Fish oil: friend or foe? There’s a lot of contradicting research about fish oil, what it can do and the benefits of taking it. As with all other supplements, fish oil isn’t a magic pill.
It can’t erase poor nutrition or a lack of quality sleep. But it does have several big benefits chief among them contributing to a much better omega ratio.
Simply put, the typical person consumes WAY too many omega-6 fatty acids (most vegetable oils, soybean oil) and not nearly enough omega-3 fatty acids. That’s a big deal because the modern North American diet has started to see an increase in the ratio of omega 6s consumed, which creates a ton of inflammation. Supplementing with fish oil helps to actively reduce this ratio, thereby reducing overall inflammation.
Fish oil is constantly being studied and has been linked to improved brain health, better skin and reduced chances of chronic illness. Interested? Here’s what to consider…
Fatty fish isn’t a regular staple for you
Crush high-quality, organic, wild-caught salmon regularly? Congrats, you’re killing it.
But if that’s not consistently on your plate, fish oil can definitely help your overall health. Taken with a meal, fish oil can help your body get some quality omegas-3s (the fat from your food can help the omegas get and stay in your system.). Just go easy on the fiber, which can slow absorption.
Controlling inflammation is a priority
Stressed? Lift heavy weights often? Recovery always lagging a bit behind?
We’ve covered the importance of managing inflammation before. Not all inflammation is bad, we need some to stimulate our body’s natural recovery process.
The problem becomes when we’re over-inflamed and walking around chronically stressed, fatigued and with low energy. (For more on that, read here.) Fish oil is widely used, widely available and –when used in connection with a good diet and proper recovery– can fill in the gaps, so to speak.
You’re willing to invest in a good quality brand
You want to buy a brand that’s highly concentrated to get the best effect and require a lower dose for the same results. You get what you pay for when it comes to supplements with cheaper varieties often having low EPA and DHA totals and a lot of icky fillers.
Try to choose a supplement that’s free of soy (including lecithin), dairy, wheat, rice or sweeteners. An ideal dose, per the Nutritional Coaching Institute, would be .25g of EPA/DHA per 10 lb. of bodyweight.