Fish oil is a dietary oil extracted from fish rich in beneficial omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. These essential fatty acids cannot be produced by the body, and therefore must be consumed. Foods rich in omega 3s include fish and other algae eating animals. While nuts and seeds also contain omega 3s, they are composed primarily of ALA fatty acids, which research has yet to prove whether or not they also contain the same beneficial properties of DHA and EPA found in fish. Unfortunately, to meet your daily requirement of DHA and EPA, you would need to consume several pounds of fish per day. Not only would this be a daunting dining expectation, you would also be increasing your exposure to mercury, which would negate many of the healthy brain and cognitive benefits of consuming fish oil. Alas, there are several fish oil supplements available on the market in both pill and liquid form, both flavored and natural. Look for supplements containing 300mg or more of EPA/DHA per serving.
Health benefits of consuming several grams of fish oil daily include:
- increased brain and cogitive function - decreased risk of Alzheimer's, dementia, and other cognitive degenerative disorders - increased cardiovascular function - decreased risk of heart disease - decreased inflammation, and chronic disease associated with inflammation - increased joint health - increased metabolism
A diet rich in omega 3s is associated with increased insulin sensitivity (decreased sensitivity being associated with diabetes), promotes greater nutrient absorption at the cellular level, and an increased metabolism due to the increased enzymatic activity, thereby burning more fat cells. Consider adding a fish oil supplement to your diet for increased healthy and well being. Consult with your physician before beginning any new diet or exercise program.