The Health Benefits of Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fish oil supplements have become very popular over the past decade. People of all ages are becoming healthier and feeling better thanks to the health benefits that these fatty acids provide to the body. Containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), omega-3 fatty acids are essential to our daily diet. While you can get your daily quota from things like flax seeds, chia seeds, beans, hemp seeds, and winter squash, many people aren’t getting enough each day. A small dose of omega-3 fatty acids can make a big difference when it comes to heart health, cholesterol levels and mental health. This can come in a range of products from gel capsules to a spoonful of cod liver oil.

Mental Health

While more research is needed, there is initial information that suggests taking a fish oil supplement can help improve overall mental health. A fish oil supplement may actually decrease depressive symptoms in people who are taking fish oil instead of antidepressant medications. With mental health becoming a major priority in our country right now, the effects that omega-3s have on serotonin receptors in the brain may offer a solution. There is also an anti-inflammatory effect that can contribute to improved mental health. Initial research suggests that fish oil may be able to improve symptoms associated with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury is a head injury that is caused by some sort of excessive force. This can result in a loss of consciousness, headache, memory problems, blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting. Intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil aids in recovery from a traumatic brain injury. Not only can a good fish oil supplement help decrease inflammation in the brain caused by the injury, but it can also help with the regeneration of damaged neurons. This is a delicate injury to recover from. A doctor can arrange for a very specific care plan to help with recovery. Fish oil can be discussed as part of this plan. Nutrition is often a very big component of healing when the body has undergone trauma.

Heart Health

Omega-3 fatty acids by way of fish oil can have a dramatic effect on overall heart health. It can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, increase blood flow throughout the body and promote a healthy heart rhythm. Improving heart health by taking a fish oil supplement can help reduce a person’s risk of stroke, heart attack, and congestive heart failure.

It is recommended that you eat fish twice per week in order to get natural doses of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. If you have a food allergy or preference that prevents you from eating it or you simply don’t like fish, you can take a fish oil supplement. Research can help determine what the best quality products are, such as ones that don’t use artificial ingredients nor unwanted additives and have low mercury. Your doctor can also suggest which products are a good source of omega-3.

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