Scientists are learning more about the incredible range of omega three benefits all the time.
In fact, clinical studies already show beneficial effects for everything from brain function to heart health.
Here’s just a brief list that Omega Three can help with:-
- Heart health
- Brain function
- Cholesterol balance
- Joints and inflammation
- Immune system
- Digestion and IBS
So What Is Omega Three & Where Does It Come From?
Omega three is an Essential Fatty Acid, or EFA. They are named ‘Essential’ for good reason – they are vital to your health.
But the body cannot produce them itself. The only way you can get them is through food. The right kind of food.
Omega three fatty acids are found in some fish – like salmon, tuna, and halibut. As well as in some algae, dark green leafy vegetables and certain nuts/seeds. They play a key role in our brain function as well as in our bodies general development. In particular they have become well known as they may reduce our heart disease risk.
The American Heart Association actually recommends that we eat fatty fish such as mackerel or salmon twice a week, at least.
Do you remember to eat the right kind of fish TWICE a week, every week?
Not All Omega Three Is The Same
Fish oils have a major advantage over those from plants, as fish oils also provide ‘long chain’ omega 3 fatty acids like DHA. No plant source has yet been discovered that provides any significant DHA content.
So it’s really not at all easy to eat enough of the right kinds of food to get the benefits of omega three. Particularly with our modern busy lifestyles, and eating habits.
Which is exactly why modern omega oil supplements have proven such a bonus.
Things Really Have Changed
And by modern supplements, I do mean things have changed. Fresh fish is simply not what it used to be.
Our seas have become polluted. Heavy metals such as mercury are becoming a major concern in fish stocks.
And our ‘fresh’ fish may actually have been intensely farmed, not that you can tell from the label! Densely packing up to 50,000 fish into underwater cages is about profit, not creating nutritious food. It requires hormones and antibiotic drugs to keep the fish alive long enough.
Canned fish has also come under criticism recently, as whilst fresh tuna can be high in essential fatty acids, most canned tuna is not. For tuna at least, the canning process does not seem to preserve the EFA’s well.
So How Do You Choose A Good Fish Oil Supplement?
There are three key factors to watch out for.
Purity: you want pharmaceutical grade fish oil, so you really know what you are getting. And it should be molecularly distilled to remove those toxins such as mercury. Pay close attention to vague labelling or unnecessary additives, flavorings, colors, preservatives etc.
DHA content: very few fish oil products contain high levels of that beneficial DHA. The benefits of DHA on the cardiovascular system have been known since the 1970’s.
Freshness: a good product should NOT smell fishy – even if you cut open a capsule. And if you’ve ever experienced a fishy aftertaste or burping, that’s the sign of a rancid oil and a poor product.
What About Over-Fishing & Depleted Fish Stocks?
Our seas are under stress, because we have been abusing them for years.
Cod has been over fished for years and stocks are in a serious state (they also swim in polluted waters). Similarly for shark and atlantic halibut.
So I’d also recommend only buying supplements from a company that ethically sources their fish, and avoids the most contaminated species.
Fish Oil Buyers Guide
So please remember these important points:
- Omega three fatty acids can provide many health benefits to people of every age
- The only source of omega three with long chain fatty acids is fish oil
- The best fish oil comes from clean ocean sources and is pure, with toxins removed
- A fish oil supplement should be high in DHA, and ethically sourced
The majority of scientists and professionals in the health industry now agree the benefits of omega three are truly wide ranging, and far reaching. I think you’ll have to agree that omega three is quite an amazing substance.