Omega-3s Fish Oil Benefits

Why we need them
Fish oils are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, namely, EPA & DHA. These are potent anti-inflammatory agents in the body and make up a large proportion of the outer layer of our cells. Most notably, they balance out the overly consumed omega-6s that we get from plant oils and packaged goods (pastries, crackers, etc). The key is to balance out the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6, either by consuming less omega-6 (not always possible since many healthy plant foods contain this) or by increasing our omega-3 intake. Bottom line: eat less packaged, processed foods and take a high-quality fish oil supplement.

Who can they help?

The research on using omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil range from mood disorders like depression to joint pain, to heart health and help boost healthy skin!

A lot of our health problems today stem from the same place: inflammation. Think of it as an ‘internal fire’ that causes pain, irritation, low energy and poor brain health. Yikes!  The good news is, fish oils can help. Don’t get me wrong, fish oils can be effective but they take some time to work (no quick fix here). I tell my patients to commit to around 2-3 months as a general rule before assessing whether or not it’s the best course of action for them.

Quality matters

As a healthcare provider I can’t stress this enough, especially when it comes to fish oil: Quality is the most important factor in your omega-3 supplement. Since the source of the oil is fish, we have to be weary of contamination and heavy metal toxicity.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the fish used are small fish like sardines and anchovies.
  • When buying liquid oil (which I prefer for easy dosing), make sure you buy a small, dark coloured bottle to prevent the oil from going rancid. Many products often contain an antioxidant like vitamin E or green tea extract for maximum longevity.

If you’re concerned about a ‘fishy aftertaste’, rest assured, taking your dose of a quality omega-3 supplement with a meal should eliminate this worry. If not, talk to your healthcare provider or naturopath to get your digestive tract running smoothly first!

 

Dr. Laura Belus, ND, believes that health is attainable at any age. As a young adult she made the connection between the foods we eat and how we feel. This was a powerful tool in reversing her long history of migraines and skin concerns. Following the likes of Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Mark Hyman she has extensively studied the profound positive effects of lifestyle medicine on many chronic diseases. Her simple, yet effective philosophy is to rebuild the foundations of health: diet, sleep, exercise and lifestyle, so that one can restore the body to a place of balance and experience a greater vitality everyday.

1 Comment

  • Reply March 24, 2017

    james8henry

    Fish oil has a fatty acid which is delivered from the tissues of the oily fish. It contains omega 3 acid. The health benefits of fish oil are countless and it is very helpful if you want to maintain your muscles and weight. Studies show that we have to eat seafood for better health but if anyone is not able to buy sea foods, fish oil is a perfect alternative for those people.

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