Fish Oil 101
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard at one point in time that your body could use a fish oil supplement.
But have you ever looked into why? Or what kind of benefits you can reap from taking fish oil?
Welcome to fish oil 101.
WHAT is fish oil?
Fish oil is the combination or EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid).
EPA and DHA are essential (Omega-3) fatty acids, meaning our bodies don’t produce them so we have to get them from food or supplements we consume. These fatty acids are found in some of the foods we eat, but fish oil gives us a higher concentration of them.
WHAT foods are high in Omega-3s?
No surprise, seafood—especially fatty fish (mackerel, herring, trout, tuna, salmon) and fish roe (eggs) are high in Omega 3s. So are chia seeds, flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and spinach.
WHY is fish oil good for you?
Below is a list of the many alleged health benefits that study after study have suggested fish oil can do for you:
•Supports insulin function
•Supports fatty acid metabolism
•Increases cognitive function
•Increases muscle protein anabolic response (in other words, it can help you lose weight)
•Increases cardiac health (helps with blood flow, which may help with performance)
•Decreases blood pressure (especially if you’re someone who eats a lot of red meat)
•Helps lower the risk of heart attack and strokes
•Helps reduce inflammation
•Helps improve muscle recovery
HOW do I choose a good fish oil supplement?
If you’re going to buy a fish oil supplement, the most important thing is you want to make sure it contains at least 1,000 mg of EPA+DHA Omega-3 fatty acids per serving.
To read more about how to choose a good fish oil supplement, check out this review:
Fish oil liquid versus fish oil pill?
There’s a myth among many that fish oil liquid is better than a pill, but this is but a myth.
Sure, if you have trouble swallowing pills oil might be better. But there are some disadvantages to fish oil in liquid form. For one, once you open the bottle, it becomes more vulnerable to becoming rancid if it gets too warm or is exposed to too much light. Further, pills tend to be easier on the stomach than liquid, especially if you’re someone who experiences gastrointestinal issues, such as acid reflux, heart burn, bloating or diarrhea. And you can even freeze fish oil pills before you take them, which can help reduce gastrointestinal side effects. And then there are the fish oil burps, which seem to be worse with liquid than with pills.
Fish oil burps?
Many people have tried fish oil supplements but become deterred because of those nasty fish oil burps that can happen in the aftermath of chugging fish oil.
One piece of advice: Take fish oil with food, or hide it in a smoothie. This tends to help reduce the aftertaste.