In our fat-phobic culture, the words “oils” and fats” have us running for cover. However, the real danger is avoiding this essential macro-nutrient group all together. The truth is, there are good fats and bad fats.
One of these good fats is fish oil. From a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease to healthier looking skin and hair, you'll be happy you incorporated this oil into your diet.
Read on to learn about all the benefits of fish oil in a healthy diet.
The Truth about Dietary Fats
The types of fat that should be included in a healthy diet are essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are just that: essential.
Deficiencies of these fats include poor memory, reproductive problems, depression, mood swings, and cardiovascular problems, among others.
The two families of essential fatty acids are omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats.
Studies have shown that too much omega-6 fats can lead to inflammation, tumor growth and blood clotting. Omega-6 fats can be found in vegetable oils, which includes corn oil and soy oil.
Don't worry about eliminating omega-6 fats entirely: you need some, they just need to be balanced with adequate amounts of omega-3 fats.
Omega-3s: What You Need to Know
The leading research shows that increasingly, the culprit behind many cases of heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, certain kinds of cancer and premature aging is an imbalanced intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fats.
So, how do you get more omega-3 fats in your diet? Besides fish, these fats can be found in marine plankton, walnut and flaxseed oils.
However, the benefits of using a fish source for these oils is the addition of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), fatty acids that have been proven to reduce inflammation and reduce blood pressure. These fatty acids are also good for the brain, and in fact, they make up 8% of the brain.
DHA and EPA are also helpful in preventing heart attacks, atherosclerosis, various forms of cancer and depression.
The Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil has proven useful for a variety of illnesses. Here is a list of just a few benefits this essential oil can provide.
A Healthier Heart
Fish oil can help significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and can also help reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Fish oil can also lower blood triglycerides, help correct abnormal heartbeats, and also inhibit blood clots and plaque from forming in arteries.
Fish Makes You Thin
According to the National Institute of Health, fish oil can help trigger the satiation signal, which lets the brain know your full. Studies have also shown that fish oil can help improve the efficacy of exercise by helping those who take fish oil lose more weight.
Omega-3s are highly concentrated in the brain, and are vital for optimal cognitive and behavioral function, as well as normal growth and development. They may even prevent or delay the onset of dementia.
Fish oil has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and psychosis.
Healthier Skin and Hair
The essential fatty acids found in fish oil are vital to skin and hair health. Fish oil provides moisture to the skin and some studies have shown that it can protect against premature aging, help clear up acne, and treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Deficiencies of omega-3s can cause dermatitis and even slow wound healing. Fish oil can also help to improve hair's shine and even promote hair growth.
Adding Fish Oil to Your Diet
This article is not exhaustive of all the benefits of fish oil, and as more and more studies are being published about omega-3s, it’s highly likely this list of benefits will continue to grow.
Of course, nothing is beneficial when consumed in excess or used exclusively, so if you're thinking about beginning to take fish oil, talk to your nutritionist or doctor about how much to add to your diet.