fish intake, to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Regular intake will perk your moods and make you feel less lethargic and dejected and more active and cheerful.
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8. May Prevent Skin Conditions
Did you know that the human body’s largest organ, the skin, contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids? Throughout your life, the health of your skin can decline, especially with age and excessive exposure to the sun. Fortunately, fish oil can help in preventing and treating a number of skin disorders, including dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, skin lesions, rashes, redness and itching. It has also been found that the EPA in fish oil can improve skin dryness and give your skin a vibrant, healthy glow.
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9. Improves Immunity
One of the best ways to boost your immunity is to increase your intake of fish oils. One of the many benefits of fish oil is its ability to stimulate your immune system and keep it regulated, thus fighting off flu, the common cold and coughs as well as infections. Fish oil is rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are highly effective in controlling the amount of eicosanoids and cytokines in your body.
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As you can see, fish oil has numerous benefits for health, and these are just some of them! Numerous studies have been conducted on fish oils and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and found them to have a positive effect on different parts of the body. If you are looking for a dietary supplement that gives you all-round health benefits, then fish oil is what you need.