Fish oil as a supplement has exploded in popularity in recent years, and it now seems to be a blanket recommendation by health and fitness professionals all over the world; but is it really that good for you?
Why is Fish Oil Good for You?
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health, heart health, and overall health.
Benefits of Fish Oil
Here are 5 benefits of consuming fish oil daily.
Fish Oil Lowers Blood Pressure
We all know the dangers of high blood pressure and most of us have a family member or friend who has been on statins for years (the steroids that help drop blood pressure). While the best remedy for high blood pressure is increasing the number of fruits and vegetables in the diet and an increase in activity, fish oil can play a vital part in maintaining a healthy blood pressure and lowering a high one.
Fish Oil Reduces Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a form of fat that can be found in your blood. When you eat your body converts unneeded energy into triglycerides and stores them as fat to be used as energy for later. While everyone will have some triglycerides in their blood, it’s important to maintain a healthy level as high levels lead to heart disease. Fish oil assists the body in moving triglycerides out of the blood stream.
Fish Oil Slows the Development of Plaque in the Arteries
Just like in our mouths, plaque can build up in our arteries when we eat too many fatty, processed foods. Unfortunately unlike the plaque on our teeth, we can’t go to the hygienist and have it scraped off. Instead, this plaque builds up, hardens the arteries and narrows the vessels, which eventually leads to heart disease. The good news is that a big diet change to focus on unprocessed foods and lots of vegetables will give your heart a chance to repair, and fish oil will help slow the build up of this plaque in the first place.
Fish Oil Reduces Heart Arrythmia
Heart arrythmia isn’t often fatal, and many of us experience minor arrythmia from time to time. Of course when arrythmia becomes out of control, we have to think about using pacemakers and other interventions to regulate our heart beat. Severe arrhythmia events can cause a heart attack, but fish oil has been seen to reduce the chances of this in arrhythmia patients.
Fish Oil Reduces Chance of Sudden Cardiac Death
Heart disease is not necessarily an inevitable consequence of aging, but has become so thanks to the standard American diet (as Dr. Michael Greger M.D. discusses in his chapter on the subject in the book How Not to Die). Unfortunately, many of our loved ones are succumbing or have already passed due to the disease, but fortunately, the heart will begin to repair itself even after a heart disease diagnosis, if significant changes are made. One of these changes can be an inclusion of fish oil into the diet, as it has shown to be effective in reducing the chances of sudden cardiac death (in which the time between the first symptoms and death can be under an hour) in heart disease patients.
Do I Have to Take Fish Oil as a Supplement?
No, if you enjoy eating oily fish, simply eating 1-2 servings a week will help you keep your omega-3 levels high. The introduction of fish oil in any form into your diet on a regular basis will help you become a healthier person when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise.