With our fast-paced lives and the rise of junk food consumption, it’s hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Everyone wants to gulp food that is delicious. But, in the bargain you could end up falling prey to a vast range of illnesses. Omega-3 fish oil is one such nutrient that prevents major cardiovascular diseases and helps you stay fit. Nutritionists have recommended eating fatty fishes twice a week.
For those who dislike fish, they could consume certain supplements and gel capsules that provide the health benefits of fish oil. It is clear by now that fish oil should be an indispensable part of our diet. But, how much should be utilized? Does it have any side-effects? What is the science behind its discovery? Read further to unravel the facts behind omega-3 fish oils.
The nutrients that build omega-3 fatty acids
The health benefits of fish oil include low blood pressure, reduced triglycerides, slowing down the movement of plaques in the arteries. It even reduces the chance of abnormal heart rhythm. This nutrient brings down the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest and stroke. It also supports the nervous system function, brain development, and immune health. It diminishes the side effects of drugs that are meant to suppress the immune system. Their anti-inflammatory effect supports medicines that are used to reduce cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids can be classified as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), αlpha-linoliec acid (ALA). Among these, EPA and DHA have proved to be the most beneficial. ALA is a part of omega-3 and has to be converted to either EPA or DHA. Eating fish can directly supply you with the necessary EPA and DHA for your body.
Also read: Boost Your Health with Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- The need for EPA and DHA in our diet
It is assumed that if you consume a high quantity of ALA, your body will generate the right amount of EPA and DHA. Astonishingly, the body does not function that way. Eating specific carbohydrates, proteins, and fats boost our health and help us stay fit. EPA and DHA aren’t needed to survive; you would require it to sustain good health. Oily fish like salmon and sardines are considered to be dietary staples of particular cultures. As per research, too much oil can be a little dangerous. This is because the body cannot regulate it. So, what should be the exact intake of omega-3 fish oil?
- The quantity of omega-3 fish oil that matters
Some people think that munching on loads of salmons and herrings would keep them sharp and active. But, the truth is that most fishes are contaminated with toxins, chemicals, metals, and other industrial waste. When you end up eating too much of these fatty fishes, the fats tend to get embedded in the cell membranes and start getting stiffer. Cell membrane fluidity is a must in order to maintain a level of flexibility. It can neither be limited nor excessive. While imbibing omega-3 fish oils as a part of your diet ensure that there is a balance in the unsaturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats that you consume. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of U.S.A stated that an intake of 3gm of EPA and DHA in a day is perfect to keep you fit and safe.
- Understanding the omega-3 index
The omega-3 index is a test you could conduct to understand the percentage of EPA and DHA in your body. It determines the fluidity of cell membranes. If it’s below 4%, it means there is high risk. Between 4-8% would be intermediate risk, and over 8% is little risk. The index also depends on various external factors like age, gender, body weight, and physical activity. A small but significant amount of EPA and DHA a day can move a person from high-risk to a low-risk zone. This reduces the chances of cardiac arrests.
- Oxidation of omega-3 fish oil supplements
These fish oils are vulnerable to chemical oxidation as compared to saturated fats. When fishes are processed into supplements like gels, capsules, injections, they can be a little toxic for the body. After being exposed to oxygen, they tend to break down their molecules. Susceptibility to heat, light, and metal can boost their oxidation. Their chemical reactions result in hydroperoxides, aldehydes, and ketones. A disproportionate intake of these can be associated with cancer, inflammation, and toxins.
Also read: Signs Of Cancer : Are you At Risk?
- The things you need to remember
Side-effects of these may include fishy breath, gastrointestinal disorder, stomach upset, loose stools, nausea, and bleeding. It is important that you take a regular dose of EPA and DHA in a day. Make sure the fish you eat has adequate fats. This would help you to receive the right health benefits of fish oil. Marine and freshwater fish oil differs in the level of arachidonic acid, EPA, and DHA. River water or farm-raised fish may contain less omega-3 fats and more of omega-6 fats. Try to comprehend the source of your fish. Avoid sources that are high in contamination. Keep away from fish that is infected with pesticides and pollutants. If you are consuming supplements, ensure that their manufacturing batch and expiry date is correct. Choose the right product and brand that your doctor prescribes. Check if preservatives have been used. Once opened, store it in a cool place for preservation. People who are under medication can consult their doctor with respect to the right usage.
They say everything works wonders if it taken in limits. The same applies to omega-3 fish oil. It can be indeed beneficial if consumed in proportions. Check with your dietician, in case you wish to receive higher doses of omega-3 fish oil capsules and supplements. Your doctor can guide you in enriching your diet with omega-3 fish oil. It is crucial for you to recognize the essentiality and health benefits of fish oil. Also, your doctor would be in the right position to monitor every single aspect of your health. For those who suffer from high levels of triglyceride, there are prescription fish oil medicines available. Eat well, and live a happy and healthy life.
Also read: The foods you can rely on when you are sick