Remember that golden-yellow capsule with the smell of fish was an integral part of our childhood? Well, that was nothing but a fish oil supplement. Fish oil is essential for a sharp mind and a healthy body.

It is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies need omega-3 fatty acids to perform important functions such as cell growth and muscle activity. Hence WHO also recommends fish oil as an essential dietary supplement to maintain a healthy body.

Since our body cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids, it is more essential to include them in your daily diet in the form of fish oil or fish oil supplements. In addition, fatty fish like rohu, rani, surmai, salmon, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the proper growth and development of the body. Therefore, a diet lacking in omega-3 fatty acids can lead to serious health risks. For example, it can lead to heart disease, arthritis, mental disorders and even some cancers.

Fish oil is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids and has many other health benefits. This article will guide you through all the information about fish oil, its uses, side effects, etc.

What is fish oil?

Fish oil is the oil that we get from the tissues of oily or fatty fish, such as Surmai, Rawas, Rohu, Rani, Tuna, Herring. The oil content in fish varies between 0.7% – 15.5% depending on their species.

Fish oil contains two omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 fatty acids have various health benefits and are essential for the proper functioning of the brain, heart and other vital organs of the body.

What are fish oil supplements?

There is nothing better than eating fish straight to extract all its health benefits. However, let’s say you are a vegetarian or simply do not like to eat fish. In that case, fish oil supplements are a more convenient option for meeting your omega-3 requirement.

Millions of people around the world take fish oil supplements as part of their daily diet. Fish supplements are readily available in the market, and you can buy them over the counter from any pharmacy. However, if you are a heart patient or have any other major illness, consult your doctor before buying any over-the-counter fish supplements.

Fish oil supplements come in pill, liquid or capsule form. Many people prefer fish oil supplements to fish, as the purification process causes much less contamination in dietary supplements. In addition, fish oil supplements contain EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fatty acids, similar to natural fish oil.

11 health benefits of fish oil

Fish oil has a plethora of health benefits for your entire body. Some of the great health benefits of fish oil are:

1. Good for Heart Health

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is great for your heart health. They help reduce the level of triglycerides, thus reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you are suffering from irregular heartbeat, include fish oil in your diet to control them and maintain good heart health. Fish oil may also help prevent sudden cardiac arrest and heart blockage.

2. Fish Oil Helps Prevent Cancer

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil ensure the proper functioning of cells and prevent them from turning into cancerous tumors. The minerals and vitamins present in fish oil inhibit unwanted cell growth and help prevent cancer.

3. Improves Skin and Hair

People who regularly eat fish have beautiful skin and healthy hair as fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 acids promote collagen production in our body and prevent early aging of the skin, fine lines, wrinkles etc. It also helps in retaining the natural moisture of the skin and keeps our skin hydrated.

4. Fish Oil Improves Eye Health

The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil help in maintaining the health of our eyes. It nourishes our eyes and prevents macular degeneration. Include fish oil in your diet to keep your eyesight strong throughout life.

5. Regulates Cholesterol

Fish oil is famous for its anti-inflammatory properties. The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil help prevent inflammation of our fat cells. In addition, fish oil can prevent type-II diabetes by causing insulin resistance in the body.

6. Helps Improve Mood

Our brain secretes the chemical serotonin which controls our mood and cognition. Fish oil helps maintain the release of serotonin in the brain, resulting in a good mood and overall happiness. Consume fish oil regularly to be happy and improve your brain health.

7. Helps Lower High Blood Pressure

The eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) present in omega 3 fatty acids help to dilate the blood vessels, as a result of which the blood flows smoothly without any blockage and brings down the blood pressure.

8. Healthy and Strong Bones

The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil help in improving bone density and prevent weak bones. Fatty acids also maintain minerals in bones and their surrounding tissue and improve overall bone health.

9. Helps in Healthy Pregnancy

The DHA present in fish oil is essential for the proper growth and development of the baby’s eyes and brain during pregnancy. DHA is a major component of our skin, brain and retina. Hence, it is important for the proper development of the baby in the womb.

10. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent inflammation in our blood and tissues. Regular consumption of fish oil can help in treating gastrointestinal issues, inflammatory diseases, short bowel syndrome, etc.

11. Boosts Mood

Fish oil is a mood booster and helps in stabilizing our mood. It also helps prevent depression, anxiety, fatigue, stress and mood swings. In addition, regular consumption of fish oil can make you feel calm and blissful.

fish oil side effects

The maximum and safest amount of fish oil or fish oil supplements to take is 3 grams or less per day. This can lead to many more side effects, such as:

  • stomach irritation
  • loose stools
  • bleeding nose
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • stomach ache
  • bad breath
  • fishy taste
  • rashes
  • Shock
  • acid reflux

summary

Fish oil is a rich and best source of omega-3 fatty acids which have myriad health benefits. But, on the other hand, their deficiency can lead to various health problems, such as heart disease, arthritis, mood disorders and cancer. However, this does not mean that high doses or too much consumption of fish oil can cure all your health problems.

Excess of anything is injurious to your health. Fish oil can also thin the blood, which can cause severe bleeding if you consume too much. Also, mix fish oil with other blood thinners such as aspirin, vitamin E supplements, garlic, ginger, ginseng, turmeric and ginkgo. Fish oil can also interact with your daily medications. Therefore, consult your doctor before consuming fish oil or its supplements.

You don’t need any fish oil supplements if you eat fatty fish at least a few times a week. Natural fish oil is more than enough to maintain your overall health. However, eating too much fish can cause side effects, as contamination with mercury and other chemicals is fairly common. If you are a vegetarian, you can fulfill your quota of omega-3 fatty acids by including flaxseeds, walnuts, kidney beans, soybeans, chia seeds, etc.

Fish oil can enhance your overall health and protect you from various infections by boosting your immunity. However, always keep in mind the daily dosage of fish oil and its side effects before consuming it regularly. Remember, caution is better than cure!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can fish oil cause weight gain?

a.The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil can help you lose weight. However, excessive consumption of fish oil can also lead to excessive weight gain due to the high fat and high calorie content in it.

Q. Is daily consumption of fish oil bad for your liver?

a.Although fish oil has excellent health benefits, too much fish oil can lead to fatty liver. So consume it with caution.

Q. Can fish oil help in reducing belly fat?

a.Fish oil helps in building muscle mass in the body and burns excess fat. Regular consumption of fish oil per serving can help you lose weight and burn belly fat.

Q. What is the best time to take a fish oil supplement?

a.There is no specific time to take fish oil supplements, and you can take them at any time of the day as per your convenience. However, dividing your supplement into smaller doses in the morning and evening can help prevent acid reflux problems.

Q. Does fish oil supplementation promote hair growth?

a. The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish are great for your skin and hair. Regular consumption of fish oil can enhance your hair growth and make your hair healthy, strong and shiny.

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