What is Fish Oil and Why is it Good For You?
Fish Oil provides the best of Omega-3 fatty acids. Although the healthy fats can also be found in flax seeds (for a vegetarian diet) they are more easily absorbed and processed when derived from a marine source; for example, sardines, mackerel, tuna, cod, krill, shrimps and marine algae.
The human body needs to process the fats so they can be utilized by the different organs. There are many different kinds of fatty acids. Any singular kind is made up of a chain of atoms of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon and has a carboxyl group at one end. Many vegetables and most fish contain an abundance of fatty acids. Out of these the Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentanaenoic Acid (EPA) are the most effective or beneficial for the human body and these are specifically found in both marine algae and seafood.
Fatty Acids from Fish Oils vs. Fatty Acids from Vegetarian Sources
The human body can also synthesize or build up these fatty acids from another Omega-3 acid, called the Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) and this is abundant in flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp. However, while it is possible for the body to synthesize the ALA into DHA and EPA, research has shown that the rate of actual conversion is very limited or in poor percentage and therefore for required dose of these essential fatty acids, one has to consume fish oil.
What is a Fish Oil Supplement
It becomes obvious through the above stated information that consuming fish oil is necessary for optimum health as it contains not important, but essential fatty acids. So you can obtain it by consuming one of the following fishes,
- Menhaden or
While, the above listed fishes are well known for their Omega-3 composition,
- the way these fishes are obtained,
- the waters from which they are caught,
- the process through which they are cleaned
- and of course the way they are cooked
Are prime factors that can affect both the quality and the quantity of Omega-3 fatty acids inside them. Therefore the best alternative or the better alternative is to go for the fish oil supplements. The fish oil supplements are substitutive tablets, pills, capsules, gels or syrups that contain the unharmed and pure nutrient richness derived from fresh fish oils so that when you consume the fish oil supplement you can be sure that you are getting the required daily dose.
Benefits Of Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement
The right fish oil supplement can do wonders for your body. Because it supplies your body with the purest and best nutrients, you will not only feel the difference inside your body but on the outside as well. Following are some of the benefits that can be reaped by consuming correct fish oil supplement.
- It helps in the prevention of blood clot formation
- It helps in relaxing smooth muscles and this in turn aids in controlling blood pressure and in reducing risk of cardiovascular problems
- It prevents the oxidation of fats present in the body; which means that it effectively prevents the fats from sticking to the walls of arteries
- Greatly improves cholesterol levels in the body
- It generates anti-inflammatory activity within the body
- It lubricates the joints
- It aids in muscular flexibility
- It improves eyesight
- It noticeably enriches the hair and skin quality
- The fatty acids inside the brain are mostly DHA. By its regular consumption, memory can improve greatly. As the brain learns new things, it needs new cells and pathways to store that memory and DHA aids in it
- It aids in many mental disorders such as Schizophrenia and ADD
- It enhances brain development in the growing foetus
- It is known to be beneficial for patients who suffer from depression
Why Is It Necessary To Choose The Right Fish Oil Supplement
There are many reasons as to why you must select the most appropriate fish oil supplements out of the great variety that is available. Some of these reasons are listed below.
Not every fish oil has purity and/or freshness locked into them
Some of the worthy ones are processed and packed up immediately on the ship after the marine life have been captured for extraction. This method ensures that the richest of nutrients are locked with their freshness.
The cost does not coincide with the potency and nutrition
Buying the most expensive fish oil will not guarantee potency and nutrients. You will need to weigh the cost-effectiveness with the bioavailability, potency and nutrients.
Levels of DHA and EPA may vary
The levels of both omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, vary from one brand to the other. These are the two main constituents for which a fish oil supplement is bought. If the level of these two ingredients is not correct, then there is no use of buying a fish oil.
Some fish oils are better absorbed in the body than others
Consuming fish oil is not enough to ensure a healthy body. All the nutrients that we take in have to be absorbed before being used by the body, otherwise they are passed out with wastes. The unsaturated fats also need to be absorbed the body to be able to process them. The levels of the fats and other ingredients in the fish oil decide its rate of absorption. Therefore, once again, it becomes necessary to choose the correct fish oil according to your body requirements.
How To Choose The Right Fish Oil Supplement
The first thing that you have to choose from is whether you will purchase the capsules, tablets or liquids.
Fish oil supplements are commonly sold as syrups. But while they are easier to consume both for adults and kids, there are certain drawbacks to them.
- They have a shorter shelf-life and for this reason they can go rancid quite rapidly. When the liquids go bad, they become harmful to the body as then free radicals can be found in them.
- Secondly, it often becomes impossible to consume the required amount as per the recommended dosage. With tablets and capsules, you can be precise but not with liquids.
- Most consumers have also found the liquids to be foul tasting as compared to their other counterparts
Tablets are small and easier to swallow; however it could be difficult for kids to gulp down the tablets. Tablets don't smell queer either like the liquids could but the one thing that could prove to be a big disadvantage is the fact that many additives are added to the fish oil to stabilize it and is further cooked down to concentrate the oil. Both these factors greatly reduces the effectives and the nutritional value of the fish oil.
Capsules and Soft gels
Amongst these three sources, the capsules and soft gels are by far the best choice in fish oil supplements. Their shelf life is long and the dosage is accurately provided in every single capsule. Another factor which renders them much popularity is that they are both tasteless and odourless and are flavoured with a variety of pleasant flavourings.
Other Factors to Consider While Buying Fish Oil Supplements
There are many other factors that have to be taken into consideration when selecting the most appropriate fish oil supplement for yourself. You should read the label and description of the fish oil supplement to check for its,
Some of the fish oil supplements are derived from fish and other marine life which inhabit the most pristine waters in the Arctic or Antarctic region. These waters are untouched by pollution or contamination; therefore they harbour the purest kind of life form. The nutrients derived from them are also of the purest kind.
Many of the brands take special care to start up the packaging procedure right on the ships so they can seal in the nutrient goodness of the product. Furthermore, with the help of special bottles and packaging materials, this fact is further ensured. Fish oil supplements that have been affected by the oxidation process can be harmful as they contain traces of free radicals. The worthy companies, therefore, offer money back guarantee to the customers if they find the product distasteful or rancid.
The correct fish oil supplement contains the most appropriate balance of vitamins and fatty acids to aid in rapid absorption in the body.