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Whenever I mentioned fish oil supplements, most people have heard of them before. However, I’m sure you only know about it because you or someone you know has a father or grandfather who takes it for their heart. Well, did you know that fish oil has numerous other benefits besides just heart health?
I work as a Wellness Coach at a health club, and I would say that the most frequent piece of advice I give people is to consider taking a fish oil supplement. People always give me this questioning look, until I start rambling off the scientifically proven benefits of omega 3’s.
Okay lets start with the basics: what are omega 3’s? Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats, meaning that the body can’t produce them on its own. This means that you are forced to get omega 3’s from your diet. Foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids are: salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, and flaxseed oil. There are 3 different types of omega 3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA, and ALA.
Now lets get into the benefits. According to an article by the Harvard School of Public Health (here):
They are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.
Omega 3 fatty acids reverse the inflammation response in the body. This is so important because so many diseases today are associated with inflammation, like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, asthma, and arthritis just to name a few. Yes there are drugs that can “help” with some of these conditions, but drugs treat the symptoms, not the underlying cause. Omega 3 fatty acids actual treat the underlying cause: inflammation.
Okay so hopefully by now I’ve got you hooked, or at least interested. I’m sure you’re next question for me is “how much omega 3’s do I need?”. Now obviously this will vary depending upon if you have any of the above mentioned conditions. However, if you’re just looking to maintain overall wellness, you want to aim to consume about 2.5g of omega 3’s a day. Please note that if you are taking any medications, please talk to your doctor before starting to take omega 3 supplements.
It is possible to get that much omega 3’s from your diet, but it would definitely be a challenge. If you’re more like me, you can easily just take a fish oil supplement. But don’t let the pharmaceutical industry fool you, always read the supplement facts on the bottle before purchasing. You want to make sure that the actual omega 3 content of the supplements adds up to about 2.5g. Do not just go off what the front of the bottle says. For example, I have a bottle of fish oil pills in front of me that says that it contains “1,200mg of fish oil” on the front. However, once I look at the actual supplement facts, a serving (of 2 pills) contains only 720mg of actual omega 3’s. The rest is just filler. Ew.
I’ve done my research on several different fish oil supplements out there, and so far Ocean Blue is the best product out there by far. It has the highest potency and has been studied in labs to ensure its purity. If you are already eating a lot of foods that are high in omega 3’s, then you might want to take less of the fish oil supplement. Also, for all you vegans out there, don’t worry! They make vegan omega 3 supplements as well from algae 🙂
**Disclaimer: some links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I might make a small commission from your purchases. However all of my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.