Fish Oils / Omega 3's The Hard Truth
5. Fish Oil / Omega-3s.
Is there a difference between fish oil and omega-3s?
Think of fish oil and omega-3 like steak and protein. You get a good amount of protein from steak, but you can also get protein from other sources. In the same way, you can get omega-3s from fish oil, and other sources as well. However, just like steak is a famous source of protein, fish oil is famous for its omega-3s. For the purposes of this article, I will use the words interchangeably.
What is Fish Oil? What are some foods that have Fish Oils?
Fish oil contains the fatty acid known as Omega-3. Omegas 3s are fats and found in three main forms: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPC), and alphalinolenic acid (ALA). The two most important forms of omega-3s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Fish oil is found in:
Other foods that contain Omega-3s:
Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil
What Are the Benefits of Fish Oils / Omega-3s?
We’ll start simple. Ever wish you were in a better mood? When we’re feeling down, our body needs to trigger more of the hormone called serotonin, also called the “feel-good” hormone. But how can we help our body trigger that serotonin to kick in?
Taking fish oils can support the levels of serotonin in our bodies. (Another way we can see its effects—through less-healthy means—is to eat a high carb meal, after which we feel relaxed and calm. This is why we sometimes crave carbs when we are stressed.) So instead of eating that high-calorie chocolate cake that might lead to weight gain, we can take fish oils daily to build up good, steady levels of serotonin.
Have you heard that fish oil can lower your cholesterol? Well, it can have a positive impact on cholesterol levels although perhaps not in the way you might think.
Fish oil actually works to increase your good cholesterol—HDL. That good cholesterol prevents the bad cholesterol—LDL—from clogging up your arteries. Fish oil also helps to lower triglyceride levels, or the levels of fat in our bloodstream.
When people say fish oil will lower cholesterol, what they really mean is it can help regulate cholesterol. Simply put, it’s great for your heart.
Fish oil can also help lower inflammation. Inflammation is our bodies’ way of healing. It’s a response that activates when we need to heal a certain area of the body, rushing blood and fluids to the affected area.. You can see and feel it in action when you experience swelling around an injury. Inflammation can even happen due to the presence of stress.
Inflammation is designed to be a healthy response, but too much inflammation is not good. The amount of stress in our daily lives can cause us to be in a somewhat constant state of inflammation. And studies have shown that the omega-3s in fish oil can help lower that inflammation.
Why is Fish Oil helpful for exercise?
The list of its benefits above make it easy to see why taking fish oil is great for your health. But it doesn’t end there—it’s also been linked to better brain function. And a major benefit for gym-goers who take fish oil supplements is its ability to help reduce inflammation around the area of a joint.
Think about how much pressure your joints are under when exercising. Even if you work out without weights, the movement and impact from running, cycling, yoga, and other exercises can wear down your joints. Fish oil can help combat that wear and tear.
How much fish oil should I take?
Most research says the optimum dosage is 1000 mg or 1200 mg daily—or 1 to 2 soft gel capsules. The important part is the omega-3s. When choosing a supplement, focus on the DHA and EPA in the soft gels. For example, a 1000 mg fish oil soft gel should provide about 300 mg EPA and 200 mg DHA. You can take it with food, but I’ve personally found that it doesn’t matter when I take fish oil.
Fish Oil takeaways
Fish oil has multiple benefits—heart health, joint health, and reducing inflammation being among them. Whether or not you work out, I recommend taking fish oil supplements. Just 1000-1200 (1 to 2 soft gel capsules) mg each day can have a big impact on your health..
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