Over the last decade, omega 3 fish oils have increased in popularity across the board. But why are omega 3 fish oils held in such high esteem?
Are Omega 3 Fish Oils and Cod Liver Oil the Same Thing?
Despite both deriving from fish, Omega 3 fish oils are not to be confused with cod liver oil. Although both have a similar fatty acid profile, they help the body in different ways.
Cod liver oil comes from the liver of the cod fish – hence the name! This oil contains fewer omega-3 oils but a higher level of Vitamin D. Omega 3 fish oil, meanwhile, contains higher levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). All three of these play an important role in preventing and controlling heart disease. However, omega 3 oils contain limited levels of Vitamin A and D.
The Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oils
When it comes to fitness, the ALA and DHA contained in omega 3 fish oils help to promote strong cardiovascular health and lean body mass. Taking omega 3 supplements daily can also help to restore tissue health and muscle recovery. Many athletes and bodybuilders take omega 3 oils as supplements to help gain muscle, prevent injuries and lose stomach fat. Additionally, they are said to reduce stiffness in the joints and improve blood flow, helping to enhance your body’s recovery.
Research has shown that omega 3 oils can also help with other illnesses and conditions too. For instance, they are thought to lower blood pressure and reduce triglycerides (fat in the blood). Omega 3 oils are also thought to decrease the chance of a stroke or heart attack, and reduce the likelihood of an abnormal heart rhythm.
Furthermore, omega 3 is also said to aid other aspects of your general health. For example, they are believed to help with conditions such as depression, ADHD, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. Omega 3 oils also play a positive role with skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
How Can I Increase My Omega 3 Oil Intake?
Aside of taking omega 3 oils in supplement form you can obtain omega 3 from food. It is recommended that we should eat fish, in particular fatty, cold water fish, at least twice a week. Fish that are high in omega 3 include fresh tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel and salmon. You can also obtain omega 3 oils from plant sources such as olive oil, avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds and nuts.
If you have not taken them before it is recommended you speak to your health care provider before taking any omega 3 fish oils. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant or are pregnant already or allergic to shellfish/fish.