We all want to be free from disease, right?
Free from cardiovascular issues, fatigue, chronic illness, immune weakness, and so forth. What is the root of the health problems that plagues the Western culture? If we look at different cultures from around the world, especially Mediterranean and Alaskan societies, we can see that their health problems are limited compared to ours. What gives?
ONE WORD: FISH.
As our once-healthy diet is now evolving into the I just dont have time to cook diet, we see our countrys health issues skyrocket. Eating too much meat, dairy, fast/fried/processed foods can lower our absorption of essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs are polyunsaturated fats that our bodies need but cannot produce (Nordic Naturals, n.d.). We’ve heard of omega-3, which is a type of EFA, and we also may have heard about omega-6, another type of EFA. Our bodies need both omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs in order to ensure proper eicosanoids production.
Eicosanoids are hormone-like compounds that affect virtually every system in the body- they regulate pain and inflammation, help maintain proper blood pressure and cholesterol levels and promote fluid nerve transmission. Most diets are abundant in omega-6 but lack omega-3. Therefore, it is critical to include EFAs, such as omega-3s, into your diet!
WHERE DO WE GET OMEGA-3 EFAS?
Eating fish is a great way to load up on fatty acids but you arent getting the entire benefit due to our fish being farm raised, they lack two acids (eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) that are the most beneficial omega-3s. Fish may contain toxic substances as well, such as mercury, lead, and PCBs. The best way to get EPA and DHA into the diet is through fish oil/cod liver oil.
FISH OIL IS A NATURAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY.
Eicosanoids derived from omega-3 EFAs initiate an anti-inflammatory response, reducing swelling and pain, thus promoting health and disease prevention. EFAs have a wide array of actions; mediating immune response, dilating and constricting blood vessels, preventing blood clots, regulating pressure in the eyes, joints, and blood vessels, directing endocrine hormones to their target cells, and much more.
Fish oil has been linked to numerous benefits in relation to disesases. For one, cardiovascular benefits are derived from thinner blood, less fat deposition in tissues, lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL- bad cholesterol), decreasing triglyceride levels, lowering stroke risk and diabetes risk. Anything with itis in its ending can be helped by fish oil as well. The suffix itis means inflammation, and fish oil decreases inflammation.
Fish oil can be taken in liquid or capsule form. Daily dosage should be between 2-4 grams of EPA/DHA. Higher-end fish oil supplements will require you to take fewer doses than a lower-end supplement; taking less of the supplement daily will decrease the possible side effects of burping, loose stools, and fish breath.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF IT’S A HIGH-QUALITY SUPPLEMENT?
It will cost more because the supplement will be processed more to ensure a high concentration of EPA and DHA. Also, look on the label for nutritional breakdown and serving amount.