First published June 15, 2021, 4:58 p.m. IST
Let us understand what is at the heart of all the health benefits that are attributed to fish oil.
Fish oil is extracted from the tissues of certain types of fish. It can be taken as part of your daily diet or as a dietary supplement. “Oily” fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel are known to be reliable sources of food. Much research and writing has been done on the benefits of fish oil in recent years.
But first let’s understand what is at the heart of all of the health benefits that are attributed to fish oil. While “fat” is a bad word these days, it’s safe to say that not all “fats” are bad for us. Fish oil is one such example. The abundance of omega-3 fatty acids makes fish oil healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that the human body cannot produce itself. The two most important omega-3 fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
The human body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids; We rely on external sources of these essential fatty acids, either through our diet or through supplements. Research suggests that omega-3s help the body produce chemicals that, in turn, help control inflammation in the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 are also linked to the many health benefits of fish oil.
Vegetarian sources of omega-3 are flaxseed, walnuts, broccoli, spinach edamam (a type of green soybean). Here are the benefits of fish oil.
Helps Prevent Your Risk Of Heart Disease: One of the notable benefits of fish oil is its ability to promote heart health and protect it from heart disease. Omega-3 also helps offset the negative effects of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 is found in foods like eggs, poultry, and grains. Too much omega-6 in the body can make the blood thicker than it should be – which promotes the formation of blood clots related to heart disease. Having a sufficient amount of omega-3s in the body helps control this.
Asthma: Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and become inflamed. It makes breathing difficult and causes coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. While asthma is a minor problem for some, it can be a major problem for others, interfering with daily activities and leading to a life-threatening asthma attack. Because omega-3s help with airway inflammation, experts believe a diet high in this essential acid could be beneficial for asthma sufferers.
Depression and Anxiety: A number of studies have found that levels of omega-3s in the blood of people with depression are lower. Therefore, people suffering from depression are advised to increase their omega-3 fatty acid intake. Although more research is ongoing in this area, initial results suggest that omega-3s also improve the effectiveness of some antidepressants.
Can prevent arthritis pain: Studies suggest that omega-3s might relieve pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. A diet high in fish oil can also increase the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Good for ADHD sufferers: Children with ADHD have difficulty concentrating and are known to have shorter attention spans. While omega-3s do not offer a cure for ADHD, they are certainly important for brain function and development.
Improves the view: Fish oil is known to improve eyesight and also helps prevent age-related muscle degeneration. Omega-3 fatty acids make the small blood vessels in the eyes stronger and healthier. Consuming fish oil is also known to help people with dry eyes.
Good for hair care: Because omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil helps open hair follicles and encourage hair growth, thereby making up for daily hair loss. Since omega-3 is a healthy fat, it also prevents dry and flaky scalps.
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