And so here is my second installment on fish oil. Notice how I kept the heading as, “Omega-3” fish oil? This is just a reminder that not all fish oil is good for you and the only ones I am swearing by are those that contain over 50% Omega-3. In case you haven't read my first detailed article on fish oil, then do so before you proceed with this one. So, the last time, we talked about Omega-3 and it's importance and a lot about fish oils in general. Today, I'll let you know five major benefits of taking Omega-3 fish oil, which have been proven by various studies and research.
1. Improvements in Memory and Mental Well-Being
In high concentrations, Omega-3 boosts memory, enhances mood and improves mental clarity. It has been suggested that Omega-3 helps people with Alzheimer Disease and dementia. In children, Omega-3 can help with attention deficit disorders and also improve their mental well-being. Note though, that this is a gradual process and not an over-night solution to memory loss. So, try to incorporate as much Omega-3 rich fish such as wild salmon, mackerel, sardines or even oysters into your diet as possible.
2. Improvements in Cardiovascular Conditions
The University of Maryland in the USA, has carried out extensive research on fish oil and its effects on our cardiovascular system. The university states that the EPA and DHA (acid substances) in fish oil is known “to lower the risk of death, heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heart rhythms in people who have already had a heart attack. Fish oil also appears to help prevent and treat atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by slowing the development of plaque and blood clots, which can clog arteries.” Notice how people living in the Asian regions (China, Vietnam, Japan) very seldom complain of cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure? They have a rich sea-food diet that keeps their blood pressure down and improves cardiovascular performance. That's probably the secret to their long lives! My grandparents are living proof of this 🙂
P.S. This certainly doesn't mean you should over-consume fish or omega-3 capsules. Everything done in balance is beneficial, because over doing it is not the key to good health. Having fish 2-3 times a week is just perfect for a healthy balance.
3. Reduces the Risk of Sudden Heart Failure
Evidence shows that people deficient in Omega-3 may have increased if not double the chances of suffering from heart disease. Omega-3 drastically reduces heart disease death rates and should be taken by people who need secondary prevention from a previous cardiovascular attack. In laymans terms, if you want a healthy heart, you need to give it Omega-3. Not only does this improve heart conditions but it also improves blood flow and reduces triglyceride levels by nearly 40%.
4. Helps Reduce the Pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Fish oil may also help patients with rheumatoid arthritis to manage their symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Fish oil has been found to have effects on the immune system and on fats in the blood in people with rheumatoid arthritis.” Not only this, but stiff joints can also be improved by a regular dose of Omega-3 fish oil. If combined with other healthy diet options, fish oil may also help you in combating muscular degeneration and perhaps keep you stronger and fitter, even into your old-age.
5. Helps People with Osteoporosis and Improves Bone Density
My mom has always been an avid fish eater and boy, she has strong growing nails that never seem to break and although she is petite, she has more bone density than me. I guess, I suffer a bit by not being a fish lover, but nevertheless, I will always suggest people eat fish as if anything, it helps you greatly with building strong bones. Combine it with other foods in the diet chart, you're in for a good meal that gives you long term benefits. People with osteoporosis can greatly benefit from fish oil as it improves bone density and slows down bone loss rate.
Oh and with all these serious benefits for health conditions, Omega-3 also gives you beautiful hair, smooth skin and possible weight loss (the weight loss part is not yet proven, but people have linked low cholesterol levels to weight loss, so it could help you there as well). All in all, taking Omega-3 fish oil is a win-win situation and there have been no reports of any side-effects, unless you are specifically allergic to sea-food. However, if you take medications, before you take up any new supplement, do remember to consult with your medical specialist first.
Keep fish on the menu for dinner tonight!