If we want to live, long, healthy, vital lives, we need to make sure our bodies have what they need to run. And the omega 3 compounds found in fish oil are essential for the optimum functioning of our bodies and minds and ultimately our long-term health.
The range of benefits of fish oil are amazing, just as they are critical. Omega 3s -- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) -- effect each and every cell in our body (and we have trillions!). They go straight into the cell membranes and from there help cells function properly and grow, effecting processes like cell-to-cell communication, electrical stability, brain development, metabolism and regulation of inflammation.
When we don't get the right amount of DHA and EPA, which is common in many western diets, our cells run a bit off kilter, and after a while, this takes its toll. In fact, if we don't get enough omega 3s, we're more likely to suffer from heart attacks and sudden cardiac death. Not bad enough? More and more studies show that the lack of omega 3s in our cells can contribute to various cancers, psychological problems, nerve issues, weight gain, autoimmune disorders, skin disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases, high blood pressure, strokes and diabetes. Some researchers even go so far as to say that the lack of omega 3's in our diets is the root cause of many major health issues like cancer and heart disease. So when you ask, "What is fish oil good for, and why should I make sure I get enough of it?", remember that one of the most crucial omega 3 fish oil benefits is that it helps our bodies work in a smooth and efficient fashion, avoiding unnecessary breakdowns due to less-than-optimal cell functioning. To put it simply: we need the omega 3s found in fish oil for our bodies to work, and if we don't get enough, our bodies can start to break down.
In addition to the cell-functioning benefits of fish oil, omega 3 compounds can also help our bodies get back to optimal health when things aren't working so well. Fish oil can benefit us by restoring the natural balance of omega 3s and allowing cells to get back on track. Studies indicate that omega 3 fish oil benefits include easing rheumatoid arthritis, improving mood, alleviating dyslexia, fighting depression, regulating cholesterol, improving circulation, lowering risk of cardiac death, decreasing inflammation in the body, diminishing inflammation of brain tissue, providing vascular protection, regenerating nerve cells, and protecting against age-related blindness.
What are the Health Benefits of Fish Oil?
Let's elaborate a bit on these fish oil benefits: - Fish oil benefits your heart by protecting against heart disease. A five-year study in Japan at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine found that fish oil supplements reduces cholesterol levels and yields a 19% reduction in the risk for heart illness, while Italian researchers found that treatment with fish oil supplements shows a 45% reduction in the rates of sudden cardiac death. The U.S. National Institute of Health also recommends omega 3s for helping reduce high blood pressure. So the omega 3 fish oil benefits get an A+ when it comes to keeping your heart healthy! - Fish oil benefits your brain so smarten up and let it go to your head! Fats make up a large part of the brain and are essential to its development and functioning. With the right amount of omega 3s , fish oil benefits you by helping your brain develop right from the the start, protecting the blood vessels that feed your brain, keeping down inflammation of brain tissue (which may help prevent Alzheimers), helping nerve cells regenerate and lowering the risk of memory loss and brain decline. One study even found that omega 3s may help protect against Parkinson's disease, while a study at the Orygen Research Centre in Melbourne shows that omega 3 fatty acids may help delay or prevent schizophrenia. It has also been shown that low levels of omega 3s in-vitro and during childhood can negatively influence intelligence. So if you want smart kids and if you want to keep yourself sharp as a whistle, take those prenatal fish oil supplements and go fishing for the benefits of omega 3 fish oil on a regular basis. - Fish oil benefits your mood. Since omega 3 fish oil benefits your brain function directly, it also has a positive effect on your mental health, as found by a study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. While many previous studies showed that not getting enough omega 3 is linked to major psychological problems, like bipolar disorder, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, ADHD and schizophrenia, the Pittsburgh study showed that omega 3 fatty acids benefit everyone's psychological health, right down to simple daily mood swings. Feeling down? Studies have shown that you can benefit from fish oil because it can lift depression even more effectively than prescription meds. Now that's powerful stuff when it come to keeping you happy. And when you're happy, you're less stressed keeping your body healthier on many levels. What else is fish oil good for when it comes to your sanity? A Finnish study found that violent prisoners had lower blood levels of omega threes than normal. The study suggested that the fatty acids are responsible for the part of the brain that regulates personal behavior. Feeling a little irritable for no reason? Feeling like punching your pillow? Take some fish oil and benefit from those omega 3s. - Fish oil benefits you by protecting against cancer. If your cells are well-"oiled," they will continue to flourish, reducing the risk of abnormal cell proliferation and thereby reducing cancer risk. In other words, healthy cells are strong cells that don't let cancer cells thrive. - Fish oil benefits you by keeping down inflammation throughout your body. Without fish oil omega 3s, your cells can't properly keep inflammation down, and as some researchers think, when the inflammation is chronic, further cell function is impeded, creating the underlying cause of most of today's significant diseases -- diabetes, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. According to Gerry Morton of EnergyFirst, keeping inflammation down can also help with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, kidney failure, psoriasis, eczema, Chron's disease, ulcerative colitis and asthma. - Fish oil benefits your eye-sight. Appropriate levels of fatty acids keep the nerve cells in your eyes functioning properly and make you less at risk for age-related blindness and dry eye syndrome which can lead to scarring of the cornea and vision loss. In fact, studies have shown that people who eat the most fish have the fewest eye problems. - Fish oil benefits you by balancing out omega 6s. Due to recent changes in diet that include a huge increase in soybean oil (it's in most processed foods), we now are getting much more omega 6s (another fatty acid) and not enough omega 3s. Omega 6s are good for you too but they compete with omega 3 in the body. Omega 3s decrease inflammation and omega 6s increase inflation, so the two need to be in balance to reap the full benefits of both. Eat more fish oil and the scales should even out while you gain the additional omega 3 fish oil benefits. - Fish oil benefits your weight. Omega 3s help your body burn fat and reduce excess body fat a very quick rate helping you achieve and maintain a lean body. - Fish oil benefits your quality of life. As recent studies show, in countries where people eat plenty of oily fish -- like Japan where people tend to eat eight to 15 times more fish than in western cultures and have greater levels of omega 3 in their blood -- people have less heart problems and live longer even though they smoke more! Not to recommend smoking, but you get the picture. A picture of a long, healthy, happy life -- lived with a body and mind work like a well-tuned car.
What can you do to reap the benefits of fish oil?
After learning all the benefits of fish oil, you're probably hanging up your "Gone Fishing" sign as you read. Which is a very good thing because our bodies can't make the essential fatty acids found in fish oil and you need to get them from food and fish oil supplements , especially if you're on a low fat diet.
Remember, prevention and maintenance are key. So you don't have to wait to be depressed, have high cholesterol or fail your DMV eye-sight test to start. Choose a fish oil supplement like EnergyFirst Fish Oil that filters out contaminants like PCBs and mercury and has a high level of DHA and EPA. Take as needed and enjoy the benefits. And if you catch anything good on your fishing trip, be sure to fry it up and enjoy!