Fish oil is fat or oil that comes from fish like mackerel, herring, anchovies, and tuna. According to the World Health Organization, you should be eating around one to two portions of fish per week. The reason why? To take advantage of all the wonderful things that omega-3 fatty acids do for your body.
But what if you don’t eat fish for dietary reasons or don’t like how it tastes? Should you turn to fish oil supplements?
Today, we’re going to answer that question and many others. Read on to learn more.
The benefits of fish oil
As mentioned, the World Health Organization is one of many health organizations that recommend that people get plenty of fish oil. That’s because omega-3 fatty acids have tons of great benefits for your body.
Omega-3 fish oil has both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are important nutrients that can both prevent and treat heart disease (1). Studies also show that they can:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce your chances of heart attack or stroke
- Promote a more consistent heart rhythm
- Prevent plaque from developing too quickly in your arteries
- Reduce your chances of experiencing cardiac arrest if you have heart disease
Regardless of your age or health background, fish oil can help ensure that your heart continues to work as it’s should.
How much fish oil is enough?
Like the WHO, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fish at least twice a week. Regardless of whether you choose salmon, tuna, mackerel, or another option, getting two or more servings of fish a week should provide your body with the omega-3 fatty acids it needs.
One of the best parts about fish is that it’s relatively easy to prepare. All you have to do is season it, then bake it in the oven. Pair it with potatoes and asparagus for a healthy and delicious meal!
When to turn to supplements
While fish is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, not everyone can enjoy it. Vegans don’t eat it, and many other people are against it for animal welfare or environmental concerns. In cases like those, turning to supplements to get omega-3 fish oil isn’t a bad idea.
If you are considering taking fish oil as a supplement, the American Heart Association recommends taking three grams a day. While you can take more in some instances, you’ll want to first talk to your doctor. They can help guide you along the supplementing process.
While you shouldn’t experience any severe side effects to fish oil supplements, there are a few minor ones you might encounter, especially in the beginning. These include:
- Fishy breath
- A fishy taste in your mouth
- Upset stomach
- Loose stool
If you do experience more severe symptoms, stop taking the supplements and schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Fish oil: A not-at-all fishy health secret
Omega-3 fish oil is a fantastic way to promote your general health, and particularly that of your heart. If you don’t eat fish for one reason or another, don’t be afraid to take fish oil supplements to enjoy all the benefits they have to offer.
Three grams a day should do the trick!