No matter where you look these days, someone is singing the praises of fish oil. Doctors and health food store owners seem to be recommending those little yellow gels for just about everything, and with good reason. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are pretty remarkable. They help our bodies to create strong, healthy cells, and to fight off many different diseases. Below are just a few of the benefits of fish oil:
- Arthritis and other inflammatory diseases — Fish oil reduces inflammation in the body, which can stave off pain from arthritis, certain intestinal disorders, and other inflammatory illnesses. It can also help our bodies to heal after a joint injury, such as a strain or sprain.
- Heart disease, cholesterol, and high blood pressure — The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil assist the body in the creation of HDL cholesterol (that’s the good kind). These acids can help to clear the arteries of blockages, reducing the threat of high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Cancer — Fish oil promotes the production of healthy cells, which can help to reduce the risk of most kinds of cancer.
- Memory and concentration — Fish oil helps to build healthy brain tissues, which can improve both short and long-term memory, and aid in concentration. These benefits can help to offset impairments caused by certain learning disabilities, including Attention Deficit Disorder, and prolong the onset of dementia from Alzheimer’s disease and other related disorders.
- Depression and psychosis — Fish oil promotes the release of serotonin — a chemical in the brain that makes us feel good — which can help to combat depression. Researchers have also found that fish oil supplements may be effective in reducing psychotic episodes in those who suffer from, or are at risk of developing, schizophrenia.
- Weight management — Taking fish oil supplements as part of a doctor-approved weight loss plan can help to ensure success. Regular consumption of fish oil and other healthy fats can reduce the body’s cravings for less healthy fatty foods.
- Eyesight — Fish oil promotes good eyesight, and also helps our bodies to produce the lubrication that keeps our eyes clean and healthy.
You don’t have to take a special supplement to enjoy the benefits of fish oil. Eating fatty coldwater fish, such as mackerel, albacore tuna, salmon, and cod, at least twice a week provides the same benefit. Other good sources for Omega 3 fatty acids include flax seed, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, blackcurrant, black raspberries, and eggs.
Jaime McLeod is a longtime journalist who has written for a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites, including MTV.com. She enjoys the outdoors, growing and eating organic food, and is interested in all aspects of natural wellness.