Fish oils are fatty acids (lipids) found particularly in cold water fish and other marine life such as phytoplankton. These oils are rich sources of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids of the Omega 3 type. Fish oil contains both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), while nut and vegetable oils contain alphalinolenic acid (ALA). Many people have heard or read something lately stating that adding Omega 3′s and/or fish oils to your daily diet has many benefits. Not everyone has heard exactly what those benefits are, but there have been hundreds of clinical studies and thousands of scientific studies done to prove the benefits of fatty acids for your mind and body.
The EPA found in fish oil can help with pain and inflammation of many conditions like arthritis, prostatitis, and cystitis because it can help regulate your inflammatory response. Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects due to their ability to convert into anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, which are hormone-like chemicals that regulate cellular activity. These hormone-like chemicals that are necessary for anti-inflammatory responses can decrease the production of the hormone-like chemicals responsible for inflammation.
Fish oils are great for your cardiovascular health. They lower your blood pressure, help lower your cholesterol, they can lower your triglycerides and in doing so it slows the buildup of plaque in your arteries which can later lead to a heart attack or stroke. A heart attack and/or stroke can be caused by a loose piece of plaque that creates a clog in your artery or brain. While it is lowering all these bad things for your heart, it can also increase the good cholesterol (HDL).
Another great benefit from fish oils would be your increased clarity in concentration and your emotional state will be more on an even keel. Taking doses of long chain Omega 3 fatty acids increases your body’s production of the two neurotransmitters. Dopamine which helps you focus and concentrate, and serotonin which is the “feel good” hormone which gives you a sense of well being and helps you fight stress. If pregnant women take fish oils they are even giving their babies the benefits of being happier and possibly increasing their problem-solving skills. With these benefits of fish oil, it can even help alleviate the symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. Not only can fish oil help adults focus and concentrate, it can have drastic improvements on children with ADD or ADHD and even help with dyslexia.
Omega 3 fish oils have also been shown to help prevent breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. The Omega 3 stops the change of a healthy cell to a cancerous one, inhibiting the unwanted cellular growth, and causes the cancer cell to die.
With all these benefits of Omega 3 fish oils you may be wondering how you can add them to your diet. You can find fish oil capsules over the counter at your local pharmacy, which for many may be the easiest way to add the required amount to your diet, you can also find Omega 3 fatty acids in some foods such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, and leafy vegetables. They can even be found in some vegetable oils such as flaxseed, walnut, and canola. Another way of getting these fish oils would be from the obvious source-fish. The fatty fish from the sea are the best sources of the Omega 3′s such as salmon, herring, and tuna. In order to get the recommended amount of Omega 3 from fish is to eat the fatty fish twice a week and a serving size is 3 oz, approximately the size of a deck of cards.
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