It wasn’t that long ago that the question, “Is fish oil good for you?” would get different answers, even from health care experts. Now, we know that the answer to that question is a resounding yes. If you can only take one nutritional supplement, take fish oil. Let us look at the reasons why.
Fish Oil’s Positive Effects
- Fish oil may help lower triglyceride levels in the blood. (Triglycerides are fats that can cause cardiovascular problems.)
- The oil may help manage certain mental conditions, such as bipolar disorder and depression.
- Fish oil thins the blood, reducing the risk of a heart attack. This is especially important for people with high cholesterol.
- It may help protect against strokes.
Why Isn’t Everyone Taking Fish Oil?
You are probably wondering why not everyone is taking fish oil. Part of the reason is that some people struggle with the slightly fishy aftertaste a lot of commercial supplements have. If this aftertaste turns out to be a problem for you, the quality of your supplement may be the problem. You could also try taking your fish oil capsules along with a couple dollops of your favorite nut butter.
Getting Creative with Nuts
A little creativity and nut butters can help make your fish oil supplement more palatable. Try coating a standard fish oil capsule in peanut butter, almond butter, or hazelnut butter, and then swallowing it. Nut butters do a good job of preventing a fishy aftertaste from forming because they help prevent the capsule from dissolving before it hits the stomach.
Fish Oil Caveats
The one thing you have to be careful about while taking fish oil is taking blood thinning medications like aspirin. Because it thins the blood, taking a blood thinner while taking fish oil can lead to disastrous consequences, especially in the event of a traumatic injury.
Some blood thinning is helpful for preventing heart attacks but too much almost always causes problems. If you absolutely must take a blood thinning medication, consult with your doctor before taking fish oil.
Why Getting Fish Oil from Supplements Beats Eating Fish
Granted, fish should be a part of your diet unless you are vegan or vegetarian. But eating lots of it – which you need to do to get the true value of omega-3 fatty acids – has certain perils.
Coldwater fish like salmon are a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids, but they have the downside of often being heavily contaminated with industrial pollutants like methyl mercury. Methyl mercury has a wide range of negative health effects, and the less of it you are exposed to, the better.
Unlike fish, fish oil produced by reputable manufacturers contains insignificant concentrations of pollutants. What does this mean?
Well, it means that the concentrations are below what the bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the FDA among others, consider safe. In fact, the best supplements manufacturers often exceed the standards set by these bodies.
Manufacturers of high-quality supplements go to great lengths to purify their products because they know that in the long term their bottom line depends on it. If you want to consume high levels of omega-3s without ingesting industrial pollutants, choose a high quality fish oil.
If you hear someone ask you the question, “Is fish oil good for you?” don’t hesitate to inform them about all the positive health benefits associated with fish oil supplementation. Fish oil has one of the best track records of all the dietary supplements ever produced. The most credible health organizations acknowledge that it is an excellent source of potent omega-3 fatty acids.