health benefits fish oil

Ten Valuable Health Benefits of Fish Oil

There are many health benefits of getting the right amount of fish oil. From stress reduction to body composition, the fat in fish oil can work wonders for wellness when it is balanced in the context of a healthy diet. Fish oil is such an important pillar in nutrition that it is one of the Foundation Five top five supplements that everyone should take.

Of course, fish oil is no magic bullet. Even though adding it to an unhealthy diet may help, it’s not going to solve all your problems if you’re not eating right and taking care of yourself. Just a reminder that doing the little things like planning whole food meals filled with plenty of vegetables, training with weights, and getting adequate sleep will go a looonnnngggg way to helping you reap all the amazing health benefits of fish oil.


1: Lower cortisol and reduce mental stress.


One of the most fascinating benefits of fish oil is how it reduces our experience of stress. Not only does fish oil lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol but it also decreases the anxiety, mental stress, and depression that come from the rigors of a busy, chaotic lifestyle.


2: Lose body fat if you’re overweight.


Fish oil may help you lose body fat, especially if you’re overweight. Several studies have shown that overweight subjects lose an average of 1.3 pounds of body fat when supplementing with fish oil. How does it work?


Your body uses fish oil to build the outside lipid (fat) layer that protects your cells. This results in faster metabolism and better insulin sensitivity so that you spend less time in fat storing mode. Fish oil also has a powerful effect on raising thermogenesis, which is the burning of calories—one study found that increasing dietary fish oil raised the energy required to digest food by a whopping 51 percent.


3: Increase muscle.


Fish oil increases protein synthesis by as much as 30 percent. This translates into more muscle growth, less soreness, and an all-around better recovery from hard training.


4: Improve digestion.


A primary impediment to smooth digestion is inflammation in the GI tract. Fish oil can help eradicate inflammation and improve the integrity of the tight junctions that line the gut. This is a game changing benefit of fish oil  because strong tight junctions protect you from compounds escaping back into the blood. The body treats these compounds like toxins and they can wreak havoc on your overall health and wellness.


5: Better immune function & faster workout recovery.


Every savvy coach knows that immune function correlates with body composition adaptations to intense training. Fish oil appears to boost the immune response, improving natural killer cell activity and muscle cellular health after intense workouts. It also accelerates detoxification of waste products and inflammatory biomarkers, which is necessary for recovery from illness or injury.


6: Lower RPE—Make workouts feel easier.


Fish oil improves blood flow to working muscle, lowering RPE so that workouts will feel easier. This can give you a major mental boost when hitting the gym after a long, grueling work day. That’s not all—fish promotes faster recovery between all-out sprints or heavy weight lifting sets for a better quality workout.


7: Lower triglycerides for a healthier heart.


Triglyceride levels—the amount of fat in your bloodstream—have been identified as a better predictor of heart disease than high cholesterol. Fortunately, fish oil can lower triglycerides by 15 to 30 percent, which leads to less inflammation in the arteries of the heart and lower heart disease risk.


8: Reduce cardiovascular disease risk.


Fish oil has a calming effect on the body. It lowers heart rate and blood pressure, especially when you are under stress. It also lowers adrenal activation and reduces the sympathetic nervous system response to stress. Together, these factors lower the overall load on the heart and significantly reduce your cardiovascular disease risk.


9: Improve joint pain.


A primary reason we feel pain in our joints as we age is due to the buildup of inflammation. Fish oil can help the body eliminate inflammation. At the same time, it improves cellular health for better working joints and stronger muscles that protect the joint.


10: Healthier skin & hair.


Fish oil has a hydrating effect on skin and hair, making over your appearance for a better complexion. It also supports vision and may protect against sunburn and skin cancer.


Final Words


One key factor in planning your diet is to balance intake of fish oil with that of omega-6 fats, which are present in vegetable oils like soybean, corn, and canola oil. Ideally, you want a balanced ratio between fish oil and omega-6 fats. For most people, this means radically reducing intake of processed foods that tend to be made with vegetable oil.







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